1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Palmer, John McAuley

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PALMER, JOHN McAULEY (1817–1900), American soldier and political leader, was born at Eagle Creek, Kentucky, on the 13th of September 1817. In 1831 his family removed to Illinois, and in 1839 he was admitted to the bar in that state. He was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1847. In 1852–1855 he was a Democratic member of the state Senate, but joined the Republican party upon its organization and became one of its leaders in Illinois. He was a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1856 and a Republican presidential elector in 1860. In 1861 he was a delegate to the peace convention in Washington. During the Civil War he served in the Union army, rising from the rank of colonel to that of major general in the volunteer service and taking part in the capture of New Madrid and Island No. 10, in the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga, and, under Thomas, in the Atlanta campaign. He was governor of Illinois from 1869 to 1873. In 1872 he joined the Liberal-Republicans, and eventually returned to the Democratic party. In 1891–1897 he was a Democratic member of the United States Senate. In 1896 he was nominated for the presidency, by the "Gold-Democrats," but received no electoral votes. He died at Springfield, Illinois, on the 25th of September 1900.

See The Personal Recollections of John M. Palmer—The Story of an Earnest Life, published posthumously in 1901.