Expeditions and Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age Harvard Libraries Expeditions Home Image Info
Edward Palmer plant lists, 1879-1908
Edward Palmer Papers, 1874-1897
Palmer, Edward, 1829-1911, creator
Eaton, Daniel Cady, 1834-1895
Gray, Asa, 1810-1888
HOLLIS IDDigital Object
[box AB, folder 1 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:2380006 
Digital Object
[box AB, folder 2 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:2380007 
Digital Object
[box AB, folder 3 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:2382421 
Digital Object
[Plant lists of specimens from Florida, Mexico, and California, 1874 -1896. EP 5.1a-5.1e. Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:2611934 
Digital Object
[Plant lists of specimens from Durango and vicinity during the dry and rainy seasons, 1896. EP 4.1-4.13. Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.]  http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:2452142 
Gray Herbarium Archives

Networked Resource
0.5 linear feet
mixed material
Palmer, Edward , 1829-1911 ;  Palmer, Edward , 1829-1911 -- Correspondence ;  Botanists -- Correspondence ;  Botany -- Mexico

Field notes and notebooks

United States

Palmer, Edward, 1831-1911


Edward Palmer Collecting Trips to Mexico and the Southern United States, 1853-1910


Botany (General works)

Manuscripts and records

This collection consists of collecting lists and field notes, primarily from Palmer’s time in Mexico. Lists pertain to collections made from 1880-1897. Field notes are mostly from Acapulco in 1894-1895 and Durango in 1896.

Edward Palmer plant lists, Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

Edward Palmer was born in Norfolk, England, on January 12, 1831, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 18. He settled in Cleveland, Ohio, and became acquainted with naturalist Jared Potter Kirtland under whose tutelage he developed an interest in collecting natural history specimens. In 1853 he was appointed naturalist and assistant to the surgeon on the USS Water Witch under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Jefferson Page. The surveying expedition was cut short in 1855 after the ship was fired upon by a Paraguayan fort and Palmer returned to Cleveland. He spent the winter in England where he married Dinah Riches before traveling back to Cleveland in early 1856. His wife accompanied him to Ohio but her name disappears from the record soon after. Palmer moved several times over the next few years. He briefly studied at the Cleveland Homeopathic College and practiced medicine in Kansas. From 1859 to 1861 he joined the gold rush in Colorado, then worked for the Geological Survey of California until enlisting in the Union Army in 1862. Palmer continued to collect while traveling and working in Army medical facilities in the Midwest and West. In 1869 he transitioned to full time collecting. He devoted most of the rest of his life to making archaeological, zoological, and botanical collections in the American South and Southwest and in Mexico. In his later years Palmer lived primarily in Washington, D.C. where he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in various capacities. His last collecting trip was to Mexico in 1909-1910. Palmer died in Washington, D.C., on April 9, 1911. He was responsible for the discovery of numerous new species. The genus Palmerella was named in his honor by Asa Gray.

There are also Palmer papers in several other parts of the archives: 1) 32 letters from Palmer in the semi-historic letters about 75 letters from Palmer in the Historic letters 2) plant lists in the bound miscellaneous plant list volumes (Plant List Box II) 3) field notes for 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910 collections in the inactive plant lists file 4) xerox copy of a typed copy of Palmer's field notes for 1908 Chihuahua collections in the library stacks, FN P 184 f.

Electronic finding aid available https://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:gra00071