Palmer, Oliver Hazard
Collection of Correspondence of Colonel Oliver Hazard Palmer, of Rochester and New York City, New York, and his wife Susan A. Hart Palmer, 1860-1888

114 letters, 584 manuscript pages, (61 retained mailing envelopes), dated 1860-1888; plus 11 pieces of ephemera: used envelopes, invoices, receipts, verse, manuscript account pages, etc. The correspondence consists mainly of letters between Col. Oliver Hazard Palmer and his wife Susan A. Hart Palmer, while Mrs. Palmer was traveling in Europe with some of her children.

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      Description of Collection:

 

Correspondence: 114 letters, 584 manuscript pages, as follows:

 

17 letters, 79 manuscript pp., 1860-1869; 8 of the letters were written in 1862-1863, during the Civil War Era. These eight letters were written by the following individuals: 6 letters by Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer, in Rochester, New York, to her husband Col. O.H. Palmer (Oct-Nov 1862) who was then serving in the Civil War; 1 letter by Helen Mumford, of Rochester, to her Uncle Col. O.H. Palmer (Oct 1862); and 1 letter by “Julia,” to her friend “Minnie” (June 1863). There is also a letter dated November 1860 written to O.H. Palmer from one Benjamin Taylor, of Bergen, New Jersey. The post-Civil War Era letters in the latter half of the 1860s were all written in 1869 by the following people: 6 letters are written by Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer to her husband; with 1 letter written by “Helen,” of New York, NY, to her sister Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer, while at her daughter’s in Washington, D.C.

 

72 letters, 354 manuscript pp., dated 1870-1879, includes: 37 letters by Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer, written from England (Holmrook, London), France (Etretat, Paris), Germany (Weisbaden, Soden, Stuttgart), Holland (Amsterdam, Hague), Italy (Rome), and Switzerland (Villard-sur-Ollon), to her husband O.H. Palmer, in New York City, as well as one letter written from Annapolis, Maryland. Mrs. Palmer appears to have been in Europe for months at a time, apparently with her young children who were studying in Europe; there are also 2 letters written by Susan H. Palmer, one from Basel, Switzerland to her mother and 1 to her father. This section also contains 25 letters by O.H. Palmer, written while he was in New York City, to his wife when she was in Europe. 1 letter of O.H. Palmer, , written from New York, to his daughter Susan, when she was traveling, studying in Europe; 1 letter of O.H. Palmer, to his daughter Alice; 1 letter of Alice Palmer to her father; 1 letter of Oliver Palmer to his father; 1 letter by Gardiner G. Hubbard, Rome, Italy, to O.H. Palmer, in New York; 1 letter of A.E. Mumford to Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer; 2 letters from friends to Mrs. Palmer; and several other miscellaneous letters. There is also an important letter from Gardiner G. Hubbard to O.H. Palmer.

 

Gardiner G. Hubbard was a founder, and first president, of the National Geographic Society; a founder and the first president of the Bell Telephone Company which later evolved into AT&T, at various times the world's largest telephone company; a founder of the journal Science, and an advocate of oral speech education for the deaf. One of his daughters, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, also married Alexander Graham Bell. Hubbard entered the national stage as a proponent of the nationalization of the telegraph system (then a monopoly of the Western Union Company, as he explained) under the U.S. Postal Service, stating in an article: "The Proposed Changes in the Telegraphic System.” It is not contended that the postal system is free from defects, but that it removes many of the grave evils of the present system, without the introduction of new ones; and that the balance of benefits greatly preponderates in favor of the cheap rates, increased facilities, limited and divided powers of the postal system." During the late 1860s, Hubbard lobbied Congress to pass the U.S. Postal Telegraph Bill known as the Hubbard Bill. The bill would have chartered the U.S. Postal Telegraph Company in connection with the U.S. Post Office, but the bill did not pass. To benefit from the Hubbard Bill, Hubbard needed patents which dominated essential aspects of telegraph technology such as sending multiple messages simultaneously on a single telegraph wire. This was called the "harmonic telegraph" or acoustic telegraphy. To acquire such patents, Hubbard and his partner Thomas Sanders (whose son was deaf) financed Alexander Graham Bell's experiments and development of an acoustic telegraph, which led to Bell’s invention of the telephone.

 

Hubbard’s letter, in the collection, (quoted below) shows Hubbard seeking out Palmer, Treasurer of Western Union, later Vice President, to help guide the merger of Western Union with the U.S. Post Office.

