B.J. Palmer was an intelligent man. He wrote, read, researched, discovered and most importantly, developed more things than I can imagine. Now that he has passed away, no one will ever know all of the things that he knew. Any study of B.J. should include his writings, but another way to gain insight into his mind should be by studying the books that he read, including those that were not chiropractic in nature.
Originally from his mansion house, some of B.J. Palmer’s leisure reading books can now be found in the archives. Recently, I discovered a little known book of B.J.’s collection showing that B.J. Palmer knew “The Entire Truth About a Very Celebrated Case.” He knew why Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.
Buried within the book collection, among books by notary chiropractic authors such as Stephenson and Vedder, is a tiny booklet called “The Life Story of Mary and her Lamb,” by May Stout (1914). Written by the infamous Mary’s niece, the booklet recounts the story of Mary saving a lamb that had been cast away by its mother. Mary nursed the lamb back to health and it followed her everywhere, including school. The story continues on to talk about a fellow who was visiting the town and wrote a poem, a poem that has stayed in our hearts forever. The story is a whirlwind, however, and despite its popularity, it ends with a surprising twist of fate.
If you’d like to see how this story ends, visit the Palmer Special Collections and Archives. We are open Monday – Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm. Special Services is located in L103, on the 1st floor of the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library.