Collection Dates: 1859 -- 2000
(Bulk Dates: 1864 -- 1865)
5 linear in.
This document describes a collection of materials held
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Posted to Internet: August 2001
Acquisition Note: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 2000 by E. P. Corbin.
and Restrictions: This collection is open
This collection is open for research.
Film/Video: Box 1
Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.
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The Palmer/Calkins/Corbin papers cover approximately one hundred years and provide insight into aspects of three important movements in American history -- the Civil War, the Mormon trek west, and World War II.
The children of John E. Palmer IV were born in Ohio. Some of them moved to Iowa, some stayed in Ohio, and one brother, William, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and married a southern woman. This family kept up a lively correspondence, but the letters of William to his brother, Thomas Sharp Palmer, in Vinton, Iowa, are of particular interest, for they show the deterioration in the relationship between the brothers as the Civil War approached. William keeps slaves and defends the south against the apparent verbal attacks of Thomas in his letters. Their brothers, John Egerton Palmer and Joseph Ward Palmer, enlisted in the Union Army. William was killed in Charleston on September 11, 1862. John was killed in the Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864. Joseph served in the war as one of General Kilpatrick's Raiders, and saw very hard service all during the war, which he apparently came through without a scratch.
Captain John Calkins (sometimes this appears as Calkin) was born in Dutchess County, New York in 1785. In 1837, he moved his family to Lower Sandusky (later Fremont) Ohio. Around 1848, he moved to Johnson County, Iowa, near Iowa City. It was here that the Palmer and Calkins families were united, when Captain John's daughter Harriet Calkins Catlett became the second wife of John Egerton Palmer V. Harriet's brother, Asa, and her sister, Angelina (sometimes written Angeline) converted to the Mormon faith during their time in Iowa City, and joined the trek west to Salt Lake City. Angelina kept a diary, portions of which reside in this collection.
E. Palmer Corbin is John Egerton Palmer's great grandson. He served in World War II, and has presented the collection with a videotape, apparently made for a reunion in 2000. Included in the video are portraits of his company, and moving pictures of his group taking advantage of the Army Specialized Training Program at the University of Iowa campus from 1944 -- 1947.
Scope and Contents
Photocopies. Letters of the Palmer family from 1859 -- 1897; a genealogy of the Palmer family and one for John Palmer; material on the 28th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry; materials on the 13th Iowa Infantry; A History of the Palmer Family; information on Asa Starkweather Calkin, with selections from the diary of Angelina Calkin Farley; information on Captain John Calkin and Charles McNeil Calkin; a videocassette of E. Palmer Corbin, dealing with the Army Specialized Training Program, and showing scenes of the University of Iowa campus in the years between 1944 and 1947.
Palmer, Walter S. A Genealogical History and Biography of the Palmer Family. Vinton, IA, 1898. Photocopy.
Genealogy of Joseph (Jack) Ward Palmer. Photocopy
Twenty-Eighth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Roster of Iowa volunteers. Photocopy.
Activity of the Regiment From Dyers Compendium of the Civil War. Photocopy.
Ingersoll, Lurton Dunham. Iowa and the Rebellion, 1866. Photocopies of chapter XXIII, pp. 552 -- 565, dealing with the Twenty-Eighth Regiment.
The Undying Procession. Regimental Summary for the Twenty-Eighth Regiment, pp. 57-59.
Letter from J.W. McGuire to T.S. [Thomas Sharp?] Palmer, October 20, 1864, Strasburg, VA, describing the battle of October 19, 1864, and enumerating the killed and wounded. This letter also tells of the loss of the sword left with the division by Captain Palmer. Photocopy of autograph letter.
Transcription of letter from J. W. McGuire to T. S. [Thomas Sharp] Palmer, October 20, 1864, Strasburg, VA.
Photocopies from various publications, having to do with the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry.
Letters from John Egerton Palmer IV to Thomas Palmer, 1860, 1877. Typescript transcription. Photocopy.
Letters from Joseph Palmer to Thomas Palmer, 1860. Typescript transcription. Photocopy.