 

10 letters, 47 manuscript pages, 1880-1888, includes: 8 letters written by Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer to her husband, written while she was in France, as well as 1 letter written from Annapolis, Maryland; there is one letter written by Susan Hart Palmer from Winter Park, Florida, to her son; and 1 letter written to Mrs. Susan Hart Palmer in New York, from her cousin Louise, of Rochester.

 

16 letters, 107 manuscript pp., these are undated, but fit into the same time period (1860-1888); one letter incomplete; these letters were written mainly by Susan Hart Palmer, to her husband O.H. Palmer, when she was traveling in Europe, particularly in England, France and Germany, as well as when she was visiting Annapolis. Of these 16 undated letters, 10 are written from Europe.

 

 

      Ephemera:

 

      11 ephemeral items, as follows: 5 used envelopes, which could possibly be matched to letters in collection; 2 manuscript poems/verse (6 pp.), not dated; 1 receipt for O.H. Palmer (2 pp.), from Alex T. Stewart & Co;, New York, New York dated 1875; 1 receipt for Bordereau of Drexel, Harjes & Co, Paris, France, dated 1883; 2 manuscript pp. of accounts, notes, not dated.        

 

      Colonel Oliver Hazard Palmer (1814 - 1884)

 

Colonel Oliver Hazard Palmer was born on 5 October 1814 at Walworth, Wayne County, New York, the son of Nathan Palmer, a native of Granville, Washington County, New York. Nathan Palmer went to Wayne County in 1806, which was then a wilderness, and selected a tract of forest of 600 acres. Col. Palmer was born in a log cabin his father built in the woods, the closest town was four miles away.

 

Col. Palmer studied at the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, paying his way by teaching. He began the study of law in the office of Judge Theron R. Green in Palmyra, in 1839, and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1842. Judge Strong’s attention was attracted to him by the power the young man exhibited in a debate on slavery in the village school house. During 1840 and 1841 he was the editor of the leading Democratic paper of Wayne County. In 1842 he was appointed First Judge of the courts of Wayne County, which position he resigned two years later and became the law partner of Judge Strong. For several years prior to 1848 his views on the slavery question had been modified from those held by the Democratic masses, and in that year, Palmer became a supporter of the Free-Soil Van Buren platform, adopted in Buffalo. He subsequently became identified with the Republican Party and worked for the election of Abraham Lincoln.

 

In 1851 he went to Rochester and formed a law co-partnership with is brother-in-law George H. Mumford. He was one of the committee to take charge of the raising of troops in Monroe County under the call of July 3, 1862 and was appointed colonel. He had no military training or prior experience before the outbreak of the Civil War, when he helped to raise, and was asked to act as Colonel for the newly formed 108th NY Infantry, then about to begin its first engagement, the notorious Civil War battle at Antietam.

 

Apparently believing his role of colonel to be a largely symbolic one, Palmer agreed, but when the time came to lead the 108th into battle at Sunken Road he was not in place. It has been written that he intentionally absented himself from the action, but it is also possible that he may simply have been lost in the confusion. Either way, it ensured his survival: Major George Force stepped up to lead the regiment in Palmer's absence and was killed immediately on entering the fray. After the battle, during which his regiment suffered very heavy losses, Colonel Palmer is stated to have written his wife that he wished he could resign and come home, as he had not meant to sign on for a full three-years of active duty, and had only intended to serve temporarily until a younger, more experienced military man could be found to take his place. It is said that “ill health” compelled him to resign his commission and he left his regiment near Falmouth on 6 March 1863. On 22 May 1866, he was given the brevet rank of Brigadier General.

 

During Palmer’s command of the 108th New York Infantry, he served under the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, II Corps in the Army of the Potomac. He fought under McClellan in the Maryland and Virginia campaigns, seeing action at South Mountain and Antietam. He had succeeded Colonel Williams in command (July 1862) shortly after the regiment was recruited and organized at Rochester, where it was mustered into the service of the United States for three years August 16-18, 1862. Antietam was the first combat experience for Palmer and most of the 108th, as they had been in service less than one month when they took part in the assault on the Confederate positions in the Sunken Road on September 17th. Once the lane was taken, Lt. Col Kelly of the 88th NY is stated to have said, "He (the general [Richardson]) then placed me in command of the One hundred and eighth New York and ordered us to support a battery a little in advance of where we were previously engaged [Piper's Farm] and remained there during the night and next day." It may be that Col Palmer was incapacitated, or perhaps General Richardson had gathered a part of Palmer's regiment for this duty under Lt. Col Kelly. Palmer led the 2nd Brigade in French's Division at Fredericksburg in December 1862 and was discharged on March 2, 1863.

