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 • Worcester County
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Joseph Palmer
Birth: unknown
Death: Oct. 30, 1873

Joseph Palmer was a veteran of the War of 1812 who later joined the Fruitlands commune in Harvard, Mass. started by Amos Bronson Alcott, Charles Lane and other Transcendentalists in the 1840s.

Palmer wore a full beard, which was very much out of fashion since Colonial times. He was the only man in Fitchburg, Mass. with a full beard when he moved there in 1830. He was so reviled for doing so that people would throw stones at him and break the windows of his house. His pastor refused him Communion. In 1830 he was jumped by four men who threw down and attempted to forcibly shave him. In the process of defending himself, Palmer stabbed two of the men. Palmer was charged for committing an unprovoked assault and was fined, which he refused to pay on principle. He was jailed in the Worcester city jail for non-payment and the prison guards and other prisoners also attempted to shave off his beard by force. After much bad publicity in the press he was to be released, but Palmer refused to leave the prison unless he could receive a proclamation that it was perfectly acceptable to wear a beard. No such proclamation was forthcoming and Palmer was forcibly removed from the prison by being tied to a chair and carried out. Palmer became a celebrity and worked for the Temperance and Abolitionist movements. He appears as the character Moses White in Louisa May Alcott's story Transcendental Wild Oats.

His grave in Evergreen Cemetery has a likeness of his bearded face with the inscription "Persecuted for wearing the beard."

This statement was not provided by Michael Moroney. Additional information provided @ http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Palmer_(communard)
 (bio by: Michael Moroney) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Nancy Palmer (____ - 1859)*
 
 Children:
  Nancy Palmer Holman (____ - 1893)*
  Thomas Palmer (1820 - 1907)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:

Persecuted for wearing the beard
 
Burial:
Evergreen Cemetery
Leominster
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: Section 2 Lot 5
 
Created by: Patricia Moore Hardensti...
Record added: Nov 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44843658
Joseph Palmer
Added by: Bill Bourbeau
 
Joseph Palmer
Added by: Michael Moroney
 
Joseph Palmer
Added by: marsha germain
 
 
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- Redcinder
 Added: Oct. 5, 2014
Oh I love his story! Good for him for not being a sheep and going with the flow but for standing for his convictions even amidst persecution. That is an awesome legacy to leave.
- Sydney M
 Added: Sep. 28, 2014

- Susan Sinda Robinson
 Added: Aug. 25, 2014
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