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John Codman (1898-1989) family papers

Description

This collection is arranged into series according to individual family member. The papers of each individual are organized into topical groups: correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal records, literary papers, maps and drawings, miscellaneous, printed matter, and scrapbooks.

Series I: James Russell (1715-1798) dates from 1771 to 1810 and includes financial records belonging to James Russell (1715-1798). Series II: John Codman (1755-1803) dates from 1755 to 1803 and includes correspondence, financial records, and legal records belonging to John Codman (1755-1803). Series III: John Codman (1782-1847) dates from 1812 to 1818 and includes correspondence and printed matter belonging to John Codman (1782-1847). Of particular note is a letter to Codman from Daniel Webster, who sends Codman his best wishes before leaving for Washington and asks Codman to donate to any charitable cause in his absence. Series IV: Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852) dates from 1813 to 1846 and includes financial records belonging to Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852). It includes three account books which are particularly good sources of information about laborers in Boston for the years covered (names, wages, frequency of employment, partnerships, etc.). Series V: John Codman (1814-1900) dates from 1865 to 1900 and includes correspondence, printed matter, and scrapbooks belonging to Capt. John Codman (1814-1900). Series VI: William Coombs Codman (1821-1903) dates from 1825 to 1899 and includes correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal records, literary papers, maps and drawings, printed matter, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous papers belonging to William Coombs Codman (1821-1903).Of particular interest is a letter from W[illiam] D[rummer] Northend in 1897 expressing support for William Codman at the time of the death of Alice Barrett, an employee of the firm Codman & Codman who either committed suicide or was murdered. This series also includes a number of journals from sea voyages. Series VII: Elizabeth Hurd Codman (1836-1896) dates from 1866 to 1899 and includes financial records and a scrapbook belonging to Elizabeth Hurd Codman (1836-1896).Series VIII: James Macmaster Codman (1831-1917) dates from 1852 to 1889 and includes diaries, financial records, an d literary papers belonging to James Macmaster Codman (1831-1917). Series IX: Henry Sargent Codman (1864-1893) dates from 1888 and includes diaries belonging to Henry Sargent Codman (1864-1893).

Series X: William Coombs Codman (1860-1938) dates from 1877 to 1940 and includes correspondence, diaries, financial papers, legal records, literary papers, and printed matter belonging to William Coombs Codman (1860-1938). This series includes correspondence about the construction of a subway tunnel under Beacon Hill as well as travel logs. Series XI: Sophia Munroe (Smith) Codman (1865-1945) dates from 1865 to 1929 and includes correspondence and a baby book belonging to Sarah Munroe Smith Codman (1865-1945). Series XII: John Codman (1862-1897) dates from 1901 and includes printed matter belonging to John Codman (1862-1897). Series XIII: Ernest Amory Codman (1868-1940) is undated and includes correspondence belonging to Ernest Amory Codman (1868-1940). Series XIV: William Coombs Codman (1888-) dates from 1897 to 1917 and includes correspondence, printed matter, and miscellaneous papers belonging to William Coombs Codman (1888-). Series XV: John Codman (1898-1989) dates from 1802 to 1964 and includes correspondence, diaries, legal papers, maps and drawings, printed matter, and miscellaneous papers belonging to John Codman (1898-1989). Series XVI: Anna Balch Wheelright Codman dates from 1929 to 1932 and includes correspondence belonging to Anna Balch Wheelright Codman. Series XVII: Unattributed ownership dates from 1776 to 1947 and includes correspondence, financial papers, maps and drawings, printed matter, and miscellaneous papers the ownership of which is unattributed. Series XVIII: Photographs date from 1870 to 1898 and include images of Codman family members and others, including John Codman (1755-1803), Richard Codman (1762-1806), John Codman (1782-1847), Francis Codman (1798-1859), Catherine Margaret Codman Hurd (1793-1860), John Codman (1814-1900), Mary Margaret Codman Pollitz, Anna Gertrude Codman (1858-1938), William Coombs Codman (1860-1938); John Codman (1862-1897); Ernest Amory Codman (1868-1940), Sophia Munroe (Smith) Codman (1865-1945), William Coombs Codman (1888-), Constance Codman (1891-), Horatio Southgate (1894-1895), John Codman (1898-1989), and Anna Balch Wheelright Codman.

