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


(44) Johnston's Army and guards, Winter 1857

The following song tells of when Johnston’s Army was coming to the Valley, and of the activities of the guards while they were in and around Echo Canyon during the winter of 1857.70     


1-I’ll sing you a song of a soldier’s make,
About our late campaign.
The devil’s alive and wide awake,
Striving to send men and means from the States,
To rob us of peace again.

2-On the 15th of August we did start,
To meet the haughty foe,
From home and friends we were called to part,
With an eager step and a joyous heart,
We hastened far to go.

3- We traveled along o’er mountains high,            
And canyons deep and drear
Through mucky dells or sand hills dry,     
And desert plains our course did lie,
Yet onward we did steer.

4- When camped at night I’ll tell you our fare,
We on the ground did lay,
Or standing our guard in the chilly air,
With little to eat and less to wear,
We anxiously looked for the day.

5-At length we arrived at the Devil’s gate
Our foes had not yet come         
But men and means bound for Salt Lake, 
With loads of provisions and trains of freight,
Were steadily rolling on.

6-  At length our foes came up in sight                   
And glad we would have been,
To pounce upon them, with all our might,
But Captain Clark wouldn’t let us fight,
For that was not the plan.

7- What was the plan? you eagerly ask,
Well, sometimes we would lie
Down in the brush, the sage, or grass,    
And steal their teams as they walked past,
Then away to the mountains we’d hie.

8- At other times we’d go on a scout,
All under the cover of night,
And burn their trains of provision up,
And take the last mule and ox they’d got,
When the soldiers were out of sight.

9- In this way you see, we wiped them out,         
Without the loss of a man.
And God be praised, for He no doubt,
By revelation His servants taught
This wise and noble plan.

10 - They’ve spent much means to go to war       
But little have they done.
They may winter with the grizzly bear,
The Wolverine and the mountain hare,
But here they cannot come.

11-And now we’re returned back home again,     
To all we hold most dear,           
And we render thanks to His holy name, 
Who supported and Who sustained
Our friends and our families here.

12- There is one thing more I wish to name,
There is Captain Clark and Co
And if by chance they should want us again,
To stop our enemy on the plain,
We’re on hand and ready to go.

13- We heed not the frost, nor the snow that flies
We heed not the angry foe,        
We’re stout and hearty and good of our size
We’re fond of the girls and our own dear wives,
But please excuse me, do,

14- For it always was, and ever will be
With Saints of God on earth,
No matter whether on land or sea,
Abounding in wealth or in liberty,
They’re full of joy and mirth.

At any rate, the result of all the Mormon soldiers’ activities was that Johnston’s army didn’t enter the Mormon territory that winter. But the army personnel weren’t the only ones who suffered that winter.  The wives and families of the Mormon men went through much hardship doing the chores, keeping enough wood chopped and available, providing food, trying to manage while their husbands and older sons were away from home guarding and protecting them. 

70- Dec. of G. Palmer & P. Draper, p. 453 – Zemira’s ballad

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