Information on Joseph (Jack) Ward Palmer
Letters of William J. Palmer, mostly to his brother Thomas, 1859 -- 1861. Autograph letters with typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letters of Kate Palmer [to Thomas Palmer?], 1860 -- 1861. Autograph letters with typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letters of Carrie [Carolyn] Palmer to T.S. [Thomas Sharp] Palmer, 1875. Typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letters from C. W. [Clinton Ward?] Palmer to T.S. [Thomas Sharp] Palmer, 1877. Typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letters to Tom [Thomas Sharp Palmer?] from C.W. [Charles Ward?] Palmer, 1877. Typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letter from J.E. Palmer to T.S. [Thomas Sharp?] Palmer, 1877. Autograph letter with typescript transcription. Photocopies.
Letter to T.S. [Thomas Sharp?] Palmer from E. [Elizabeth Palmer] Macy, 1878. Typescript transcription. Photocopy.
Letter from E. [Elizabeth Palmer?] Macy to T. S. [Thomas Sharp?] Palmer, 1878. Typescript transcription. Photocopy
Letter to Walter [Palmer] from T. S. [Thomas Sharp] Palmer, 1897. Typescript transcription. Photocopy.
Letter from Colorado State Veterans Center to E. Palmer Corbin in regard to Henry Nelson Palmer.
Palmer, Jay W. The History of the Palmer Family. [ca. 1960?] Typescript
Excerpts from the diary of Angelina Calkin Farley, 1847 -- 1855. The excerpts pertain to her brother Asa Starkweather Calkin. Typescript transcription. Photocopy.
Information on Captain John Calkins and Charles McNeil Calkins. Compiled in March 1960 by Elaine Olds Hagelberg.
The Last Sad Rites. In Memoriam. Eulogy for Charles M. Calkin.
Videocassette of E. Palmer Corbin during and after World War II. Some moving pictures in and around Iowa City and the University of Iowa Campus. ca. 1944 -- 1947.
Transferred from the Grinnell Historical Museum. Organized and transcribed by Karen Groves, who assigned the numbers to the letters and journals. The syntax in the following list is: L=letter J=journal, followed by the date in year/month/day format, followed by a very brief synopsis of the contents. The transcription follows the entry. Single click on the highlighted word to open the document.
1. L 1839 June 3, Letter while on Steamboat Sandusky June 3, 1839. Transcription
2. L 1839 November 19, Letter has daily entries of trip from Sandusky to Adrian Michigan. Transcription
3. L 1840 April 16, Letter from Elizabethtown, not well, come back here. Transcription
4. L 1851 May 27, Letter from Salt Lake City. Transcription
5. L 1854 June 23,. Letter from Orinda to her mother shortly after marriage to C.M. Transcription
6. L 1855 June 4, Letter from Orinda to her mother. Transcription
7. L 1863 September 7, Letter with Orinda’s death. Transcription
8. L 1864 June 16, Letter from Charles to mother regarding caring for ill person & the hard feelings among family. Transcription
9. L 1864 September 10, Letter CM to Mother from Fremont House in Vinton. Transcription
10. L 1873 June 19 , Letter CM to John, cannot send much money as swindled—no house, turned outdoors, robbed of our farm & have no shelter. Transcription
11. L 187-June 31, Letter Charles to Amanda asking details of property trade. Transcription
12. J 1843 May 8-September 30 C.M. Calkin Entries leaving home and going to east coast. Transcription
13. J 1844 July 1-15 C. M. Calkin Entries in Massachusetts and other eastern towns. Transcription
14. J 1844 August 22-November 23 C. M. Calkin Entries in NE towns. Transcription
15. J 1845 January 1- March 31 C. M. Calkin Private diary. Transcription
16. J 1845 April 1845-1849 May C. M. Calkin Living in Solon or Iowa City area, must haul things for a living. Transcription
17. J 1849 June-1852 February 14C. M. Calkin Living in Solon or Iowa City area, still hauling things. Transcription
Four photographs, unidentified