|Died||April 7, 1806(aged 41–42)|
|Notable works||The Principles of Nature, or A Development of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species|
Elihu Palmer was born in Canterbury, Connecticut in 1764. He studied to be a Presbyterian minister at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1787. Soon after his graduation, however, he became a deist. After rejecting the Calvinist doctrine of Presbyterianism, Palmer became a physical, spiritual, and intellectual wanderer, ultimately making his way to New York City, where he formed the Deistical Society of New York in 1796.
He resided for a time in Augusta, Georgia, where he collected materials for Jedediah Morse's Geography, and subsequently lived in Philadelphia and New York City. In 1793 he became totally blind from an attack of yellow fever but continued as a public speaker.
Palmer kept writing until the end of his life and published a number of different written works including "A Fourth of July Oration" (1797), and was also the author of The Principles of Nature, or A Development of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species. He also founded two newspapers, The Temple of Reason in 1800 and Prospect, or View of the Moral World in 1803.
- Palmer, Elihu (1806) . Principles of Nature, or, A Development of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species (3rd ed.). New York: Printed for the author. doi:10.1037/11676-000. OCLC 40024051.
- Palmer, Elihu, ed. (1803–1805). Prospect: or, View of the Moral World. New York: Printed for the editor. OCLC 2493791.
- Palmer, Elihu (1824). Posthumous Pieces. London: Richard Carlile. doi:10.1037/11700-000. OCLC 19110984.
- Fischer, Kirsten (2020). American Freethinker: Elihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation. University of Pennsylvania Press. doi:10.9783/9780812297829. ISBN 978-0-8122-5271-2. JSTOR j.ctv19vbgvh. OCLC 1154125227.
- Fischer, Kirsten (July 2016). "Vitalism in America: Elihu Palmer's Radical Religion in the Early Republic". The William and Mary Quarterly. 73 (3): 501–530. doi:10.5309/willmaryquar.73.3.0501. S2CID 151596229.