Zemira Palmer is my third-great grandfather. In 2010 I was given tons of information about him by two angel cousins. With their permission I share it all!! - Deniane Kartchner

Contact: denianek@gmail.com

Sally Knight Palmer

Sally Knight Palmer

Zemira's Wives

The photos of Zemira's two wives were contributed by Lucile Brubaker

and her mother, Lenna Cox Wilcock. Thanks!

Caroline Jacques Palmer

Caroline Jacques Palmer


Unless otherwise noted, the main source for this blog (including the introduction) is a history titled “ZEMIRA PALMER, 1831 – 1880, His Life and Family in Early L.D.S. Church History.” This history was prepared by Lenna Cox Wilcock and sent to Deniane Kartchner via email by Lenna's daughter, Lucile Brubaker, with Lenna and Lucile's permission to post on this blog with the stipulation it be used for family history purposes only and not for financial gain. Lenna and Lucile are descendants of Zemira Palmer through his wife Caroline Jacques.

I have posted the history in segments exactly as Lenna wrote them (with the exception of adding details needed to help the sections stand alone).


Zemira Palmer was born the year after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was organized in Fayette, New York. Living amongst the earliest “Mormon” converts, his entire life and that of his family was inextricably inter-woven with that of the early Saints.

The faith of the Palmer and Draper families, as with all the Saints, was severely tried and tested as they were swept along in the turbulent stream of Mormonism in its desperate struggle for survival while defending their freedom to worship their God as they chose. As Utah Pioneers they contributed greatly in making the desert blossom as a rose in the rugged western American frontier.

One month before his death, in a letter to his sister Zemira made the following statement, and by living according to what it expresses, he was worthy to gain the great reward of which it speaks:

“. . . There is one thing which seems to be true, the Lord is fulfilling His promises. He has said by the mouths of His prophets that He would send judgments on the wicked & trials on the faithful, so that everyone that can be shaken, will be, and those who cannot be shaken, shall gain the great reward of eternal life & supreme happiness.”1

1- Excerpt from letter written by Zemira Palmer to his sister Lovina Palmer Munroe Sept. 18, 1880.

* * * * *

Zemira Palmer History on this blog


(7) The Drapers

Some background information here provides insight regarding the character of our Drapers. Phebe’s father, William Draper, Sr. seems to have been of a deeply religious nature as shown by a statement one-half century later, in the Deseret News, dated February 22, 1855:

“Being fond of the study of the scriptures and being convinced of the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins, he yielded to his convictions, and according to the best light he had then, was baptized a member of the Baptist Church.” 

The Baptists rejected the doctrine of infant damnation for want of baptism.  They espoused the doctrines of baptism by immersion, and formed the American Bible Study.  These were the practices  and doctrines which attracted William into the Baptist fold.  But by 1833, religious liberty had suffered great curtailment even in the Baptist Church.  Its membership had broken into many contending groups.

He had been a member for 15 years, and after being in full Baptist membership all this time, William “began to be faulted for believing that the scriptures were to be understood in accordance to their obvious purport and that the prophecies would be fulfilled and Israel gathered.”7   Since his beliefs differed from the orthodox beliefs of the church, he must look elsewhere for the truth.

Just previous to this time there was a great unrest regarding religion resulting in an unusual excitement in the region of Manchester, New York.  The various sects of religion were claiming that the others had perverted the true teachings of Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible.  The whole country seemed affected by this religious uproar. 

William Draper Sr. and his family were caught up in this uproar, and William found the truth he was looking for in 1833 when Mormon missionaries came from New York to Canada. (See Map 3) They proclaimed that the gospel as originally preached by Jesus, had been restored in its purity and fullness to the earth through a living Prophet, Joseph Smith, with all its authority and powers of old.

William and several members of his family listened to the missionaries, recognized the truth, then joyfully and wholeheartedly embraced this new religion, becoming members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, which was often referred to as the “Mormon” Church. 8

According to tradition, Zemira’s mother Phebe, she being William Draper Sr.’s oldest child, was the first of her Draper relatives to be baptized. But her husband George didn’t join the Church.

Neither did Phebe’s mother, Lydia Lathrop Draper, join at that time. “This may be accounted for by the fact that she was the descendant of a distinguished Puritan preacher (the Reverend John Lathrop), and was loathe to depart from her early teachings.”9 She was a descendant five generations down the line. Her roots were in Puritanism, but she ended her days as a Latter-day Saint.  Twelve years later, in 1845 one year before she died, she was baptized in the Nauvoo Temple font.

Rev. John Lathrop's Bible on display in the Lothrop Room of the Sturgis Library. Photo retrieved from http://users.erols.com/jlathrop/genealogy.html. This is a fabulous site for descendants  - includes several great links and photos. 

7- Delbert M. Draper, The Mormon Drapers, pp. 35-36 – Wm. Draper Sr.’s religious nature.
8- Dec. of G. Palmer & P. Draper, p. 445 – Draper family joins L.S. church.

9- Delbert M. Draper, The Mormon Drapers, pp. 33-34 – Lydia Draper waits until 1845 to join.

No comments:


Lucile Brubaker (and her mother Lenna Cox Wilcock) are also contributing to this blog.