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


(29) U.S. declares war against Mexico, 1846

          As this caravan of Saints, wagons and animals proceeded west, stretching for miles across the Great Plains of Iowa, the Saints learned from Captain James Allen of the United States Army that James K. Polk, President of the U.S. had declared war against Mexico on May 12, 1846.  And he, Captain Allen, was sent with a message to ask the Mormons to furnish 500 able-bodied men to help fight against Mexico.        

As would have been expected, the Saints were surprised—to put it mildly—at such an outrageous request. The Mormons had many reasons to be reluctant to enlist.  However, it put a different light on the matter when they learned that Captain Allen’s message was giving permission for the Saints to encamp on Indian lands if the Mormons would raise the desired battalion. 

Brigham Young accepted this.  He recognized that the promised military pay, clothing and supplies—which Battalion volunteers would be entitled to keep—would be the salvation of the needy pioneers who would be wintering on the plains of Iowa.46   Raising a battalion would solve both the poverty problem (to a great extent), and the camping and traveling illegally on Indian land problem. Their God had answered their prayers in a most unexpected way.

On July 6, 1846, with the encouragement, blessing, and promise given by their leader Brigham Young, some 541 men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five enlisted, and under the authority of U.S. Army Capt. Allen, the Mormon Battalion was mustered in at Council Bluffs, Iowa Territory.

46- The Restored Church, pp. 235-236 - Mormon Battalion is salvation of the saints

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