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


(45) Johnston's Army sets up Camp Floyd, Saints return to homes

View of the Commanding General’s Quarters, Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, January 1859
Photography by C. C. Mills, National Archives

(COMMENT: In 1862 the troops of Johnston’s army stationed at Camp Floyd in Cedar Canyon southwest of Salt Lake City were called to return to the eastern states to help with the Civil War, which was waging there from 1861 to 1865.  Upon leaving Camp Floyd they saved many miles of travel by going directly up Provo Canyon on their way back east.  Many of the settlers were able to obtain good wagons from the soldiers as they passed through the valley.) from a DUP printing, no name, no page.

But now that winter was over, what would Johnston’s army do?  It was still a serious threat to the Mormons.  The leaders were faced with a tough decision.  And it was a tremendous undertaking, once the decision was made. The story is told in the book, Church History in the Fullness of Times.

Following President Young’s direction, some thirty to thirty-five thousand Saints living north of Utah Valley evacuated their homes and moved south to avoid conflict with the army when and if it should arrive later in the year.  Each ward was allotted a strip of land in one of four counties south of Salt Lake County.  The move took almost two months, and was completed by mid-May.  A daily average of 600 wagons passed through Salt Lake City during the first two weeks of the month.

One Pioneer wrote: “During that exodus I shall never forget the distress and poverty of the people.  I have seen men wearing trousers made of carpet, their feet wrapped in burlap or rags.  Women sewed cloth together and made moccasins for their feet.  Many women and children were barefoot.  The people were practically all poor for we had had several years of great scarcity of crops because of the grasshoppers.”  Upon arriving at their destination, families lived either in the boxes of their heavy covered wagons, canvas tents, dugouts, or in temporary board shanties and cabins.71

Church records and assets were removed or buried.  The foundation of the Salt Lake Temple was covered over and leveled so that the plot would resemble a plowed field and remain unmolested, and all the stone that had been cut for it was hidden.  Twenty thousand bushels of the tithing grain was boxed in bins and transported to specially erected granaries in Provo.  Additional wagon trains carried machinery and equipment to be housed in hastily constructed warehouses and sheds.

The enemy realized that the Mormons meant business–they were determined in their purposes.  Finally, due mainly to officials who were friendly towards the Mormons, particularly Thomas L. Kane who was especially helpful, negotiations were made between the army officials and the Mormons. Brigham yielded the Governor’s seat to Alfred R. Cummings, and the troops were allowed to march through the deserted city of Salt Lake.  With their animals, wagons, cannons, supplies, etc. they traveled west of Utah Lake to Cedar Valley where they established Camp Floyd. 

Then on July 1, 1858 Brigham authorized the return of the bedraggled Saints to their homes.  The United States army stayed at Camp Floyd for some length of time.  The negative effect of which was the introduction of various vices into Utah. Gambling places, saloons, and houses of prostitution were built.72

71- Church History in the Fullness of Times, p. 376 – Evacuation of Salt Lake
72- Ibid, p. 338 – Peaceable agreement; Saints return home

Article about Johnston's Army relics on display at Camp Floyd http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/article_88520aa0-ced4-5999-8a97-951197c14411.html

Article about the Utah War in the Church News

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