From Albany City Historian Virginia Bowers:
John Palmer, Secretary of State, is a son of John who died in the Civil war in 1863. He
born to English parentage in Stapleton, Staten Island, N.Y., March 22, 1842, and in
with his parents to England, were he lived ten years, two of which were spent with
grandfather on the Black Sea, where he witnessed the siege of Sebastopol. He spent
in a semi-military school near Liverpool and in 1853 returned with the family to
learned the trade of fresco painting, meanwhile finishing his education at Bryant and
Business College in Albany. September 10, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Co. B.
Vols., was commissioned Captain March 1, 1865, and mustered out with the regiment
1865, being brevetted Captain N.Y.V. His first service was in the Department of the
he displayed great bravery at Port Hudson in the River Campaign. He was afterward
to the Army of the Potomac and at Five Forks received injuries from a falling horse,
he never recovered. In 1865 he resumed his trade as a painter and a
frescoer, in Albany, which he
has since followed. In 1866 he became a Charter Member of Lew Benedict Post No. 5,
and in 1875 was Department Commander. He was elected Commander-in-Chief of the G.A.R.
1891, when he led a column of 60,000 veterans through the streets of Washington. He
prominent in the erection of the Solders Home at Bath, N.Y., and is President
of the Board of
Trustees and has been indefatigable in promoting the interests of veterans of the
war. He has
always been an active Republican, casting his first vote for Lincoln in 1860, and in
unanimously nominated by his party for Secretary of State and elected over Cord
Democrat, by a 24,484 plurality. In 1895 he was re-elected to this office over
Horatio C. King
by a majority of 90,146.
In 1867 Mr. Palmer married Maggie Moore of Albany and they
had one daughter and three sons.
Mr. Palmer died at his home on Madison Ave, Albany on April
Research and information provide by City of Albany Historian