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Grand Army of the Republic Records

Grand Army of the Republic Records

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Open Finding Aid

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC RECORDS, 1869-1937

Sponsor:

Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Grand Army of the Republic.
Title:Grand Army of the Republic Records
Dates:1869/1937
Quantity:13.0 linear feet (16 boxes)
Abstract:The Grand Army of the Republic Records includes bylaws, members’ rolls, record books, dues books, account books, committee meeting minutes, services prayer books, and flyers created by various posts of the Grand Army of the Republic located in Massachusetts. This collection has been arranged into five series.
Identification:MM 31

Series List

SERIES I. Philip H. Sheridan, Post #34, Salem, Massachusetts
A. Membership Records
B. Financial Records
C. Committees and Meetings
D. Administrative Records
SERIES II. General Lander, Post #5, Lynn, Massachusetts
SERIES III. John H. Chipman, Post #89, Beverly, Massachusetts
SERIES IV. A. W. Bartlett, Post #49, Newburyport, Massachusetts
SERIES V. General Records

Scope and Content Note

The Grand Army of the Republic Records includes bylaws, members' rolls, record books, dues books, account books, committee meeting minutes, services prayer books, and flyers created by various posts of the Grand Army of the Republic located in Massachusetts. This collection has been arranged into five series.


Series I. Philip H. Sheridan, Post #34, Salem, Massachusetts is arranged into four subseries. Subseries A. Membership Records include material related to membership including officers, individuals dishonorably discharged, black-list members, and a directory of members. Subseries B. Financial Records include financial records associated with Post 34 such as dues books, checkbook stubs, general accounts book, quartermaster's record books, receipts, and expenditures. Subseries C. Committees and Meetings include records created by committees and meetings of Post 34 such as a memorial record book, relief committee record book, Buffalo encampment record book, and two services prayer books. Subseries D. Administrative Records include administrative records of Post 34 such as a day book, visitors register, secretary's records of fairs, and general order file. All of these records create a detailed picture of an active GAR post with a large member base.


Series II. General Lander, Post #5, Lynn, Massachusetts includes the bylaws and roster of members from 1900 for Post 5, located in Lynn, Massachusetts.


Series III. John H. Chipman, Post #89, Beverly, Massachusetts includes a volume of records and orders and a roll of members from Post 89, located in Beverly, Massachusetts.


Series IV. A. W. Bartlett, Post #49, Newburyport, Massachusetts includes a book of meeting minutes, loose meeting reports, quartermaster's reports, newspaper clippings, and a letter. These items document the member activities of Post 49 from 1915 to 1937.


Series V. General Records includes records of the Grand Army of the Republic that are not associated with a particular post. These include flyers advertising Decoration Day events in 1871 and 1876 at the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts.


Historical Sketch

In 1866, Union veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Membership in this fraternal organization was limited to veterans of the Union Army, United States Navy, United States Marines and United States Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. Organized into departments at the state level and posts at the community level, the GAR became the preeminent veterans' organization. Massachusetts had 210 local GAR posts. Its members actively participated in political discourse, supporting voting rights for black veterans, lobbying the United States Congress to establish veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak membership was in 1890 with more than 400,000 members nationally.


The Philip H. Sheridan, Post #34 of Salem, Massachusetts was organized on December 10, 1867. Charter members included Captain George M. Whipple of the 23rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. This post quickly became the largest in the state with nearly 600 names on the muster roll. The General Lander, Post #5 of Lynn, Massachusetts was organized in February 1867. In 1885, members of this post built the Grand Army of the Republic Hall located on 58 Andrew Street in Lynn, Massachusetts as a memorial to the Union Army Veterans of the Civil War. The Hall is still located in Lynn and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 7, 1979. The John H. Chipman, Jr., Post #89 of Beverly, Massachusetts was organized on June 5, 1869. In 1882, members of this post helped raise the funds necessary to erect the soldiers' monument at the junction of Abbott and Endicott streets. The A. W. Bartlett, Post #49, of Newburyport, Massachusetts was organized on February 20, 1868. In the 1900s, members were active in social affairs and community interactions, often in conjunction with female auxiliaries and other local groups. They participated in parades, patriotic celebrations, grave decoration, social outings, memorial services, and communicated with other Massachusetts veteran organizations.


The national office of the GAR closed in 1956. The GAR was succeeded by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), composed of male descendants of Union veterans.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Grand Army of the Republic--A. W. Bartlett Post No. 49 (Newburyport, Mass.)
Grand Army of the Republic--Gen. Lander Post No. 5 (Lynn, Mass.)
Grand Army of the Republic--John H. Chipman Post No. 89 (Beverly, Mass.)
Grand Army of the Republic--Philip H. Sheridan Post No. 34 (Salem, Mass.)
Fraternal organizations--Massachusetts
Military history
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Veterans
Beverly (Mass.)
Lynn (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Grand Republic of the Republic Records, MM 31, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The A. W. Bartlett Post 49 material was acquired on July 17, 2012 (acc. 2012.023). The majority of the material was found in the collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, January 2012.


Related Material

Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Massachusetts. Early History of the Department of Massachusetts, G. A. R.: from 1866 to 1880 inclusive. Boston: E. B. Stillings, 1895.


Smith, Albert E. "The Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies: A Guide to Resources in the General Collection of the Library of Congress." Library of Congress. 2011. Web. 31 Jan 2012. http://www.loc.gov/rr/main/gar/


Trow, Charles Edward. Souvenir of the Grand Army of the Republic of Salem and Vicinity, Containing Sketches, Rosters and Portraits. Salem: Salem Press, 1893. Internet Archive. Web. 1 Feb 2012. http://www.archive.org/details/souvenirofgranda00trow


For additional Grand Army of the Republic material, including circulars, directories, official programs, manuals, journals, and reports, please visit Philcat, our online catalog.


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