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Thomas Haig Palmer (1782 - 1861)

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Mr. Thomas Haig (Thomas H.) Palmer
Born in Kelso Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 8 Jul 1822 (to 20 Jul 1861) in Rutland Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Pittsford Vermontmap
Profile last modified 7 May 2013 | Created 24 May 2012
This page has been accessed 2,708 times.

== Biography ==

Thomas landed in Philadelphia with two older sisters and two younger brothers in 1804, after their father died in England or Scotland. Eldest sister Christian married a recent Princeton graduate from Portsmouth New Hampshire, James Armstrong Neal, who became the 3rd pastor of the Greenland NH church; sister Margaret, became a music teacher and married John Jacob Parry the clockmaker, who had inherited his tools from the widow of one of the Rittenhouse brothers. The boys worked at printing and publishing as their father had in Kelso, Scotland. Thomas and brothers George and James Watt published in 1812-14 The U.S. Historical Register, an early description of U.S. geo-poliical definition, operating from 201 Chesnut(sic) Street, Philadelphia (near 5th and 6th Sts, today). Thomas traveled in all existing states at that time.

During the War of 1812, Thomas would take the two-day coach ride ($36) down to Washington to get the latest from the Secretary of War, himself. (The Pentagon then was two men, the Sec'y of War and his assistant). The White House was across the street, and if you desired you could go over to talk with the President, crossing the unpaved street. The brothers broke up following the financial panic of 1817, George going to New Orleans to die of tuberculosis, James Watt Palmer to Lexington, and later Louisville, Kentucky to sell books, printing and publishing early Kentucky almanacs.

After marrying Joanna Fenton at Rutland Mass. in 1822, Thomas returned with his bride to Philadelphia, and because of his excellent reputation there, quickly re-established himself as a printer/publisher. His first two daughters were born in Philadelphia, and Thomas soon retired from publishing, and, at his wife's choice, relocated near her family in Pittsford, Vermont. He later was appointed state superintendant of education for Vermont upon his stressing the need for examination of teachers, and later received an honorary MA degree from Middlebury College for this. He wrote a primer, The Palmer Arithmetic, and also The Moral Instructor, which were popular with schools at the time. Later he became involved in a world peace plan depending upon arbitration, which could have prevented the Civil War; it was shelved in Congress by a Senator Foote of Mississippi. Thomas was also instrumental in founding the first library for Pittsford by requesting aid in the form of matching funds from a Mr. McDowell of Mexico City. (This before Carnegie). He was selected by the town to go to Boston to purchase books for the new library.

Thomas is buried Evergreen Cemetery, Pittsford Vermont along with his widow Joanna, Geo Henry Palmer, Jennie Buel Palmer, James Neal Palmer, Sophia Watt Palmer, Grace L. Palmer, Helen Palmer, Florence Palmer (wife of H.L. Winter), Harry L. Winter, Charlie (small stone for young baby son of Charles Edwin Palmer who, himself is buried w/wife at Oak Park IL). LDS: Please do not attempt to ordain these people; they co-existed with church founders; had God wanted them to be Mormon, they would have made the trek out to Salt Lake City.


R. B. Palmer, June 2012 Vermont Gazetteer, Abby Maria Hemenway, Rutland, 1872.

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