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


(31) Trials of Mormon Battalion resulted in great value to our country

The trials the soldiers encountered on their march were worse in some ways than those of the saints who crossed the plains.  The Battalion’s route was often without water, across hot deserts with thick sand, and high very rugged and rocky mountains.  They suffered extreme hunger and thirst, and by the end of the trip, even their clothes had become very sparse.  Most of their shoes had given out and many were using sticks, bark, rawhide from dead animals—anything they could find, to wrap around their feet for protection from the jagged rocks and burning sand.51

Colonel Philip St. George Cooke wrote:  “There, with almost hopeless labor we have dug deep wells, which the future traveler will enjoy.  Without a guide who had traversed them, we have ventured into trackless tablelands where water was not found for several marches.  With crowbar and pick and ax in hand, we have worked our way over mountains, which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat, and hewed a pass through a chasm of living rock more narrow than our wagons.  Thus, marching half naked and half fed, and living upon wild animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value to our country.”52  Thus the Battalion mapped the country and opened a wagon road and established a U.S. presence that would, two years later, be officially recognized with the annexing Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

This Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war, is still in force today.  It not only fixed the Rio Grande as the boundary of Texas, but required Mexico to cede to the U.S. in return for $15 million, all the territory that today includes the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.53

When the Battalion left Winter Quarters at Nebraska, the Salt Lake Valley was in Mexican Territory.  One year later, almost to the day, and owing in large measure to the success of the Battalion, it would be American Territory. (See Map 7)

The sacrifice that the men and women in the Mormon Battalion offered, is much more important than we generally give it credit for.  After the march, Brigham Young said to the members of the Mormon Battalion, “Brethren I will prophesy that the children of those who have been in the army, in defense of their country, will grow up and bless their fathers for what they did at that time.  Men and nations will rise up and bless the men who went in that Battalion. You will never be forgotten, worlds without end, but you will be held in honorable remembrance, forever & ever.”54

51- Church History in the Fullness of Times, p. 326 – Soldiers suffer, burning sand, etc.
52- Concise History of Mormon Battalion, pp. 254-55 – Col. Philip St. George Cooke’ comments.
53- Ibid, p 261 – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends war
54- Women of the Mormon Battalion. - Carl V. Larson and Shirley Maynes. ABC Printing 1997-98 

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