Home » Sensitive Subjects » A man was attacked for having a beard in 1830, then imprisoned for defending himself. He died in 1873, by which time beards were fashionable. His tombstone reads, “Persecuted for wearing the beard.”

A man was attacked for having a beard in 1830, then imprisoned for defending himself. He died in 1873, by which time beards were fashionable. His tombstone reads, “Persecuted for wearing the beard.”

Joseph Palmer (communard)

For other people named Joseph Palmer, see Joseph Palmer (disambiguation).

Joseph Palmer, published in 1915

Joseph Palmer (1791–1873) was a member of the Fruitlands commune and an associate of Louisa May Alcott and other Transcendentalists.

Life

A farmer from Notown, a village on the outskirts of Leominster, Massachusetts, Palmer was a veteran of the War of 1812. In 1830, Palmer was a successful Yankee farmer, but was by no means a typical one. Possibly influenced in childhood by a bearded itinerant evangelist named Lorenzo Dow, Palmer took to wearing a long beard in the 1820s. Few men in the United States wore beards after about 1820, and Palmer was considered eccentric and slovenly. Nicknamed “the old Jew”, he was regularly… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

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