Record from the United States Marshalship
Not to be reproduced without permission from the Concord Free Public Library.

Vault A45, Keyes, Unit 2


EXTENT: 2.2 linear ft. (13 unboxed volumes plus 2 containers)

ORGANIZATION: Organized into six series: I. Diary, autobiography, reminiscences, 1837-1908; II. Manuscripts on various historical topics (most Concord-related), 1876-[190-]; III. Records of U.S. Marshalship, 1861-1867; IV. Records of Committee of Arrangements for 1885 celebration of 250th anniversary of incorporation of Concord, 1885; V. Records of Committee on Gunboat Concord, 1889-1891; VI. Miscellaneous papers, 1841-1892.

BIOGRAPHY: Lawyer; Massachusetts state Senator; Sheriff of Middlesex County, Mass; U.S. Marshal; Judge of District Court of Eastern Middlesex. Resident of Concord, Mass. Born in Concord Sept. 19, 1821, son of John and Ann Stow Shepard Keyes; died in Boston May 15, 1910. Educated at the Concord Academy (under teachers Phineas Allen and William Whiting), at Harvard College (1837-1841), and Harvard Law School. Began to practice law in 1844, in which year he married Martha Lawrence Prescott. (She died in 1895; Keyes remarried in 1898). Elected Sheriff in 1853. In 1860, delegate to Republican convention at which Lincoln was nominated for presidency; made U.S. Marshal shortly thereafter. Served as bodyguard during Lincoln’s inauguration; present at Gettysburg for delivery of Gettysburg Address. As U.S. Marshal for Massachusetts, his duties included handling cases of prize ships, contraband goods, and custody of certain types of prisoners. Lived in Boston for a short time with his family. In 1863, bought (for his wife) the Bullet Hole House on Monument Street in Concord. Resigned Marshalship in 1866 (records of his tenure continuing into 1867). Became Judge of District Court in 1874. Involved with numerous Concord committees and offices, including committees for 1850 and 1875 celebrations of anniversaries of the Battle of Concord, for 1885 celebration of 250th anniversary of town’s incorporation, and Committee on Gunboat Concord (formed to arrange gift of model of D.C. French’s Minuteman Statue to U.S.S. Concord). Member of Social Circle in Concord from 1846; President of Concord Antiquarian Society; Director of Concord Bank; Trustee of Middlesex Institution for Savings; Vice President and Director of Middlesex Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers include: diaries covering Sept. 1837 (First Impressions of Cambridge) and 1839-1908; ms. autobiography covering years 1821-1866; ms. reminiscences (the longest covering the years 1824-[1865]); mss. on historical topics, 1876-[190-]—including 1876 Fourth of July oration on Concord history, material relating to the Battle of Concord, ms. Houses, & Owners or Occupants in Concord, 1885, "Old Roads in Concord" (read before the Concord Antiquarian Society in 1889), "The Middlesex Hotel" (1900), "An Old House ([1902]), "Ralph Waldo Emerson" and "The Second Great North Bridge Battle" (both undated; [190-]), and "Administration of Justice in the District of Massachusetts during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency, 1861-1866"; records 1861-1867 of Keyes’s tenure as U.S. Marshal; records of Committee of Arrangements for 1885 celebration of 250th anniversary of Concord’s incorporation; records 1889-1891 of Committee on Gunboat Concord; letter from J.S. Keyes to Adj. Gen. H.K. Oliver, 1847 May 22, regarding Concord Artillery swords destroyed in Middlesex Hotel fire in 1845.

SOURCES OF ACQUISITION: The diary and much of the remainder of the papers were presented by Amelia F. Emerson, Raymond Emerson, and the heirs of Edward W. Forbes, April 3, 1972. The 1876 Fourth of July oration was presented by J.S. Keyes in 1894 or 1895. Letter to Adj. Gen. H.K. Oliver purchased and presented 2002 (the gift of L.P. Wilson).


Series III. Records of U.S Marshall for Massachusetts from the tenure of John Shepard Keyes, 1861-1867: EXTENT: .625 linear ft. (1 container). HISTORY: John Shepard Keyes was made U.S. Marshal for Massachusetts in 1860. He resigned from the office in 1866 (the records of his tenure continuing into 1867). Keyes thus described his duties as U.S. Marshal during the Civil War: "…handling all prizes and contraband goods captured, also the custody of certain prisoners… the war spirit that prevailed kept me immensely busy investigating all sorts of reports of rebel spies, contraband goods, and letters and communications from southern sympathizers. I ran the civil and criminal part of the United States in my district, leaving the military to the Governor and the President." SCOPE AND CONTENT: Records, 1861-1867, include: correspondence; miscellaneous documents (list of ships’ crews, surety bond, pledges of loyalty, order to commit, appointments of bailiffs, manifest); financial records (accounts, bills, receipts); printed ephemera. Much of the material relates to the storage and sale of cargo confiscated from prize ships. (Material relating to the prize brig Lilla, the cargo of which included saltpeter, is contained in a distinct file.) One folder contains financial records for the maintenance, repair, and refurbishing of the U.S. Court House in Boston. SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Bound volume of correspondence in Folder 3 presented by Amelia F. Emerson, Raymond Emerson, and the heirs of Edward W. Forbes, Apr. 3, 1972.

