Palmer’s Theology, or Book of Visions, by Dennis C. Palmer (1828)

Palmer's Theology, or Book of Visions, was published by the first settler in and first town clerk of Vienna Township, Dennis Clark Palmer. The book was published in Jamestown, New York, and printed by Morgan and Bates in 1828.

The full title of the book is: Palmer's theology, or Book of visions, entitled a discovery of Antichrist, or That man of sin revealed, by Dennis C. Palmer, of Ohio. Written for himself and the benefit of those who are in darkness, and who, through fear of death, are all their life-time subject to bondage; the right whereof he claims as proprietor. The reader is desired to read the whole before he judges the the matter; for, says Solomon, it is a fool that judges a matter before he hears it. This is a conscientious work, and believed by the author to be of consequence to those who are searching after truth; therefore the reader is desired to read with candor, and weigh the arguments well before he comes to a conclusion about the authenticity of the book.

This 127-page book contained drawings, testimony, and interpretation of visions Palmer saw in Vienna. He recalled riding home from a religious meeting to see a vision of a sword hanging over the Vienna Presbyterian Church. (Given this early date--before a permanent church building was constructed--Palmer's vision may have referred to the building that housed Vienna School Number 1.) He took this as a sign of the falseness of Presbyterian doctrine. His warning to the Presbyterian minister, according to his later testimony, went unheeded, and both the minister and his wife became very ill. Convinced his vision was true, Palmer traveled to Warren and began preaching in the public square.

Palmer's Theology, or Book of Visions, was published after Palmer, his sons, and brother left Vienna for land in Portage and Medina counties.

A copy of the book is in the collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio.

Sources
Edward Brown, Wadsworth Memorial: Containing an Account of the Proceedings of the Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the First Settlement of the Township of Wadsworth, Ohio. With the Addresses, Historical Maps, and Poems Presented on That Occasion. Also, a Brief Sketch of the History to the Present Time, with Sketches of the Early History of the Adjoining Townships, to which is Annexed Biographical Sketches of the More Prominent Pioneer Settlers and the Families (Wadsworth: Steam Printing House, 1875), p. 215.

Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2, of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), p. xviii.


Contributor: Shirley T. Wajda