William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Charles Russell Codman Journal, 1852-1853
C. D. F., October 1993
Charles Russell Codman journal
Codman, Charles Russell, 1829-1918
In October of 1852 Charles Russell Codman, a wealthy and well educated young man, started a year-long tour of Europe. The journal he kept while on tour records his experiences and attitudes.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
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The collection is open for research.
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Charles Russell Codman Journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The privileged son of an immensely wealthy mercantile family from Boston, Charles Russell Codman was born in Paris on October 28th, 1829. From an early education with private tutors through his attendance at Harvard law school, from which he graduated in 1852, Codman traveled in elite social and economic circles. Like many of the sons of the upper crust, it was de rigeur that he take a grand tour of Europe following graduation. From October, 1852, through September, 1853, he spent nearly a full year traveling through Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, with trips through Austria, Switzerland and the Low Countries, imbibing the culture, seeing the sights, and improving his mind.
After returning from Europe, Codman practiced law for only a short while, turning instead to the management of his father's property and affairs. He also devoted a great deal of time and energy to public service. During the Civil War, he raised the 45th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, serving as its colonel from 1862 through 1864. He held political office several times, serving as a member of the Boston school commission in 1861-62, as a member of the Massachusetts state Senate, 1864-66, and as a member of the state House of Representatives, 1872-76, during which time he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Codman opposed James G. Blaine's nomination as the Republican candidate for the Presidency in 1884, and became an ardent supporter of the Mugwump faction. Outside of his political life, Codman was elected as an overseer of Harvard College in 1878, a position which he held for 9 years. In his later years he served as president or committee member for various organizations in and around Boston until his death on October 5th, 1918. He left his widow, Lucy Lyman Paine Codman, and 9 children.
Collection Scope and Content Note
After graduating from Harvard, Charles Russell Codman went on a year-long tour of Europe. The true-bred son of the Back Bay elite, the journal he kept while on tour records his experiences and descriptions of what he saw and did along the way, but equally important, provide an interesting insight into Codman's mind set and the attitudes of an American aristocrat acquiring culture in the old world.
The diary is exceptionally well written throughout, as might be expected from such a highly educated young man. Particularly interesting are Codman's comments on Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the zoological gardens in London and the palace at Versailles and the Louvre in Paris. Also are included brief but often detailed descriptions of the countryside through which he passed en route.
- Scotland--Description and travel.
- Germany--Description and travel.
- France--Description and travel.
- Italy--Description and travel.
- Switzerland--Description and travel.
- England--Description and travel.
Additional Descriptive Data
Aberdeen (Scotland)--DescriptionAmsterdam (Netherlands)--DescriptionAntwerp (Belgium)--DescriptionAustria--Description and travelBaden-Baden (Germany)--DescriptionBalloch (Scotland)--DescriptionBanavie (Scotland)--DescriptionBasle (Switzerland)--DescriptionBerlin (Germany)--DescriptionBologna (Italy)--DescriptionBoulogne (France)--DescriptionBrussels (Belgium)--DescriptionChalons (France)--DescriptionChavornay (Switzerland)--DescriptionCologne (Germany)--DescriptionDresden (Germany)--DescriptionEdinburgh (Scotland)--DescriptionFlorence (Italy)--DescriptionFlorence (Italy)--DescriptionFoligo (Italy)--DescriptionFrance--Description and travel
Frankfurt (Germany)--DescriptionGeneva (Switzerland)--DescriptionGenoa (Italy)--DescriptionGermany--Description and travelGhent (Belgium)--DescriptionGreat Britain--Description and travel
- 1852 November-1853 February
- 1853 July-September
Hague (Netherlands)--DescriptionInverness (Scotland)--DescriptionItaly--Description and travelLeamington (England)--DescriptionLestre de Levante (Italy)--DescriptionLiverpool (England)--Description
- 1852 October, 1853 June-July
Lucerne (Switzerland)--DescriptionLyons (France)--DescriptionMarseilles (France)--DescriptionMartigny (Switzerland)--DescriptionMilan (Italy)--DescriptionNaples (Italy)--DescriptionNetherlands--Description and travelNew York (City)--DescriptionParis (France)--Description
- 1852 Oct 17
- 1852 Oct. 18-25
- 1852 Oct. 29-Nov. 18
- 1853 June 1-4
- 1853 June 29-July 8
Perth (Scotland)--DescriptionPisa (Italy)--DescriptionRome (Italy)--DescriptionScotland--Description and travelShrewsbury (England)--DescriptionSpezzia (Italy)--DescriptionSwitzerland--Description and travelTerni (Italy)--DescriptionTrosachs (Scotland)--DescriptionVenice (Italy)--DescriptionVienna (Austria)--DescriptionWindermere (England)--DescriptionYork (England)--Description
- 1852 Nov. 20-1853 Feb. 22
- 1853 July 9-12
- 1853 Sept. 20