Series IV. Records of committee of arrangements for 1885 celebration in Concord, Mass., of 250th anniversary of incorporation of town, 1885: EXTENT: 11 items (1 folder). HISTORY: At annual Concord Town Meeting in 1885, it was voted to appropriate $1,500 for the celebration on Sept. 12, 1885 of the 250th anniversary of the town’s incorporation and for the erection of historical markers. Among the members of the Committee of Arrangements: Henry T. Hosmer (Chairman); Richard F. Barrett (Secretary); Charles E. Brown (Treasurer); George M. Brooks; Stephen G. Brooks; Edward Carver Damon; Edward Waldo Emerson; John L. Gilmore; Samuel Hoar; John Shepard Keyes; Grindall Reynolds; Charles H. Walcott; George E. Walcott. Subcommittees: Tablets; Programme; Dinner; Reception; Oration; Music; Executive. Orator: George F. Hoar. President of the Day: John S. Keyes. Chief Marshal: Richard F. Barrett. Chaplain: Benjamin R. Bulkeley. Invitations were issued to George D. Robinson, James Russell Lowell, William M. Evarts, George William Curtis, Charles W. Eliot, Hapgood Wright, George Bancroft, Selectmen of Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, and Lincoln, and others. SCOPE AND CONTENT: Records include correspondence, schedule, program, seating arrangements, text for historical markers, remarks by John S. Keyes (all mss.), and printed program.

Series V. Records of Concord, Mass., committee on gunboat Concord, 1889-1891: EXTENT: 32 items (1 folder). HISTORY: Committee of Concord, Mass., appointed in 1889 to arrange for the gift by the town of "some appropriate ornament" for the twin screw gunboat Concord. The Committee consisted of John Shepard Keyes (Chairman), Charles H. Walcott, Edward J. Bartlett, Samuel Hoar, and Edward Waldo Emerson. The Committee proposed a bronze statuette of Daniel Chester French’s Minuteman statue (the full-size original of which had been dedicated at Concord’s North Bridge in 1875.) Secretary of Navy B.F. Tracy accepted the proposal on behalf of the Navy Department. Sculptor Daniel Chester French prepared a plaster statuette and a mold for the model, which was cast in bronze at the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Mass. The gift was presented in 1891, the final report of the Committee printed in the 1891-1892 annual municipal report. The U.S.S. Concord (1890-1929) for which the statuette was prepared was the second in a series of five ships by the same name. SCOPE AND CONTENT: Records include: correspondence (including letters from Daniel Chester French to and from Secretary of Navy B.F. Tracy, and from Commander O.A. Batcheller);  blueprint plan by Edward Waldo Emerson of proposed placement of statuette on the U.S.S. Concord; and manuscript reports.

NOTES/COMMENTS: Two volumes of diary lacking (v. 1 not located 1992 and later; v. 6 not included in 1972 Emerson/Forbes family gift to Library). Several items (not part of Emerson/Forbes gift) transferred from former CFPL Letter File (their old Letter File numbers noted in container list).  Letter to Adj. Gen. H.K. Oliver accessioned 2002 May 13 (AMC 079). 

PROCESSED BY: LPW; finding aid prepared 2/25/96; prepared for mounting on the Web by CM, 02/04.





Unboxed volumes:

Autobiography (covering years 1821-1866)

Diary, v. 2 (1839-1840) v. 3 (1840-1841)
v. 4 (1841-1842)
v. 5 (1842)
v. 7 (1866-1869)
v. 8 (1869-1874)
v. 9 (1874-1881)
v. 10 (1882-1887)
v. 11 (1888-1892)
v. 12 (1893-1900)
v. 13 (1900-1908)

NOTE: v. 1 missing, 1/92; v. 6 not presented to Library with rest of diary.

Box 1, Folder 1:

First Impression of Cambridge, Sept., 1837.

Account of stage coach ride from Concord to Keene, N.H., July 24, 1838.

Fragment, [1867?].



Box 1, Folder 2:

Items dated 1876-1900:

Oration delivered before the citizens of Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, at the Town Hall, July 4th, 1876.

Research notes relating to British spy John Howe (1882, 1883) and copy of deposition of Thaddeus Blood relating to Apr. 19, 1775.

Houses, & Owners or Occupants in Concord, 1885 (THIS ITEM SHELVED OUTSIDE BOX).

Old roads in Concord (read before Concord Antiquarian Society, Feb. 4, 1889).

Monument St. Club [relating to houses on Monument St.], Jan. 13, 1890.

The Middlesex Hotel, Apr. 2, 1900.

Box 1, Folder 3:

Items dated/dateable [190-s]:

An old house, [1902].

Ralph Waldo Emerson, [190-].

Reminiscences of April Nineteenth … [and] Account of the Isaac Davis Stone, [190-].

The second great North Bridge battle, [190-].

Administration of justice in the District of Massachusetts during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, 1861 to 1866, [190-?].