 

On his return to Rochester in 1863, he was made Treasurer of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and when the offices were removed to New York City, he moved to Manhattan. He was afterward its Vice-President. He resigned his office but remained in management. After his resignation he organized the law department of the Mutual Life Insurance Company and became a trustee of the company. He also became the president of Hahnemann Hospital.

 

Due to poor health, Col. Palmer spent some time during the winter of 1883-1884 in Florida and also took a European trip in the summer in 1883.  Palmer died on 2 February 1884, of pneumonia, at his residence on 40 W. 32nd Street, New York, New York, and was buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery, in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. 

 

Col. Palmer married Susan A. Hart (-1890). The couple had four children, three daughters (Susan H., Annie M., Alice E.) and a son (Oliver H.). One of his daughters, Susan Hart Palmer Dyer (1853-1921) married Commodore George L. Dyer (1849-1914) of the United States Navy. Susan died on 20 February 1921, in Winter Park, Florida. She was buried with her husband at Arlington Cemetery. The couple had at least two children: Susan Hart Dyer (-1922) and George Palmer Dyer (1876-1948)

 

       References:

 

Antietam on the Web: Oliver Hazard Palmer

http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=208

 

Find-A-Grave: Col Oliver Hazard Palmer

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23746244/oliver-hazard-palmer

 

Obituary of Oliver Hazard Palmer, New York Times, February 4, 1884

http://localhistory.morrisville.edu/sites/unitinfo/palmer-108.html

 

 

      Sample Quotes from correspondence:

 

“Tuesday Oct. 21, 1862

My dear Husband,

      Your letters of the 15th & 16th were yesterday received much to my joy & satisfaction. They are my only comfort and I didn’t know what I could do without them. If it is occasionally a tax upon you to write every day just think what a miserable time I should have without them and how much good they do me and it may somewhat repay you for your trouble. ‘All is quiet” here at home. Annie, Charlie and I are keeping house in the most perfect repose of boy, if not of mind. If you knew how lone and desolate the house and home were, that were so pleasant when you were here, I am afraid you would desert your country at once. I wish you could infuse some of your patriotism and self-devotion into my spirit. As it is I am deficient when compared with you.

For your sacrifices are greater and your visible reward for the present seems to be only abuse & hard treatment from a poor fool of a General, and the privilege of burning out both patriotic fire and your own to me precious life, in most uncomfortable and inglorious waiting or at the at least questionable goal of Halleck and McClellan.

     I see by the papers that Mrs. McClellan & Mrs. Marcy have finished their visit to the Army of the Potomac, so perhaps Gen. McClellan will find it best to move also. It is a great opportunity for domestic and social visiting I should think, while the thousands upon thousands of troops in the vicinity are lying drenched by rain & shivering with cold, while the country waits in agony and suspense for some sign of relief and hope. If every loyal man and woman felt as I have since that terrible battle and failure to grasp victory in the hour it was given us. Then I wonder of the quiet that reigns not only on the Potomac but through & over the entire North.

     This miserable election how it has ended too and if New York should do no better you – You ought to be at home working for Wadsworth instead of submitting to the imposition now firing practiced upon our Army.

     Why can’t you get a furlough in time to cast a vote for him? You could not get one from our military leaders for that object of course, but you might pretend. I wanted to see you & perhaps they would give you one on my account. Now you had not supposed I am going to be satisfied without seeing you. I am determined you must come home or let me come to you. That tent would be inviting quarters with you in it and besides if Mrs. McClellan can visit her General, why pray can I not visit my Colonel? The latter I know is a great deal better worth visiting than the former, at least I know of one who thinks so.

     I am getting desperate about a visit somehow. You see, I will try and frighten you home if you are not afraid of the Rebels maybe you will be of me. Don’t you think I can manage you in that way if I try hard? Let me know if I better make the effort.

