PLUMER, William (1759-1850)

PLUMER, WILLIAM, (father of William Plumer, Jr.), a Senator from New Hampshire; born in Newburyport, Mass., June 25, 1759; moved with his parents to Epping, N.H., in 1768; completed preparatory studies; Baptist exhorter; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1787 and commenced practice in Epping, N.H.; held various local offices; member, State house of representatives 1785-1786, 1788, 1790-1791, 1797-1800, and served as speaker in 1791 and 1797; member of the State constitutional conventions in 1791 and 1792; elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Sheafe and served from June 17, 1802, to March 3, 1807; was not a candidate for reelection; member, State senate 1810-1811, and chosen president of that body in both years; elected as a Jeffersonian Republican to be Governor of New Hampshire 1812-1813, 1816-1819; presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1820; retired from public life and engaged in literary pursuits; one of the founders and the first president of the New Hampshire Historical Society; died in Epping, Rockingham County, N.H., December 22, 1850; interment in the family burial ground on his estate near Epping, N.H.

Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
Papers: 1803-1836. 225 letters.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1774-1845 (bulk 1802-1825). 3.9 linear feet. Diaries, personal and political correspondence (1781-1833), and nine volumes of writings which include his autobiography (1826-1845), notes on the proceedings of Congress (1803-1805), and transcriptions of essays, poetry, and extracts from various sources. Available on 6 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 16 items (1788-1829) in various collections.

New Hampshire Historical Society
Concord, NH
Papers: 1794-1856. 2 feet; 93 items. 10 volumes of writings and 1 box of correspondence. Writings include over 2,000 biographical sketches, a volume of historical references, a draft of his "History of North America,'' and a volume recording deaths in Epping, NH. Correspondence concerns political affairs and his historical and biographical writings. Includes revelation of the Federalist secession plot of 1804. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Levi Bartlett papers, 1801-1823; John Farmer papers, 1642-1839; and Tristram Shaw papers, 1828-1843.

New Hampshire State Library
Concord, NH
Papers: Letters (1786-1854) to and from his son; and 22 packages of miscellaneous material (1759-1850). Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in Jeremiah Mason papers, 1798-1844.

  • Brown, Everett S., ed. William Plumer's Memorandum of Proceedings in the United States Senate, 1803-1807. 1923. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1969.
  • Mevers, Frank C., Zephorene L. Stickney, and Ruth W. Wallace, eds. The Papers of William Plumer (1759-1850) and William Plumer, Jr. (1789-1864). Concord: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1981. Microfilm. 30 reels and guide.
  • Plumer, William, Jr. Life of William Plumer. Edited by A.P. Peabody. 1857. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1969.
  • Turner, Lynn W. William Plumer of New Hampshire, 1759-1850. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962.
  • ___. "Thomas Jefferson Through the Eyes of a New Hampshire Politician." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 30 (September 1943): 205-214.