Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Palmers in:
 • Evergreen Cemetery
 • Leominster
 • Worcester County
 • Massachusetts
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Joseph Palmer
Birth: 1789
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Oct. 30, 1873
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA

Son of Thomas Palmer and Margaret

Marital status: Widowed
Age: 84 years, 5 months and 0 days
Cause: Bowel Complaint
Occupation: Farmer

Evergreen cemetery records
Death: MAVR Harvard Vol 258 Page 325


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."

Additional information provided @
 (bio by: Michael Moroney) 
Family links: 
  Nancy Palmer (____ - 1859)*
  Nancy Palmer Holman (____ - 1893)*
  Thomas Palmer (1820 - 1907)*
*Calculated relationship

Persecuted for wearing the beard
Evergreen Cemetery
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: Section 2 Lot 5
Created by: Patricia Moore
Record added: Nov 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44843658
Joseph Palmer
Added by: Suzy E.
Joseph Palmer
Added by: Bill Bourbeau
Joseph Palmer
Added by: Michael Moroney
There are 4 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

I'm sorry that people made fun of your beard.
- Briana
 Added: May. 7, 2015
RIP sir
- Mikale
 Added: Apr. 28, 2015

- Descendant Seeker
 Added: Apr. 24, 2015
There are 50 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
This page is sponsored by: Vero DiSpirito

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service