I am glad you have some relief from care in Powers. If he only will keep sober he is capable enough, but he will have sprees now and then and I am afraid even your influence will not prevent it. Perhaps if once he should have the full responsibility of a regiment this would restrain him, though the vice is one that seems to belong to our army officers in a marked degree. Your new Major I see by the paper started Monday for the Regiment. Report does not give him a flattering reputation. At least George tells me. It was a shame your choice did not influence Gov. Morgan. I should think it was enough that you wanted Capt. Piera to have decided the matter at once. Steele told Lt. Bloss that he had the influence of the Military Committee, but they say they never head of the man at all. Perhaps he has some of Capt. Williams weaknesses, if so you may congratulate yourself and the regiment upon Gov. Morgan’s discriminatory choice…

…Your loving wife”

 

“Our Home Oct. 23rd 1862

My very dear Husband,

     It is four days since I have had this pleasure sitting down to tell of my sorrows and troubles and getting relief from the mere fact of penning them all out to you. Knowing that in you I shall find sympathy and comfort such as no one else on earth can give. Is not this a blessed privilege? I hope I feel sufficiently thankful for it. I desire to have you home how entirely I thank you for every measure of your affection towards me and how happy I am in feeling that with all my imperfections and shortcomings, you can yet retain a regard for me that ought to satisfy even my desire for your whole heart…

     …Dr. Whitbeck promised to write me if there was anything he could do for your regiment. I hope he will do so that is if there is any likelihood of its doing good in this century. It is too bad about your surgeon. George E. told me that night at Mr. M’s that Dr. Ely told him Dr. Arnu would never be able to go back & that if he could get his pay for time with the regiment he thought he would resign immediately, but that he was afraid if he resigned before, that he would never get his pay at all. His family are said to be on the very verge of starvation, having literally nothing to live upon – poor things. To see wife and children in need of the avails of his labor must make it doubly hard to lie idle. Dr. Ely says he knows of a very good man you can get for assistant surgeon if you want him. Of course, it pleases him to have his son considered so competent & who can blame a father for feeling so? But it does not help your case at all -…

     You ought to have heard Fred Whetitisey go on about President Lincoln at Mr. M’s Tuesday eve. Although L is perhaps better than his Advisors and Cabinet, yet I think it does me good in these days to hear almost anybody abused. Lincoln did one thing in restoring Buell after once taking away his command that covers his head with shame and dishonor. Whetitisey said if Lincoln were to be a mummy three thousand years and then dug up when only the tip of his nose had been exhumed you could tell he had been one to be bamboozled and pulled around by every new comer, not knowing what he wanted himself, nor what anybody else wanted him to do. I can’t repeat what he said, but he gave me about the only good laugh I have had since you went away. His wife said that McClellan had only left things where they were a year ago when he ought to have boxed the rebels’ ears. Fred said - instead of boxing ears he had only boxed the compass - altogether we made some fun at the expense of the famous band of leaders, besides being mad a good deal of the time poor M. Mumford even he begins to look on the dark side and is despondent over the present prospect. He got hold on to the belief that the New York election will come out straight, but I cannot sympathize with him in this view. I believe Wadsworth will be behind considerably. Seymour & his friends are active & unscrupulous & the elections in Ohio & Indiana will have a bad effect. If we get Seymour for Governor we may as well give up the ship first as last for he is every bit as much a rebel against the government as Jeff Davis, or any other Southern and the governor of New York will have as much or more influence than Lincoln or Seward this next year.

     Ben asked me the other day ‘what’s this they say – Lincoln set all the niggers free, and they come up North and work for low wages, and white man’s can get no work at all.’ I think I explained it to his satisfaction for he has been scolding ever since that you did not come home & make a ‘great speech and tell the folks all about it ‘So they would not vote for Seymour.’ I tell him it is your duty to stay by your regiment now, but that if you could get away you would make speeches night and day to make men vote for Wadsworth & try & beat Seymour. I see Van Walkenburgh has resigned and been nominated for Congress. I almost wish you had done the same & should quite wish it if there would have been any chance of success…

…God bless & protect you…your wife”

 

“At Home Oct. 26, 1862

My darling Husband,

     This afternoon I received a call from Lt. Bloss who gave the welcome intelligence of his departure for the regiment tomorrow morning. This will give me an opportunity to send you coat, drawers, & cap. You must not scold about your drawers if they do scratch a little. They will be very warm & healthy. The canton flannel that is brought now is so light it did not seem half warm enough for you. So much exposed to cold as you are and there was nothing else but the woven ones you said you did not want. You had two pairs of canton flannel new last winter and I have a great inclination to send these beside the flannel ones, but your orders were so peremptory that I dare not obey. If you conclude to want them sent perhaps that Battery Company will be coming in time to bring them.