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Details

Collection Name
John Codman (1898-1989) family papers
Collection Code
MS037
Dates
1775-1964
Abstract
This collection documents the Codman family members descended from Rev. John Codman (1782-1847) through John Codman (1898-1989), as well as the brother of Rev. John Codman (1782-1847), Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852), and some of their ancestors.
Acquisition Type
Gift
Physical Description
7.6 linear feet (16 boxes: 159 folders, 1 volume, and 1 newspaper)
Finding Aid Info
An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England’s Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library & Archives.
Collection Type
Manuscripts
Description Level
Collection
Custodial History
This material came to Historic New England as a gift from John Codman (1898-1989). The materials were passed down through the generations of the Codman family and collected by the donor.
Credit Line
Gift of John Codman (1898-1989), 1987. Accession number 1987.2.
GUSN
266648
Reference Code
MS037

Historical/Biographical Note

John Codman (1898-1989) was ninth in the line of John Codmans, beginning with John Codman (1698-1755). The Codman family is a prominent New England family, and Historic New England has a great deal of documentation surrounding the family. Historic New England also owns the Codman Estate in Lincoln, Mass., which is operated as a house museum and function space. This collection deals with the descendants of Rev. John Codman (1782-1847) (note that much of Historic New England’s Codman-related holdings deal with individuals descended from Charles Russell Codman, the brother of Rev. John Codman).

Chambers Russell (1713-1767), a lawyer, legislator, judge, and founder of the town of Lincoln, Mass., built a two-story Georgian mansion house on the property between 1735 and 1741. On his estate, Russell grew corn, hay, oats, and flax and raised livestock and poultry, in part using an enslaved labor force. Russell died in 1767, leaving the estate to be administered by executors during the American Revolutionary War years on behalf of his son Chambers Russell II. By 1790, Chambers Russell II had died without children, leaving the property to his six-year-old nephew Charles Russell Codman. Charles’ father, Hon. John Codman (1755-1803), was named as executor and immediately began to improve the property on his son’s behalf.

Hon. John Codman expanded the Codman Estate and used it as his country seat from 1790 to 1803. His improvements brought the house and grounds to a total of 650 acres. Codman’s major impact was to transform the house into a three-story Federal-style mansion, much as it is today. Its design is attributed to the architect Charles Bulfinch. When John’s son, Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852), came of age, he inherited the estate, which he then sold. The estate returned to Codman ownership in 1862 when it was purchased by Ogden Codman, Sr.

The creator of this collection, John Codman (1898-1989) is a direct descendant of Charles Russell Codman’s brother, Rev. John Codman (1782-1847), and many of the papers come from members of that family line. There are, however, materials in this collection from James Russell (1715-1798), John Codman (1755-1803), and Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852).

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in eighteen series as follows: Series I: James Russell (1715-1798), 1771-1810; Series II: John Codman (1755-1803), 1755-1803; Series III: John Codman (1782-1847), 1812-1818; Series IV: Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852), 1813-1846; Series V: John Codman (1814-1900), 1865-1900; Series VI: William Coombs Codman (1821-1903), 1825-1899; Series VII: Elizabeth Hurd Codman (1836-1896), 1866-1899; Series VIII: James Macmaster Codman (1831-1917), 1852-1889; Series IX: Henry Sargent Codman (1864-1893), 1888; Series X: William Coombs Codman (1860-1938), 1877-1940; Series XI: Sophia Munroe (Smith) Codman (1865-1945), 1865-1929; Series XII: John Codman (1862-1897), 1901; Series XIII: Ernest Amory Codman (1868-1940), undated; Series XIV: William Coombs Codman (1888-), 1897-1917; Series XV: John Codman (1898-1989), 1802-1964; Series XVI: Anna Balch Wheelright Codman, 1929-1932; Series XVII: Unattributed ownership, 1776-1947; and Series XVIII: Photographs, 1870-1898.

