Biographical / Historical
In 1868, Dr. Edward Palmer was hired to serve as the agency physician at the newly established Kiowa and Comanche Agency in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Palmer and the rest of the agency personnel set out in January, arriving in the vicinity of Ft. Cobb on February 19th. The agent, Colonel Leavenworth, dismissed Palmer on May 4th, complaining that he spent too much time collecting zoological and botanical specimens and not enough tending to the medical needs of the Kiowa and Comanche. Following his dismissal, Palmer took up residence at the adjacent Wichita Agency. In early June, Palmer received word that some of the Kiowa and Comanche were plotting to kill him. Consequently, he left the Wichita Agency and travelled to Cherokee Town. From Cherokee Town Palmer made several excursions to collect specimens. He left Indian Territory in September, arriving back in Leavenworth, Kansas on October 10, 1868. In addition to the zoological and botanical specimens Palmer collected during his stint in Indian Territory, he also acquired ethnological specimens from the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita. For further biographic information, see Rogers McVaugh, Edward Palmer - Plant Explorer of the American West, University of Oklahoma Press, 1956, pp. 35-40. For additional information on the ethnological materials Palmer collected in 1868, see Candace Greene, Southern Plains Graphic Art before the Reservation. American Indian Art Magazine 22(3):49, 1997.