Milton’s Dr. Daniel E. Palmer (1821-1889)

By Muriel Bristol | December 6, 2020

Daniel Evans Palmer was born in Tuftonborough, NH, June 18, 1821, son of Joseph and Lydia (Evans) Palmer.

His preliminary education was received in the common schools of Tuftonborough and at the academies of Wolfeborough and Gilmanton, N.H. His professional education commenced at Tuftonborough in 1841, under the direction of Dr. Enoch C. Dow [(1812-1876)]. He attended several courses of lectures at the Medical Department of Bowdoin College, and was graduated from the same in the class of 1846. During the period of his professional study he was engaged more or less in school teaching in Tuftonborough and adjoining towns (Conn, 1906).

Daniel E. Palmer of Tuftonborough, NH, received the degree of M.D., after the close of the 1846 lecture series at the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College. Each of the listed names had also some medical condition or ailment, presumably their dissertation topics. He appears to have spoken or been tested on amenorrhea [an absence of menstrual activity] (MA Medical Society, 1846; Portland Transcript, June 6, 1846).

He located for practice of medicine in Gilmanton Centre in 1847, where he remained one year, he then removed to Milton, N.H., where he remained seventeen years (Conn, 1906). 

Daniel E. Palmer married, presumably in Gilmanton, NH, March 14, 1847, Anna Durgin, [both] of Gilmanton, NH. She was born February 25, 1818, daughter of James and Huldah (Sanborn) Durgin. Daughter Emma Frances Palmer was born in Milton, June 16, 1849.

Early in his professional life he had charge of an epidemic of smallpox in Lebanon, Me., and was eminently successful in stamping it out (Conn, 1906).

Daniel E. Palmer, a physician, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Anna D. Palmer, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and Emma F. Palmer, aged one year (b. NH). He had no real estate valuation, i.e., he likely rented. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of James Carlysle, a trader, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), and Samuel Nudd, a farmer, aged forty-nine years (b. NH).

D.E. Palmer appeared in the NH register of 1854, as one of Milton’s three physicians. The others were Stephen Drew and John L. Swinerton (Lyon, 1854).

D.E. Palmer served (with Dr. John L. Swinerton and shoemaker George C. Colbath) on a committee inquiring for the NH Board of Education into the condition of Milton’s schoolhouses in 1854.

Milton – The School House – A good school-house is of paramount importance. On this point there needs to be a thorough reform. Nearly all the school-houses in town require more or less expenditure. Some should be rebuilt, others remodeled, improved within and perhaps without. If parents will candidly look into this matter, they will be surprised to think they have been content to confine their children so many hours a day, through a large part of the severest and most trying season of the year, in houses so ill constructed, so badly ventilated, so imperfectly warmed, so dirty, so repugnant to all habits of neatness, thought, taste, or purity. If possible, the school-house should be built upon an elevated plot of ground, with a pleasant and healthful prospect around. – D.E. Palmer, Geo. C. Colbath, John L. Swinerton, Committee (NH State Board of Education, 1854).

Mrs. Sophia ((Cushing) Hayes) Wyatt – a former Milton teacher – described Dr. D.E. Palmer in her 1854 memoir as being “… a gentleman of much promise, and is fast gaining friends and practice.”

Surgeon Palmer was a representative to the New Hampshire legislature from Milton in 1859 and 1860 (Conn, 1906).

D.E. Palmer, a physician, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Anna D. Palmer, aged forty years (b. NH), Charles H. Palmer, aged seven years (b. NH), and Frank A. Palmer, aged two years (b. NH). He had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $800. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of John Lucas, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and Ira Roberts, a house carpenter, aged fifty years (b. NH). For some reason, daughter Emma F. Palmer, aged eleven years (b. NH), resided in the nearby [same page] household of Cyrus Leighton, a farmer, aged thirty-five years (b. NH).

Daniel E. Palmer of Milton, NH, paid a $6.67 tax on his physician’s license in the U.S. Excise Tax of 1863.

Daniel E. Palmer of Milton, physician, registered for the Civil War Class II military draft, in June 1863. He served during the Civil War as a contract surgeon from December 1863 to May 1864.