     Lt. Bloss looks much better than he did the first time he called, but not over strong yet. He seems to be a very honest good sort of man. I am sorry he has so mean a captain over him. By the way how did Williams happen to get back in his place again. It must be most annoying to you to leave such a person anywhere in sight or hearing. But what is there agreeable, or not, annoying in your present position? I feel as if I could not endure the thought of your being there another day. My hours are spent in sighing over your trails, and the trials yet in reserve for you and for our whole country. There is only one thing you escape that you may be thankful for – the mingling in the political strife and madness that is hurrying the country to destruction with appalling certainty.

How I long to have you talk to me to soothe and comfort me, as you only can. I cry for you every night for hours and feel so utterly at the mercy of my fears, and anxieties that I can find no rest anywhere or in anything. Your letters are my only comfort, but they make me long the more for you. I feel & know I am unreasonable – in the midst of all my comforts and luxuries to be dissatisfied and unhappy must seem strange to one deprived of all as you are, but then I have not you and I would much rather crawl under those blankets & get warm with your arm round me than have all the other means ever heard of or imagined. But you are determined to enjoy your blankets alone – you won’t let me come and try them for myself. I shall be more generous and offer you the best and all the house affords if you only will resign, desert, anything to get away from that vile Gen French and come home to us who love you and value you so much and not for your fighting capacities either. Twenty days would be better than nothing, but oh! How soon they would pass and then to give you up again how could I do it?...

Your loving wife.”

 

“Our Home, Oct. 29th 1862

My dear Husband,

     Well the move so long expected, so apparently much desired, has come! I cannot be glad for though I know you were uncomfortable as you possibly could be, and were suffering hardships that neither of us would have thought possible for you to submit, to live, yet you have lived, and kept fare health, perhaps as good as you might have had at home, with our many comforts and luxuries and now you are going to perhaps greater hardships and into danger that are too appalling for me to dwell upon and yet that burden my heart till it is ready to faint, and die within me. Oh, my husband how can I bear it? I feel as if I could not live and bear this terrible trial and yet there is no escape. I have prayed for a deliverance from the trial of again having you so place, but no hope has come. I dare not say how utterly un-submissive and touched I am at the thought and you have again to undergo the double exposure of fighting & under a drunken, vindictive commander. Surely this ought to have been excuse enough even to your own enacting sense of duty, to have led you to resign. Why did you not do it while you could? I have thought you would do so and have been almost contended in the thought of your coming home, and my saying to you what I could not write and persuading through much effort perhaps on my part, that your duty did not require such sacrifices, such annoyances and abuse, as have been your lot enlisting in the war. But you have not come and now I feel that I would give anything if I had only tried more through my letters to make you feel I needed you more than anybody, or anything else. What do I care for country, home, or any earthly thing without you? And what is the country doing to repay you and those who have gone out to meet these trials and horrors in its cause? We have forgotten the quarter part of it. These and every other principle of duty and decency in a strife for political power and selfish ambition. I am utterly disgusted and horrified to see what is now going on right over the lives of our brave and noble men in the field. Lying, deceiving, slandering our best men, all who are trying to save the country from unlasting disgrace and ruin just for party affect, for selfish ends. I would be thankful to see you here working against Seymour – Wood and this band of traitors at home. They deserve death ten times worse than any rebel in Virginia, but I cannot feel satisfied and never shall, that you ought to be sacrifice in a war carried on under drunken disloyal Generals and for a country given over to unprincipled politicians and traitors doubly dyed in treason and disloyalty.