The papers of each individual are organized into their own series. Each series is then arranged into topical groups: correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal records, literary papers, maps and drawings, miscellaneous, printed matter, and scrapbooks.

NOTE: There is no folder 15 or folder 148.

Record details

Originator
Codman, John, 1898-1989
Other People
Barrett, Alice M.
Bryant, Gridley James Fox, 1816-1899
Codman, Anna Balch (Wheelright)
Codman, Anna Gertrude, 1858-1938
Codman, Charles Russell, 1784-1852
Codman, Constance, 1891-
Codman, E. A. (Ernest Amory), 1869-1940
Codman, Elizabeth (Hurd), 1836-1896
Codman, Francis, 1797-1859
Codman, Henry Sargent, 1864-1893
Codman, Horatio Southgate, 1894-1895
Codman, James Macmaster, 1831-1917
Codman, John, 1755-1803
Codman, John, 1782-1847
Codman, John, 1814-1900
Codman, John, 1863-1897
Codman, John, 1898-1989
Codman, Mary (Wheelright), 1792-1857
Codman, Richard, 1762-1806
Codman, Sophia Munroe (Smith), 1865-1945
Codman, William Coombs, 1821-1903
Codman, William Coombs, 1860-1938
Codman, William Coombs, 1888-
Gardiner, William H.
Hurd, Catherine Margaret (Codman), 1793-1860
Parris, Alexander, 1780-1852
Pollitz, Mary Margaret (Codman)
Russell, Chambers, 1713-1767
Russell, James, 1715-1798
Russell, Mary
Russell, Sarah
Vans, William, 1763-1840
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852
Other Organizations
Boston Elevated Railway Company
Boston Transit Commission
Chandler family
Codman family
Coombs family
Hodges family
Hurd family
Parish family
Wheelright family
Descriptive Terms
genealogy (discipline)
rapid rail transit systems
real estate
shipping
ships' logs
slavery
trade (function)
travel
Material Type
family papers
Subjects
pirates
Places
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Kolkata (West Bengal, India)
England (United Kingdom) [country]
Spain
Havana (Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba)
Hingham (Plymouth County, Massachusetts)
Mexico
Newburyport (Essex county, Massachusetts)
West Indies [archipelago]
Restrictions
This collection is available for research.
Location Note
HGO-02-105-A-E-302, HGO-02-105-A-E-303, HGO-02-105-A-E-304, and HGO-02-105-A-E-102
Related Items
Codman family papers
Codman family correspondence, 1781-1912. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Mass.
Diary and notebook of Charles Russell Codman, ca. 1810. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass.
Karolik-Codman family papers, 1714-1964. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Mass.
Ogden Codman architectural drawings and papers, circa 1793-1936. Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York City, New York.
Ogden Codman (1863-1951) papers, 1796-1940. Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Mass.
Ogden Codman papers, 1909-1939. Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Mass.
Beacon Hill newspaper clippings
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Conservation Note
Some materials have been unframed. See series descriptions for details.
Language Note
Materials are entirely in English.
Physical Access Restrictions
There are no physical restrictions on this collection. There are no technical restrictions on this collection.
Preferred Citation
Item identification. Box #, folder #. John Codman (1898-1989) family papers (MS037). Historic New England, Library & Archives.
Processing Information
This collection was originally processed by Lorna Condon. In 2014, the collection was updated and the finding aid was written and made available online by Abigail Cramer with grant funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (project #RH-50051).
Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-compliant.

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