Box 1, Folder 4:

ALS, JSK to R.C. Winthrop (invitation).

Text for historical markers.

Notes relating to events at celebration (to guests and others attending, to seating arrangements, etc.).

ALS, 1885 Sept. 8, Geo. D. Robinson to Charles H. Walcott.

Printed program.

Remarks by JSK.

ALS, 1885 Oct. 8, to "My Dear Judge Keyes" (partial; lacks signature). 



Box 1, Folder 5:

Copy of letter from Capital Committee to B.F. Tracy, 1889 Mar. 29.

Copy of letter from Committee to G.F. Hoar, 1889 Mar. 29.

TLS, G.F. Hoar to JSK, 1889 Apr. 2.

Copy of letter from Committee to Com. W. Schley, 1889 Apr. 8.

TLS, W. Schley to Committee, 1889 Apr. 20.

Telegram, H.G.O. Colby to JSK, 1889 May 1.

Copy of letter from Committee to Com. W. Schley, 1889 May 15.

TLS, W. Schley to Committee, 1889, June 12.

ALS, R.B. Hine to JSK, 1889 June 17.

"Plan of position of Minute Man made by Comm.--EW Emerson drafting it."

Edward Waldo Emerson blueprint plan of proposed placement of Minuteman statuette on U.S.S. Concord.

TLS, W. Schley to JSK, 1889 June 24.

Copy of letter from Committee to Com. W. Schley, 1889 July 3.

TLS, William Parker to JSK, 1890 Feb. 26.

Copy of letter from JSK to BF Tracey, 1890 [Mar.]. (Formerly Letter File 3a, K6a.)

ALS, JSK to Minnie Coates, 1890 Mar. 10. (Formerly Letter File 3a, K6b.)

ALS, JSK to Minnie Coates, 1890 Mar. 14. (Formerly Letter File 3a, K6c.)

TLS, B.F. Tracy to JSK, 1890 Mar. 14.

ALS, R. Dickinson to JSK, 1890 Sept. 12.

ALS, R. Dickinson to JSK, 1890 Oct. 9.

ALS, D.C. French to JSK, 1891 Feb. 17.

TLS, K.W. Steele to JSK, 1891 Feb. 19.

Copy of letter to B.F. Tracy, 1891 Mar. 4.

TLS, B.F. Tracy to JSK, 1891 Mar. 7.

Copy of letter from Committee to Com. O.A. Batcheller, 1891 Mar. 14.

ALS, O.A. Batcheller to Committee, 1891 Mar. 18.

Reports of Committee.

ALS, J.R. Soley to JSK, 1891 Apr. 2.

ALS, O.A. Batcheller to JSK, 1891 July 16.

ALS, O.A. Batcheller to JSK, 1891 Aug. 6.

ALS, O.A. Batcheller to JSK, 1891 Aug. 17.



Box 1, Folder 6:

Printed invitation to Inauguration Ball, 1841 Mar. 4, address to JSK.

ALS, JSK to Adj. Gen. H.J. Oliver regarding Concord Artillery swords destroyed in Middlesex Hotel fire of 1845.

Ms. lists relating to garden and orchard activities, 1868-1874.

Ms. authorization (draft) by contributors to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Committee for Trustees of Town Donations to manage cemetery funds, 1892 Dec.




Box 2, Folder 1:


Box 2, Folder 2:

1864-1866 (plus undated).

Box 2, Folder 3:

Bound volume including letters 1861-1866.

Box 2, Folder 4:

Miscellaneous documents, 1862-1866 (lists of ships’ crews; surety bond, 1862; pledges of loyalty, 1862-1864; order to commit, 1864; appointments of bailiffs, 1865-1866; manifest, 1866).

Box 2, Folder 5:

Material relating to cargo of prize brig Lilla (including saltpeter), 1862 June-Nov.

Financial, 1861-1867:

Box 2, Folder 6:

Miscellaneous financial documents, 1861-1865 (disbound ledger pages, 1861-1862; loose sheets listing monies outstanding, 1861-1865).

Box 2, Folder 7:

Accounts, bills, and receipts, 1861-1864.

Box 2, Folder 8:

Accounts, bills, and receipts, 1865-1866, plus undated.

Box 2, Folder 9:

Accounts and receipts for advertising cargo sales (etc.) in Boston Daily Advertiser, 1862-1866.

Box 2, Folder 10:

Accounts and receipts for advertising cargo sales (etc.) in Boston Post, 1863-1866.

Box 2, Folder 11:

Accounts and receipts for advertising cargo sales (etc.) in Journal of Commerce (N.Y.), 1862-1866.

Box 2, Folder 12:

Accounts and receipts for advertising cargo sales (etc.) in various newspapers, 1862-1867, plus undated.

Box 2, Folder 13:

Accounts, bills, and receipts for maintenance, repair, and refurbishing of U.S. Court House, Boston, 1863-1868.


Box 2, Folder 14:

Printed ephemera, 1864-1866 (catalogs of cargo sales; clippings; comparison of prize expenses in N.Y. and Boston).


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Mounted 6th Mar. 2004 -- rcwh.