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Papers of Stephen Codman (1758-1844)


Stephen Codman's correspondence consists of letters received from his daughter and letters sent to his grandson. There are three letters from his daughter, Hannah Robinson Codman (1796-1818). She wrote about varied subjects while she was attending school in New York between 1811 and 1813. She described her pleasure in staying with Mrs. Brenton at the "Mansion of Truth." She expresses her concern over the death of her cousin, Hanna Cartwright. She shows a staggering degree of frugality in suggesting it would be sufficient to receive her $3.00 allowance every other month instead of monthly. "In the hope of being an assistant to you in taking care of your Garden and Plants" she had been studying Botany. In 1838, Codman wrote to his grandson, John Amory Codman (1824-1886), that he was starting a correspondence "as this place affords so few novelties." A subsequent letter in 1841 describes the sinking of a friend's boat in a sudden squall.

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Codman family papers
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Historical/Biographical Note

Stephen Codman was born in 1811. He was the third of seven children born to John Codman II (1720-1792) and Abigail Soley Asbury (1724-1775). John Codman III was his older brother. It is clear from his correspondence that he resided in Boston and, in his later years, in Nahant. For a few years in the 1780s, Codman operated a shop in Portland, Maine, first on Titcomb's Wharf and then on India Street. He may have lived with his uncle Richard Codman. His signature appears on the petition for the incorporation of the City of Portland in 1786. Apparently he returned to Boston soon afterwards, where he married his first wife, Hannah Robinson. The first of their five children was born in 1789. Although his second wife's name was Mary Cushing Robinson, it is not clear whether the two wives were related. Mary bore him three more children.


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