joseph-palmer-beard-e1382890338822In a graveyard in Leominster, Massachusetts you can find the grave of the infamously bearded Joseph Palmer. In the 1820s, Joseph had started sporting a very large beard even though he knew that beards were seen as out of style and a man that wore one was seen as dirty and unkempt. He was ostracized for his facial hair and was even accused of consorting with the devil because he sported such a long beard.

One day in May 1830, four men attacked Joseph with razors and scissors, trying to shave his magnificent beard. But, the bearded man stood his ground and stabbed two of his attackers with his pocketknife. Instead of the attackers being arrested, Joseph Palmer was taken in to custody and, even though he pleaded his innocence, was jailed for 15 months, including time in solidary confinement. Joseph passed away in 1865 and, in his last act of rebellion, had a portrait of him with his long beard on his tombstone with the inscription: “Persecuted for Wearing the Beard.”