John Shepard Keyes, ca. 1860.38. Allen (Boston). John Shepard Keyes, ca. 1860. From a carte de visite (source undiscovered).

Harvard-educated lawyer John Shepard Keyes (1821-1910) was a powerful man in and beyond Concord in the mid- to late 19th century. He was elected sheriff of Middlesex County in 1853. A Whig/Republican, in 1860 he served as a delegate to the Republican convention at which Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency. Shortly thereafter, he was made a United States marshal. A bodyguard at Lincoln's inauguration, he was present at the delivery of the Gettysburg Address. As marshal in Boston during the Civil War, he dealt with seized Confederate ships, contraband goods, and the custody of some prisoners. He was a Massachusetts state senator and, from 1874, a district court judge for Eastern Middlesex.

In Concord, Keyes was elected to numerous public offices. He also served on the committees of arrangements for the 1850 and 1875 anniversary celebrations of the Concord Fight and for the 1885 celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town's incorporation, and on the Committee on the Gunboat Concord, formed to arrange the gift of a model of Daniel Chester French's Minute Man for the U.S.S. Concord. He was a member of the Social Circle from 1846, president of the Concord Antiquarian Society, director of the Concord Bank, and vice president and director of the Middlesex Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

A son of lawyer John Keyes and a brother of George Keyes (see #5), John Shepard Keyes married Martha Lawrence Prescott (see #20) in 1844. They had six children, four of whom survived to adulthood. Through the marriage in 1874 of oldest daughter Annie to Edward Waldo Emerson (son of Ralph Waldo and Lidian Jackson Emerson), the Keyeses enjoyed a family connection with Concord's literary aristocracy.

This photograph conveys John Shepard Keyes's swaggering self-confidence and his obvious pleasure in his own position and influence.

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