Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists of papers of historian Francis Parkman, including family, personal, and business materials related to his publications, his interests in horticulture, and trips abroad. Also, papers of Rev. Francis Parkman (1788-1852), including diaries; Rev. John Cordner; Caroline P. Cordner, related primarily to family history; papers related to Jamaica Pond (Boston, Mass.); and diplomas and membership certificates received by Francis, 1844-1893, from various universities and historical societies.

Collection Description

This collection of manuscripts dates from 1761-1932 and contains miscellaneous additions to the Francis Parkman (1823-1893) papers. They are of a more personal nature than those contained in Francis Parkman I. Included are letters related to his writings in various magazines; letters and bills regarding his interests in horticulture and gardening; personal letters from publishers, scholars, and other colleagues regarding his historical publications; family correspondence with his father, Francis Parkman (1788-1823) describing various trips, including one to Rome, and with his daughter Catherine, and sister Elizabeth (later Mrs. John Cordner) and other family papers; bills from his trips abroad; and notices regarding his election to various historical societies and other organizations.

Parkman's correspondents include Charles Francis Adams, Adolph F. Bandelier, Brantz Mayer, S. Weir Mitchell, Charles E. Norton, Winthrop Sargent, and Buckingham Smith. Also included in his correspondence are transcripts of letters from Parkman to E. G. Squier, 1849-1870.

Papers of Rev. Francis Parkman contain correspondence with family members and others, including those written from Europe during his travels; sermons; charges; and addresses. The volumes include journals of journeys in Scotland, Switzerland, France, England, and Boston, including reminiscences of his call and ordination at the New North Church (Fifth) in Boston. Also, a catalog of his books; a commonplace-book containing extracts of religious works, and textbooks of sermons preached (1817-1843), with some diary notes.

Other papers include miscellaneous papers and a commonplace-book of Rev. John Cordner of his service at the Unitarian church in Montreal; letters from John Eliot Parkman to his mother, Mrs. Francis Parkman, and his sisters from Calcutta, India; bills and receipts of Caroline P. Cordner and other members of the Cordner family and correspondence between her and A. W. Hodgman regarding the genealogy of the Parkman family; papers regarding Jamaica Pond in Boston, Mass., the Jamaica Pond Aqueduct Corporation and the Boston Park Commissioners; and misc. papers related to James Swan and Joshua Pico.

Acquisition Information

The portion of this collection consisting of the papers of Rev. Francis Parkman (1788-1852) was purchased Nov. 1916.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
General papers, 1834-1886
Box 2
General papers, 1887-1900
Box 2
E. G. Squier-Parkman correspondence, 1849-1870(typescripts)
Box 3
Misc. papers, 1760-1932, including Rev. John Cordner, C. P. Cordner, and Jamaica Pond
Box 4
Rev. Francis Parkman papers, 1805-1852
Vol. 1
Rev. Francis Parkman library catalogue, n.d.
Vol. 2
Rev. Francis Parkman commonplace-book containing extracts from religious works, 1804-1807
Vol. 3
Rev. Francis Parkman journal of a journey over the Western Highlands, Aug.-Sep. 1810
Vol. 4
Rev. Francis Parkman diary kept at Switzerland, France, England, and Boston, including his call and ordination in the New North Church, Boston, 1811-1813
Vol. 5
Rev. Francis Parkman textbook (#2) of sermons preached, with some diary notes, 1817-1829
Vol. 6
Rev. Francis Parkman textbook (#3) of sermons preached, with some diary notes, 1829-1836
Vol. 7
Rev. Francis Parkman textbook (#4) of sermons preached, with some diary notes, 1837-1843
Vol. 8
John Cordner commonplace-book, service at Unitarian church in Montreal, 1856-1883
OS Box
Rev. John Cordner; Jamaica Pond plans

Preferred Citation

Francis Parkman papers III, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Swan, James, 1754-1830.
Cordner family.
Bandelier, Adolph Francis Alphonse, 1840-1914.
Cordner, Caroline Parkman.
Cordner, John, 1816-1894.
Hodgman, A. W.
Mayer, Brantz, 1809-1879.
Mitchell, S. Weir (Silas Weir), 1829-1914.
Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908.
Parkman, John Eliot, 1834-1871.
Pico, Joshua.
Sargent, Winthrop, 1825-1870.
Smith, Buckingham, 1810-1871.
Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888.
Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886.
Parkman, Francis, 1788-1852.
Parkman family.


New North Church (Boston, Mass.).


Congregational churches--Clergy.
History--Societies, etc.
Private libraries.
Family history--1750-1799.
Family history--1800-1849.
Family history--1850-1899.
Family history--1900-1949.
Calcutta (India)--Description and travel.
Jamaica Pond (Boston, Mass.)
Rome (Italy)--Description and travel.
Europe--Description and travel--1800-1918.