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Palmer, Daniel David (1845-1913), founder of chiropractic  

Russell W. Gibbons

Palmer, Daniel David (07 March 1845–20 October 1913), founder of chiropractic, was born in a log cabin on the shore of Lake Scugog, about thirty miles west of Toronto, Canada, the son of Thomas Palmer, a rural Ontario teacher and postmaster, and Catherine McVay. Growing up on the harsh Ontario frontier when Upper Canada was still a crown colony of the British Empire, Palmer had few opportunities for advancement. He wrote that “I was cradled in a piece of hemlock bark” by his German-English father. In 1865, while the Civil War was still raging in the United States, Daniel and his older brother Thomas left home to seek employment in one of the port cities of the Great Lakes. According to Thomas Palmer’s autobiography, they walked for thirty days before reaching Buffalo “with their meager belongings packed in a carpet bag and two dollars borrowed from friends.”...