Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852)


This series includes financial records belonging to Charles Russell Codman (1784-1852). Folder 12 contains a personal account book dated from 1813 to 1820 which appears to reflect the business activities of C.R.C. It includes entries for payments to masons, howsewrights, and painters for work done at Codman’s Wharf, stores on Kilby Street, at Liberty Square, and Lindall Place. This account book, together with the two additional account books in this series (in folders 13 and 14) are good sources of information about laborers in Boston for the years covered (names, wages, frequency of employment, partnerships, etc.). This account book also includes expenses for livestock, especially sheep, for a farm at Princeton. Of particular interest are payments for wine, regular payments to J. Codman, payments to William Vans, payments of annuities to Sarah Russell from the estate of Chambers Russell, several payments to Doggett (a framer), payments to "Stewart" for a portrait for James Russell (Mar. 1816), various payments for shares in banks and factories, especially the Bristol Cotton Factory, a payment for Daniel Webster’s bill to J. Codman (Jan. 1820), and payments to C.R.C. for the sale of land in Lincoln, Mass.

Folder 13 contains a second account book dated from 1820 to 1825, which includes information about C.R.C.’s income and expenses. Many of the expenses seem to reflect business activities, for example, payments for work on Codman’s Wharf and Kilby St. stores. More personal entries include regular payments to John Codman, payments for wine (including one to Theodore Lyman, Jr. for five and a half dozen claret), a subscription to Nahant Hotel, a subscription to the Boston Athenaeum, payments for books, payments for Custom House bonds, payments for straw carpeting, payments for paintings from Blake and Cunningham, a payment to J. Cram for ornaments for stairs (May 1823), housekeeping bills, upholstery bills (Mar. 1825), a bill from Richard Adams for a marble tombstone, and payments to A. Parris for drawing plans (Feb. 1824). In 1824, Alexander Parris designed a block of six stores that wrapped around Kilby and Water Streets, partly on property owned by C.R.C. Income received by C.R.C. that may be of interest includes payments from the Charles River Bridge and a payment from J. C. Warren for a monument pasture sold to him from the estate of Mary Russell (a note in the margin reads: "Bunker Hill (?)").

Folder 14 contains the third account book, dated from 1825 to 1846. Like the two earlier account books, it seems to reflect C.R.C.’s business activities, but it also includes many more entries than the other two for personal items such as clothing (especially from Kilham & Mears, tailors). There are regular entries in this account book for "family expenses" and "housekeeping," subscriptions to the "Edinburgh Review" and "North American Review," entries related to various charities including the Home for Indigent Boys, and entries for pew rent. Like the earlier account books, it includes numerous payments for wine and books and payments to J. Codman. It also is very rich in information about Boston laborers, who were doing work for Codman on his properties on Codman Wharf, Kilby Street, Liberty Square, and Lindall Place, and on his house on Chestnut Street. Codman’s involvement with the Vans case is also apparent from several bills paid to William H. Gardiner, who was the counsel for the Codman family during the case. There are also numerous payments to insurance companies and numerous stock purchases in the Boston & Worcester Railroad and the Maine & New Hampshire Railroad. Entries of interest include: Vito Viti (Dec. 1825), G. G. Channing Clock (Dec. 1825), Farmer and Welles (Mar. 1826), Alexander Parris payment for superintending work on stores (Apr. and May 1826), D. Phyfes bill (Sept. 1826), note to J. and B. Welles (Apr. 1827), G. Barber’s bill for furniture (July 1827), D. Granger’s bill for painting (Aug. 1827), A. Willard for clock for kitchen (Oct. 1827), William Fisk for table (Dec. 1827), Alexander Parris payment for superintending the building of two stores on Kilby Street at two and a half percent (Jan. 1828), R. Slack’s bill for chairs (Mar. 1828), payment for portrait with gilding frame (Dec. 1828), B. Welles account for Mrs. Codman (Apr. 1829), Kimball & Paul, upholsterers (Jan. and May 1832), Fuller for drawing plans (Feb. 1833), a picture by Ostade (Aug. 1833), purchase of straw carpet in Canton (Aug. 1833), paid witness in case of [?] vs. Codman (Jan. 1838), payment to G. F. Bryant for drawing plans for proposed alterations to stores on Kilby Street (Jan. 1843), and numerous payments to Doggett & Frothingham.


Descriptive Terms

bills of sale
bonds (negotiable instruments)
charities (nonprofit organizations)
masons (construction workers)
painters (tradespeople)
paintings (visual works)
account books
financial records

Physical Description

3 folders

Collection Code


Collection Name

John Codman (1898-1989) family papers

Reference Code



Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Canton (Norfolk county, Massachusetts)
Lincoln (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Princeton (Worcester county, Massachusetts)

Record Details


Codman, Charles Russell, 1784-1852

Material Type

account books
financial records

Other People

Adams, Richard
Gardiner, William H.
Lyman, Theodore, 1792-1849
Parris, Alexander, 1780-1852
Russell, Chambers, 1713-1767
Russell, Mary
Russell, Sarah
Vans, William, 1763-1840
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852

Other Organizations

Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation
Boston Asylum for Indigent Boys
Boston Athenaeum
Kilham & Mears, Tailors
Kimball & Paul, Upholsterers
Maine and New Hampshire Railroad Company

Description Level




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