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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

John Palmer

Hon. John Palmer, secretary of state, is a son of John, who died in the Civil war in 1863. He was born of English parentage in Stapleton, Staten Lsland, N. Y., March 22, 1842, and in 1843 went with his parents to England, where he lived ten years, two of which were spent with his grandfather on the Black Sea, where he witnessed the siege of Sebastopol. He spent three years in a semi-military school near Liverpool and in 1853 returned with the family to America and learned the trade of fresco painting, meanwhile finishing his education at Bryant & Stratton's Business College in Albany. September 10, 1861, he enlisted as private in Co. B, 91st N. Y. Vols., was commissioned captain March 1, 1865, and was mustered out with the regiment July 3, 1865, being brevetted captain N. Y. V. His first service was in the department of the Gulf, where he displayed great bravery at Port Hudson in the Red River campaign. He was afterward transferred to the Army of the Potomac and at Five Forks received injuries from a falling horse from which he has never recovered. In 1865 he resumed his trade as painter and frescoer, in Albany, which he has since followed. In 1866 he became a charter member of Lew Benedict Post No. 5, G. A. R., and in 1884-85 was department commander. He was elected commander in chief of the National Commandery of the G. A. R. in 1891, when he led a column of 60,000 veterans through the streets of Washington. He was prominent in the erection of the Soldiers' 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 1893 was unanimously nominated by his party for secretary of state and elected over Cord Meyer, Democrat, by 34,484 plurality. In 1895 he was re-elected to this high office over Horatio C. King by a majority of 90,146.

In 1867 Mr. Palmer married Maggie Moore of Albany and they have one daughter and three sons.

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