The Obituary of Gershom Palmer
As it appeared in the first issue of
The Ovid Bee
February 24th, 1834
Written by the Publisher and Editor, David Fairchild
At Trumansburg, Tomp. Co. N.Y. on Friday, the 8th inst., Col. GERSHOM PALMER, AE 66 years, Father-in-law of the senior Editor of the Ovid Bee. Col. PALMER was a native on Stonington, Conn, where he resided until after his marriage -- soon after which he removed to Exeter, Otsego Co., N.Y., while it was yet a howling wilderness. Here he purchased a Lot of land, on which he continued to reside, until 1835, when he took up his temporary residence in Trumansburg, from whence he was about to remove to the town of Howard, Steuben Co. Our readers will pardon us, while we tresspass [sic] for a few moments, upon their patience, in paying a last and brief testimony to a much loved and valued friend and relative. Col. Palmer became an early subject of the converting grace of God, having been blessed with pious parents, being the youngest son of Elder Christopher Palmer, of the Baptist order. At the early age of 19, he united with the Baptist Church, of which communion he remained a consistent Member until the day of his death. He was a firm believer in the ancient Doctrines of the Baptist Church, viz.: "The Divine Decrees;" yet he was far from being an Antinominian. His zealous efforts in the erection of Churches -- his fervor and animation in the public services of the sanctuary -- his activity in the promotion of good order -- his prayers at the family altar an in the social circle, attest his sincerity and constancy in the divine path. -- As a husband, he truly fulfilled the scriptural injunction of "Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them." As a Parent, he was kind and indulgent, endeavoring to 'train up his children in the Addure and admonition of the Lord,' and he has lived to see nine of his ten children hopefully converted to God, and all of them honorable connected and settled in life' as a neighbor he was kind and obliging - the hungry he never turned empty away -- the destitute were always sure to find in him a friend. Having a very extensive family connexion -- and withal being possessed of a social turn of mind, he drew around him a circle of friends rarely surpassed by one who walks in the paths of private life, Long will he be held in grateful remembrance by those who have sat around his peaceful fireside and mingled hearts in social converse. Long will his memory he held sacred by the children who have listened to his pious instruction -- who have bowed the suppliant knee with him around the family alter -- and whose every want has been supplied, so far as a tender parent and a christian friend could perform the deed. Having enjoyed uniform good health, and being possessed of a good constitution, his death was sudden and unexpected. Taking violent cold, the Saturday previous to his death, an inflammation of the lungs ensued, which hurried him off the stage of active life, after being confined to his bed only about three days. It appeared, however, that death was not unexpected to him, for he remarked to his companion on Sabbath morning, "that he would not get well." He retained his reason to the last, and the power of speech until a few minutes of his death, which was as peaceful as 'infant slumbers are,' -- he yielded up his breath without a struggle or a groan. To a question which was put to him by a clergyman a few moments before he ceased to breathe, 'whether he had any fears in descending to the gloomy valley and shadow of Death,' he replied, 'No, I know in whom I have believed.'
While we stood by his stiffened corpse, and viewed the placid countenance of our parent, in death, we involuntarily adopted the language of the Poet, and said:
Happy soul, they days are ended,
All they mourning days below;
Go, by angel-guards attended,
To the sight of Jesus go.
Waiting to receive thy spirit,
Let the Savior stands above;
Shows the purchase of his merit,
Reaches out the crown of love."
And while we laid our hand upon his marble forehead we exclaimed,
"This languishing head is at rest,
Its thinking and aching are o'er;
This quiet, immoveable breast,
Is heav'd by affliction no more;
This heart is no longer the seat
Of trouble and torturing pain;
It ceases to flutter and beat,
It never shall flutter again.
The lids he so seldom could close,
Now seal'd in the mortal repose,
Have strangely forgotten to weep!
The fountains can yield no supplies'
These hollows from water are free;
The tears are all wip'd from these eyes,
And evil they never shall see."
Thus has one more of the links which bind kindred and friends to earth, been broken -- thus have we afforded us another evidence of the triumph of the christian over the powers of darkness, and of the truth of that scripture which says, 'Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace.' Col. Palmer was, emphatically, what Pope calls the "noblest work of God, AN HONEST MAN."
Copyright, Mark W. Swarthout 2002
Last update, 1 January 2002