Doctor Palmer’s military service commenced as a surgeon, December 14, 1863, when he was commissioned and assigned to the Department of the Gulf. He arrived in New Orleans, December 29, 1863, and reported for duty to Director Robert K. Smith of Philadelphia, at Port Hudson, La., January 3, 1864. He was immediately assigned as surgeon of the Sixth Regiment, Corps d’ Afrique, and also had charge, as medical officer, of the Second Vermont Battery, ninety-four men. At that time the surgeon in charge of the Sixth Colored Regiment was Dr. William G. David, Lyons, N.Y., a New Hampshire man by birth, his father living in Amherst. March 20, 1864, Doctor Palmer was acting surgeon of the Eighteenth Colored Regiment in addition to his other duties (Conn, 1906).

He served next as a surgeon in the 81st Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, between May and November 1864.

About April 1, 1864, he was relieved of his duties with the Sixth and Eighteenth regiments, and also of the Second Vermont Battery, and ordered to take charge as surgeon of the Ninth Regiment, United States Troops. He acted in this capacity until May 21, 1864, when he was commissioned as surgeon of the Eighty-first Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. He was surgeon of this regiment from this time until he was discharged, November 24, 1864 (Conn, 1906).

This regiment was organized at Hudson, La., September 2, 1863, as the 9th regiment infantry Corps d’ Afrique to serve three years. Its designation was changed to 81st regiment U.S. colored troops, April 4, 1864. It was mustered out of service November 30, 1866 (U.S. Secretary of War, 1867).

He contracted malaria during his service in Louisiana, and never fully recovered. Daniel E. Palmer, formerly a surgeon with the 81st Regiment U.S.C. Infantry, filed for an invalid’s pension, April 24, 1865.

After the war, he returned to his native Tuftonborough, NH. He was at Tuftonborough for nineteen years (Conn, 1906).

Daniel E. Palmer of Tuftonboro, NH, paid a $10 tax for his physician’s license in the U.S. Excise Tax of 1866.

He also had a large experience in an epidemic of scarlet fever in Tuftonborough, Moultonborough and Wolfeborough, in 1868 and 1869 (Conn, 1906). 

Daughter Emma F. Palmer married in Tuftonborough, NH, May 29, 1870, True D. Canney, she of Tuftonboro and he of Dover, NH. She was twenty-one years of age (born Milton, NH), and he was twenty-five years of age (b. Exeter, NH). Rev. M. Sherman performed the ceremony.

Daniel E. Palmer, a doctor, aged forty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Tuftonborough, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Anna D. Palmer, keeping house, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), Charles H. Palmer, attending school, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and Frank A. Palmer, attending school, aged twelve years (b. NH). He had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $700. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Noah L. Colcord, a farm laborer, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), and Oliver N. Graves, a farmer, aged fifty-three years (b. NH).

Daniel E. Palmer appeared in the NH business directories of 1872 and 1874 as a physician at Tuftonborough, NH.

Daniel E. Palmer replaced Henry J. Fields as postmaster of Tuftonborough, NH, February 1, 1875. He was appointed during the second term of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (He held that position until 1884).

The NH State Superintendent of Instruction compiled a statewide report on education in 1875 (not too dissimilar from that of 1854 above). On this occasion, D.E. Palmer served on the Tuftonborough School Committee, with Isaac C. Bickford and Levi T. Piper. They replied to the Superintendent’s queries as a committee.

HOW IMPROVE OUR SCHOOLS? TUFTONBOROUGH. D.E. PALMER, ISAAC C. BICKFORD, LEVI T. PIPER. To increase the usefulness of our schools we want more money and more of an interest on the part of parents and citizens. For money it is useless to ask, but we will venture to solicit more of your interest in this direction. If parents would commence the work of teaching their children at home, before sending them to school, and continue to do so afterwards, constantly endeavoring to impress upon their minds that ignorance is a deplorable state and that immorality is a far deeper degradation, the teacher would have a much easier task and more time to instruct the pupils in the various branches taught. Also if you would visit the schools which your children attend in order to satisfy yourselves by personal observation as to the progress made and the condition of the school and if need be to drop a few encouraging words it would serve to stimulate both teacher and pupil for it is here that a very large majority of our citizens obtain all their knowledge in the various branches of education. Hence our public schools should furnish such a training as to give us men and women of integrity as well as ability. With the youth rests the hope of the church and state.

