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


(21) 1844 - Oppression resumes, William Draper says 'I would not go if the devil himself would order me to go against Joseph'

             Until 1844 there was peace, then oppression resumed. Their old enemies from Missouri, aided and abetted by enemies from within the Church who had apostatized or were excommunicated, stirred up the people of Illinois against the Mormons, and plotted the death of the Prophet Joseph and the annihilation of the Mormons, once and for all. Joseph and his brother Hyrum were arrested, imprisoned in the jail at Carthage, and on June 27, 1844, they were both martyred.

One incident connected to this plot to kill the Prophet, from the history of William Draper Jr. who lived at Green Plains, is related by Delbert M. Draper, as follows:

“Hostility to the Church was then running high and Colonel Levi Williams, notorious for organizing mob activities against the Mormons, was William’s neighbor. By this time Nauvoo had grown from a malarial swamp to a thriving city of more than 15,000 inhabitants, and with the flood of converts coming in from other states, from Canada, and Europe, it might have become the most important city in Illinois. It had its own specially chartered city government and it had troops (The Nauvoo Legion) to maintain order. Its growth in power became a matter of great concern to politicians, priests, apostates, and hot-heads alike, and under their leadership, schemes—legal, quasi-legal, and illegal—were being concocted to break the Mormon organization up.
“Whether William was fully aware of all the dangers implicit in the situation, I cannot say, but he had demonstrated his ability to live in peace and harmony with non-Mormons, both at Pleasantvale and Green Plain. He was not a top policy maker at Church headquarters; he was merely a trusted subordinate officer in the field. His integrity, however, was soon given a serious test.

“In June of 1844, Joseph Smith and some of his counselors were incarcerated in Carthage jail. William’s history states what happened as he saw it:

‘All went well with me until sometime in June (1844) then there were frequent reports about Joseph from Nauvoo, that produced some little excitement, for priests, lawyers, and apostates had combined together to again make trouble. The men in the neighborhood where I lived (Green Plain) were organized to go up and arrest Joseph. They came and invited me to go with them to take Joseph, but I refused. They wanted to know if I would go if the governor ordered me. I said I would not go if the devil himself would order me to go against Joseph for his people are my people and where he goes I will go also. This appeared to vex them, although we had always been on good terms as neighbors. Then they said ‘You will have to leave for you can’t live here though we like you as a neighbor’, so they left me and soon started for Nauvoo, with Col. Williams as their leader, which resulted in the martyrdom of Joseph the prophet and Hyrum the patriarch and severely wounding John Taylor. This was done in Carthage gaol June 27, 1844. Then they came back without having the black thoroughly washed from their faces. They did not interfere with me any more until about October 20th, 1845.38

38- The Mormon Drapers, p. 69. William Draper Jr. - Mob asks him to come with them

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