James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Plumer, 6 June 1812

From William Plumer

New Hampshire June 6. 1812

Dear Sir

Permit me to enclose to your Excellency my speech this day delivered to the legislature of this State, and to assure you, that at this eventful era, there is a republican majority in each branch of the legislature.1 I am with much personal respect and esteem, your most obedient humble servant

William Plumer

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1On 4 June 1812 Plumer had been elected governor of New Hampshire by a joint ballot of both houses of the state legislature after the counting of the votes from the election held in March 1812 had revealed that neither Plumer nor his Federalist opponent, John Taylor Gilman, had received a clear majority (see Turner, William Plumer, pp. 202–6). Plumer delivered his 6 June address to the New Hampshire legislature immediately after taking the oath of office. Its contents discussed American grievances against both France and Great Britain, but Plumer found the latter nation to be the more guilty by virtue of its “obstinant perseverance” in measures hostile to American interests and rights. The remainder of the address, in addition to calling for attention to a variety of local matters, stressed the need to respect the will of the majority as expressed through the measures of the constituted authorities in both state and nation. Specifically, Plumer requested the legislature to cooperate with administration policies and to organize and arm the state militia for defense. The address was printed in the National Intelligencer on 20 June 1812.

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