Isaac Palmer Gravestone, taken by Jean Clark.
Isaac Palmer Gravesite, taken by Jean Clark.

Isaac appears on the rolls of Revolutionary War soldiers as a minuteman and eventually received a monthly pension of eight dollars.

John McAuley Palmer, Isaac’s grandson and the 15th governor of Illinois, recalled Isaac’’ keen wit in terming Cornwallis “Cobwallis,” quoting Isaac as saying, “they shelled the corn off him in Yorktown!” In old age, Isaac’s heroes were George Washington and Marquis De Lafayette. He remembered the latter by the name “De Marcus.” He was known to comment, “General Washington compelled the shelled Cobwallis to deliver his sword at Yorktown.”

Isaac spent his life in the quiet pursuit of agriculture Isaac and Ann had nine children: Ellen, John, Nancy, Elihu, Louis, Thomas, Ann, Charles and Elizabeth. He had high expectations for his boys and secured their apprenticeships to learn trades. His third son, Louis, apprenticed at 14 with Archibald McIlvaine, a cabinet-maker doing business in Lexington. He continued until his 21st birthday and then worked his trade, supporting his parents until their death.

The graves of Isaac and Ann Palmer are in a tiny cemetery in Kentucky, now endangered, surrounded by cattle and inaccessible on private property. The cemetery was named for Benjamin Radford, one of the men who signed Isaac’s pension application.

Assisted by descendants of the Palmers, the Washington State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (WSSDAR) raised over $6,000 for a special project to relocate Isaac and Ann Palmer’s graves. They are working with the John Green Chapter, the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West (KVCW), and other local groups for reinterment at the nearby KVCW.