Palmer, Thomas H., 1782-1861

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Thomas H. Palmer was an American printer, author, and educator. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to Philadelphia, establishing a printing shop. He later moved to Vermont, where he opened a school and library. In an effort to encourage American schoolchildren to complete their homework, Palmer penned the well-known maxim, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," in the introduction to his 1840 Teacher's Manual.

From the description of Thomas H. Palmer letter to Marsh, Capen, Lyon & Co., 1840 Nov. 17. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 70082104

Thomas Palmer was the third son of Benjamin and Martha (Barbour) Palmer. With his brother, Friend, he settled in Amherstburg about 1808. They moved to Detroit and engaged in the mercantile and construction business. In 1823, Thomas Palmer and David C. McKinstry contracted to build the courthouse, completed in 1828. Palmer apparently advanced the money because the deed of the lands for the building were made to him. He married Mary Amy Witherell, daughter of James Witherell, August 20, 1821. Their son, Thomas Witherell Palmer, was born January 25, 1830. Thomas Palmer was born in 1789 and died August 3,1868. Mary Amy died March 20,1874.

From the description of Thomas Palmer papers, 1735-1923 (Detroit Public Library). WorldCat record id: 464667076

Thomas Palmer (1789-1868) came to Detroit from Canandaigua, New York in 1816 to engage in trade. He married Mary Witherell, daughter of Judge James Witherell, and their two sons, Senator Thomas W. Palmer (1830-1913) and Friend Palmer (1820-1906) were lifelong and prominent residence of Detroit.

Thomas W. Palmer (1830-1913) became a manufacturer and farmer before going into politics. He served on the Detroit Board of Estimates and was a Michigan State Senator, 1883-1889. He served as U.S. minister to Spain, 1889-1891, and was president of the World's Columbian Exposition, 1890-1893.

From the description of Thomas Palmer family papers collection, 1735-1915 (Detroit Public Library). WorldCat record id: 289163685

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Chapin, Horatio, 1803-1871. Horatio Chapin correspondence 1832-1836 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Palmer, Thomas, 1789-1868. Thomas Palmer family papers collection, 1735-1915 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Palmer, Thomas, 1789-1868. Thomas Palmer papers, 1735-1923 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874. Letter : Albany, to Thomas H. Palmer, 1858 Mar. 30. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
creatorOf Palmer, Thomas H., 1782-1861. Thomas H. Palmer letter to Marsh, Capen, Lyon & Co., 1840 Nov. 17. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American National Bank. corporateBody
associatedWith Block, Merrill. person
associatedWith Chapin, Horatio, 1803-1871. person
associatedWith Cushing, T. H. person
associatedWith Detroit Heater & Furnance Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Falmouth Store. corporateBody
associatedWith Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874. person
associatedWith G.B. Green & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Globe Iron Works corporateBody
associatedWith Hunt & Roby. corporateBody
associatedWith Log Cabin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Marsh, Capen, and Lyon, corporateBody
associatedWith Martin Kline Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Martin Perley & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith McGraff & Montgomery Company corporateBody
associatedWith Merrill, Charles. corporateBody
associatedWith Montezuma Mining Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Muskegon Lumber. corporateBody
associatedWith Palmer, Benjamin. person
associatedWith Palmer & Bither (Firm). corporateBody
associatedWith Palmer, Lizzie W. person
associatedWith Palmer, Martin. person
associatedWith Palmer, Merrill. person
associatedWith Palmer, Thomas Witherell, 1830-1913. person
associatedWith Perley Palmer Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Taylor, Henrietta person
associatedWith Witherell, James, 1759-1838. person
associatedWith World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
United States
United States


Birth 1782

Death 1861-07-20



Ark ID: w6417sjr

SNAC ID: 2592923