     I do not know what you will think of me for writing to you so, but if you knew how my heart had ached for the last week you would forgive me almost anything I should say. I can only talk to you & I must say it or my very heart will break. Everything in life has grown hateful to me. I try and take care of our children but I am not fit…

…Your loving wife”

 

“Roma May 14/73

Judge Palmer,

Dear Sir,

      Yesterday I went up to see the apartment my wife occupied last year in the Piazza d’ Espagna & on my way down stopped in to the Bankers, where I found your photograph hanging, with the well-known signature at the bottom. It reminded me of my intention to write & thank you for the notes on my article on the telegraph. In my voyage over I revised all these parts you referred to & rewrote them. It makes a very great improvement in the article, makes it truer, I think gives a more philosophical account of the present condition of the telegraph in our country. There was one point on which I could not agree with you, the remedy to the public from competition. Your suggestions show conclusively that my remedy from that source is worthless. It is only since I have used your suggestions that I have perceived how valuable they were…

I intended to have written a few words about telegraph. If you care during the summer see if any arrangements can be made by which the Wester Union will unite with me next winter. I think it would be a consummation which would be of incalculable advantage to the people & of great pecuniary benefit to those immediately interested in the arrangement. From what I have heard, I presume Morton’s great objections to the union, arise from his speculations in the stock, from which owing to his official position he derives a very great annual benefit…

I know of no one who can render such aid in bringing about a union of the Wester Union with the Postal Telegraph as yourself; or who could so well guide it to a successful issue after the system had been adopted by the Post Office Department.

      With my kind regards to yourself & Mrs. Palmer, & my love to Miss Susie, I am yours…Gardiner G. Hubbard”

 

“Weisbaden July 7th, 1874

My dear Husband,

     You will think that we have concluded to stay in this place for the whole summer tripping round occasionally as we have just been doing to the various interesting parts about Germany.

It would be my choice to do so and perhaps quite as improving to the children in every respect but in the most important – health.

     But the weather is quite oppressively warm now and the atmosphere of Wiesbaden not invigorating. Annie & Ollie too have their minds bent on Switzerland & the mountains and that too is my great reliance for supply of what remains to me of brain power (very small at the best – I will allow).

     So, I suppose we shall pull up stakes and flee before many days, perhaps the last of next week. A month in the mountains is enough probably for the good to be gained there & this will bring us to the time for our departure & then for home.

Annie is still vibrating between Fontaine bleau & Philadelphia & I pray that the decision may be for her present & future good whichever it may be. I have not yet received a letter in answer to mine regarding Alice remaining in Germany. Of one thing I am certain, she would have good care and would learn a good deal, but whether I can make u mind to have my little girl so far away and at the critical age she has now reached I cannot yet say. Will there is yet six weeks to decide & before that how many things may happen.

     We have had a most delightful time visiting Wilhelmshöhe &c. The girls both wrote you from Cassel & no doubt described it better than I could do. Words could not paint the lovely views of the country, the beautiful walks through the woods surrounding the palace and castle, the exquisite flowers all over everywhere, the delicious air! Ah! Would that I could send some in this letter to refresh you in your heated office, you must live to see & feel them all yourself…

We have missed altogether the strawberry season and have envied your breakfast & teas with the delicious accompaniment. Peaches too we shall lose altogether. It is one of the blessings one must give up in coming to the continent the enjoyment of one nice fruit. We shall leave just as the grape season begins in Switzerland too, that will be another trail – however one cannot enjoy everything at once in this life of ours…

Yours affectionately, S.H. Palmer”

 

“Dec 5, 1875

My dear Wife,

      I have just written Susie. If no accident occurs she will get the letter in about a month! I expect the King Richard will sail early this week for Rio & I watch for that steamer. I expected you would mail a letter at the first port at which the steamer touched and that I would receive it last week. You are 23 days gone and not a word. I am not therefore in an entirely composed state of mind. Yet, I shall daily expect a letter. I assume all is well or you would have telegraphed.

Perhaps you don’t know that I think of going into public life so as to be charged with arson, treason, or murder according to the taste of any party who may think he is aggrieved. It seems that the Rapid Transit Company could not get the necessary consent of the property owners on 3d Avenue to construct their line on that route and that the Rapid Transit Act provides that in case of such failure to argue the General Term of the Supreme Court shall appoint 3 commissioners to hear the objections of such property holders & to decide whether such work shall be adopted notwithstanding the objections.

    Judge Noah Davis who is the president judge of that court I presume put me in. It is a pretty responsible position and it will be a [xxxxxx] almost if the duties are honestly dislodged as they will be if the commission does not get soundly abused by one party or the other. I have had some doubts about accepting among other things…my duties at the office…Whatever ambition I had has long since disappeared. Give me peace and quiet with just enough money to live nicely and keep out of debt and the rest of the world may have the horrors…[O.H. Palmer]”