WHAT WILL YOU REPORT OF THE COMPETENCY OF TEACHERS? TUFTONBOROUGH. Daniel E. Palmer, Levi F. Piper, Committee. The plain truth is we want a better class of teachers. Many of them are too young, inexperienced, too much confined to text-books, and do not know how to teach (NH State Board of Education, 1875). 

Daniel E. Palmer, a physician, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Tuftonborough, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included Annah D. Palmer, keeping house, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), and Frank A. Palmer, at home, aged twenty-two years (b. NH). His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Mercy L. Nutter, aged seventy-three years (b. NH), and Oliver N. Graves, a farmer, aged sixty-three years (b. NH).

Daniel E. Palmer appeared in the NH business directory of 1881 as a physician at Tuftonborough, NH.

Daniel E. Palmer received $52.4o in pay for his service as postmaster of  Tuftonborough, NH, as of July 1, 1883 (U.S. House, 1884).

Daniel E. Palmer died in his home at the “Lower Foreside” in Kittery, ME, March 11, 1889, aged sixty-nine years, nine months (Portsmouth Herald, March 11, 1889).

ATTENDED BY G.A.R. VETERANS. The Funeral of Dr. Daniel E. Palmer, Deceased Yesterday, Occurs Tomorrow. Portsmouth, N. H., March 12. – Dr. Daniel E. Palmer died at Kittery, Me., Monday, March 11, from malarial poisoning. He was a graduate of Bowdoin Medical College. and served during the rebellion as surgeon of the Eighty-first United States Colored Troops and Second Vermont Volunteers. He occupied a seat in the New Hampshire Legislature in 1859-60 from Milton. Deceased was 67 years 9 months old, and leaves a wife, two sons and a daughter. The funeral will take place Wednesday, under the auspices of Parker Post, G.A.R., of which deceased was a member (Boston Globe, March 12, 1889).

Anna D. Palmer, widow of Daniel E. Palmer, filed for a widow’s pension, March 29, 1889. She appeared twice in the Kittery, ME, portion of surviving Veterans’ Schedule of the Eleventh (1890) Federal Census. Her husband had served during the Civil War as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Contract service, between December 14, 1863, and May 16, 1864; and as a surgeon in the U.S. 81st Colored Infantry regiment, between May 16, 1864, and November 21, 1864. He had incurred the permanent disability of malarial infection (and chronic diarrhea) during this service.

[Bowdoin] Class of 1846. Daniel Evans Palmer, b. June, 1821, Tuftonborough, N.H. Surg., 81st U.S.C.T. Physician, Tuftonborough, N.H. d. 11 Mar, 1889, Kittery (Little, 1894) 

Anna (Durgin) Palmer died in Kittery, ME, January 23, 1900, aged eighty-one years.

OBITUARY. Mrs. Anna D. Palmer. Mrs. Anna D., widow of Dr. Daniel E. Palmer, died at her home in Kittery, Tuesday afternoon, aged eighty-one years. She is survived by two sons, Charles H., of Wellesley, Mass., and Frank A., of Kittery, and a daughter, Mrs. True D. Kanney, of Kittery (Portsmouth Herald, January 24, 1900).

References:

Conn, Granville P. (1906). History of the New Hampshire Surgeons in the War of Rebellion. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qj8rAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA299

Find a Grave. (2014, September 14). Emma F. Canney. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/135619569/emma-f-canney

Find a Grave. (2011, March 17). George C. Colbath. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/67041547/george-c.-colbath

Find a Grave. (2011, December 22). Dr. Daniel E. Palmer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/82271199/daniel-e.-palmer

Little, George T. (1894). General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine, 1794-1894: Including a Historical Sketch of the Institution During Its First Century. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=oq8TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA117

Lyon, G. Parker. (1854). NH Annual Register, 1854. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=l-cWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA103

MA Medical Society. (1846). New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=arM1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA364

Medical Standard. (1889). State Items. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=XhOgAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA128

NPS [National Park Service]. (n.d.). 81st Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. Retrieved from www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UUS0081RI00C

NH State Board of Education. (1854). Report of the State Board of Education. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qYQ-AQAAMAAJ&pg=PR8

NH State Board of Education. (1875). Report of the State Board of Education. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qS0wAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA89 (and PA190)

U.S. House of Representatives. (1884). Miscellaneous Documents of the House of Representatives, 1883-84. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=4AEoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA516

U.S. Secretary of War. (1867). Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=XUNKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA259

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s