Dan Hill a Palmer/Parmer cousin out in California is a fine historian. He taught us something recently at the 2005
reunion in Huntsville, Texas.
Martin Parmer fought to defend the "Come and Take It" cannon from the Mexicans in the Battle of Gonzales. The Battle
of Gonzales was the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
Not only did Martin Parmer sign the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and serve as Chairman of the Committee
that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in March of 1836 but he also fought in the first battle of the Texas
Revolution on October 2, 1835.
The source of this information is Texas revolutionary veteran and Texas Ranger, Creed Taylor. Taylor also gives
us the only written description of Martin Parmer that we have.
From "Tall Men and Long Rifles, The Glamorous Story of the Texas Revolution As Told by Captain Creed Taylor,
Who Fought in That Heroic Struggle From Gonzales to San Jacinto," James T. DeShields, The Naylor Company, San Antonio, Texas
1935, we have Creed Taylor's description of Martin Palmer at the Battle of Gonzales:
"One man in the throng was especially conspicuous and, if possible, he seemed more eager
for the fray than any other. This was old Martin Palmer, 'the ring-tailed
panther'-- a soubriquet he acquired while serving as a member of the territorial legislature of Missouri, during a free-for-all
fight among members on one occassion.
" 'The Panther' as he was called was a Virginian, and a typical backwoodsman, who had spent
most of his life along the frontiers of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, and had much notoriety throughout
the southwest as a fighter and a hunter.
"...Palmer was a man of more than ordinary parts, of most extraordinary strength of mind
and body and brave as a lion. He was of large stature and bronzed of feature, always dressed in buckskin hunting shirt
and leather trousers, with a panther skin cap, wore his hair long and platted in Indian style, and was indeed a unique figure.
I first saw the 'Panther' at our home on Taylor's Bayou and he impressed me as a most extraordinary character.
"On this occasion the 'Panther' was well mounted and armed, and in high glee, eager for a
brush with the enemy;..."
Battle of Gonzales - Handbook of Texas Online
Creed Taylor - Handbook of Texas Online