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Abel Buell

In the 18th century, Abel Buell was known as a skilled goldsmith and engraver before the age of 20. He used his skills as a goldsmith to earn money. He used his skills as a engraver to literally make money. Buell was caught changing the plates from five-pound notes into larger denominations and then printing them off on his homemade printing press. For his punishment, he was branded with an “F” for forger on his hairline, right above his forehead.

In 1770, Buell moved to New Haven, Connecticut and was employed by surveyor and cartographer Bernard Romans, the first American map-maker. Six months after the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, Buell published “A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783,” from his own typeset – the first copyrighted map of the new United States created by an American.