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Inventory of the Palmer Family Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement of the Collection
  • Related collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Palmer family
    Title: Palmer Family Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1859-1911
    Extent: 0.2 linear feet
    Abstract: The collection contains correspondence and memorabilia of the Palmer Family. The correspondence, written during the mid to late nineteenth century, discusses the Civil War and family matters in Ohio and South Carolina. Transcriptions of most of the letters are also found in the Papers. The family memorabilia consists of an undated carte de visite and an invitation to a 1911 family reunion.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: MC073
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English.


    John Egerton Palmer IV (1793-1877) emigrated to the United States from England in 1819 and settled in Richland County, Ohio. In 1820, he married Mary Ward (1801-1874) and they had the following children: John Egerton V, William Joseph, Thomas Sharp, Mary Elizabeth, Jane Ward, Artamesia May, Caroline, Charles Ward, Joseph Ward, and Annie Frances. John Egerton IV was described as a strong abolitionist whose farm served as a station on the underground railroad.
    However, John's son, William Joseph (1823-1862), did not share his father's abolitionist views. In 1845, William moved to South Carolina and became involved in the shipping business in Charleston. He married Catherine Reed and they had two children, Bessie (1858-1878) and Clinton Ward (1859-1935). William was a slave owner who fought for the Confederate army when the Civil War broke out. He was killed in Charleston on September 11, 1862.
    While William fought for the Confederate Army, two of his brothers, John V (1821-1864) and Joseph (b. 1841) served in the Union Army. At the beginning of the war John V enlisted in Company A of the Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry. He served in the siege of Vicksburg, was in the Red River expedition under General Banks, and later was transferred to the Army of the Potomac. He was killed at the Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864.
    Joseph, who served in the Union Army as one of General Kilpatrick's Raiders, survived the war and returned home to live on the family farm.
    As a youth, Thomas Sharp Palmer (1825-1908) served as an apprentice in a cabinet-making business in Mansfield, Ohio. He then lived for several years in Oskaloosa, Iowa, worked for two years in the mines of California, and returned to Mansfield in 1851. In 1853, Thomas married Nancy Hale and the couple moved to Vinton, Iowa where he opened a small drug store. After selling the business to his son Walter in 1880, he moved to Los Angeles, California, and lived there until his death, in January, 1908.
    History of Benton County, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1910.
    Palmer, Walter S. A Genealogical History and Biography of the Palmer Family. Vinton, Iowa, 1898, located in the Palmer/Calkins/Corbin Papers, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of the collection consists of 25 letters written by or to various members of the Palmer Family during the mid to late nineteenth century. The letters discuss the Civil War and family matters in Ohio and South Carolina. Letters from William Palmer to Thomas Palmer illustrate the divisions between the brothers on issues surrounding the Civil War while the letter from J.W. McGuire to Thomas Palmer details the effects of the Battle of Cedar Creek on the Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry. Other letters discuss plans for a family reunion in Ohio and estate arrangements after the death of John Egerton Palmer IV. Transcriptions of 24 of the letters are part of the Papers.
    Also included are two pieces of family memorabilia: an undated carte de visite of John Egerton Palmer IV and an invitation to a 1911 family reunion.

    Arrangement of the Collection

    The collection is arranged in two series: Correspondence and Memorabilia.

    Related collection

    The Palmer/Calkins/Corbin Papers held by the Special Collections Department at the University of Iowa contain materials related to this branch of the Palmer Family.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Palmer family
    Palmer, Thomas Sharp, 1825-1908
    Palmer, William Joseph, 1823-1862
    Palmer, Clinton Ward, 1859-1935
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
    Cedar Creek, Battle of, Va., 1864.
    Richland County (Ohio)--History


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Stephen B. Hewes Jr., Mary Hewes Tupper, and L. Virginia Hewes Holt in April 1971.

    Processing Information

    Sara Gunasekara processed this collection and created and encoded this finding aid.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Palmer Family Papers, MC073, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.