John Codman (1755-1803)


This series includes correspondence, financial records, and legal records belonging to John Codman (1755-1803). Folder 5 contains a letter sent in 1791 to Welcome Arnold, Esq. of Providence in reply to a letter from Arnold; the letter discusses the actions Codman has taken in response to the levying of a duty on hemp by Congress. Folder 3 contains a personal account book which includes payments for food, liquor, clothing, household goods, church dues, hardware, loans and loan repayments, laborers’ wages, work on the schooner "Dolphin," and furniture (including a payment for Mr. Sprague for chairs). Folder 4 contains financial correspondence including copies of business letters to domestic and foreign agents or representatives. The waste book (oversize, box 2) primarily includes debts for his business, and it also includes some personal debts and credits. Of particular interest are expenses for a ropewalk in Boston and an expense from John Codman to Richard Codman for paintings, statuary, glasswork, and other items. Folder 7 contains a payment agreement drawn up by Barnard Lowell, mate on Codman’s ship "Abigail," for his wages due (note: this item was framed at the time it was given to Historic New England - then the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities - in 1987). Folder 6 contains a bill of sale for the ship "Governor Bowdoin" in 1793 to John Codman (1755-1803) and Richard Codman (1762-1806).


Descriptive Terms

trade (function)
account books
bills of sale
financial records
legal documents

Physical Description

5 folders and 1 loose volume

Collection Code


Collection Name

John Codman (1898-1989) family papers

Reference Code


Record Details


Codman, John, 1755-1803

Material Type

account books
bills of sale
financial records
legal documents

Other People

Arnold, Welcome
Lowell, Barnard

Description Level




Materials in this series are arranged alphabetically by subseries and chronologically within each subseries.