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Second Corps Cadets Records, 1785-1954, undated

Identifier: MSS 381

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the financial and administrative papers of the Second Corps of Cadets including correspondence, financial records, orders, enlistment records, and photographs. It has been organized into four series: Financial, Administrative, and Camp Association, and Personal Papers of Jenkins Family. This last series contains two folders of personal papers belonging to Lawrence W. Jenkins and Benjamin Gilbert Jenkins. The material has been arranged chronologically within series.


  • Creation: 1785-1954, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Historical Sketch

In 1786 a cadet company was organized in Salem, Massachusetts. After numerous changes in designation it was known in 1873 as Second Corps of Cadets, Second Division. The company had served during the Civil War for a short time at Fort Warren, Massachusetts. In 1915 the Second Corps of Cadets was changed to artillery. It was called into Federal service for the World War in 1917. In 1920 it was reconstituted as a unit of the Massachusetts National Guard.

In 1890 the Corps acquired the property of Francis Peabody on Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts for use as a head house. The Corps added a drill shed to the back of the building to provide space for training and storage of equipment. The encampments were held for many years at Ipswich, Woburn, South Reading (now Wakefield), Magnolia, and Essex, but in 1896 the Corps purchased a farm in Boxford comprising more than 100 acres and held its encampments there.

The Second Corps of Cadets and Company H, 8th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, shared occupancy of the armory after 1908. Both of these military organizations had long and honorable traditions of service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the nation. Members of both organizations participated in the Civil War and Spanish American War. In 1907, both units became part of the Massachusetts National Guard. During World Wars I and II, they served as members of the 26th (Yankee) Division, Massachusetts National Guard. Members of the Second Corps have also served in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Iraq. By the 1970s, the Second Corps was the First Battalion, 102nd Field Artillery, Massachusetts National Guard. In 1988, the 102nd was combined with the 101st Field Artillery, and headquartered in Lynn. In 1996, the 102nd was separated from the 101st, and today, the Corps is again the First Battalion, 102nd Field Artillery, Massachusetts National Guard, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts.

In 1982, the head house of the Salem Armory was destroyed by fire. Many of the records of the Second Corps were lost in the blaze. The drill shed survived, and in 1994 it was converted into the Salem Visitor Center, which is operated by the National Park Service. In 2002, the Peabody Essex Museum created Armory Park on the site of the head house to honor of the citizens of Essex County who have served their country since the organization of the volunteer militia in 1629.


40.6 Linear feet (59 boxes, 1 flat file)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the financial and administrative papers of the Second Corps of Cadets including correspondence, financial records, orders, enlistment records, and photographs.

Series List

SERIES I. Financial

SERIES II. Administrative

  • A. Applications
  • B. Correspondence
  • C. Discharge Records
  • D. Military Property
  • E. Roll Calls
  • F. Orders
  • G. Payroll
  • H. Organizational History
  • I. Encampments
  • J. Legal Records
SERIES III. Camp Association

SERIES IV. Personal Papers of Jenkins Family

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


The bulk of this material was a 1957 gift of Lawrence W. Jenkins with additional material given by Howard Horton and Charles W. Palfray.


United States. National Park Service. "The Salem Armory." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 07 July 2014. Web. 29 July 2014.

Wuertz, Gary. "The Armory: The Story". Salem, Massachusetts, The City Guide. 4 June 2008

Related Collections

For additional Second Corps Cadets material including by-laws, rules, scrapbooks, orders, and history, please see Philcat, our online catalog. Additional photographs can be found in the photography collection under "Military Groups", "136 Essex Street", and in the Cousins Collection in boxes 6, 22, and oversize.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Stephanie Spano, Tamara Gaydos August 2008. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, July 2014.

Processed by: Stephanie Spano, Tamara Gaydos; Updated by: Tamara Gaydos; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA