Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Plumer to Thomas Jefferson, 7 June 1818

From William Plumer

Epping (NH) June 7. 1818

Dear Sir,

Permit me to enclose to you a copy of my message to the legislature at their present session—& to assure you that I am with much respect & esteem


your friend & servant

William Plumer

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Hon Thomas Jefferson Monticello Va”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 June 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Plumer, Message from His Excellency The Governor of New-Hampshire, To The Legislature, June 4, 1818 ([Concord?, 1818]; probably Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 11 [no. 689]), summarizing his recommendations for the new legislative session; calling for reforms in the judicial system, such as allowing the superior court “exclusive jurisdiction of all real actions” and “original concurrent jurisdiction of all personal actions, where the sum demanded in damages shall be fifty dollars or more” (pp. 4–5); encouraging repeal of the law allowing the superior court to review civil cases and adoption of laws to limit “small vexatious suits” (p. 5); suggesting reform of the laws on debtor imprisonment in order to curtail the costs associated with such actions; highlighting the need for an annual court session in “some central and convenient part of the State” (p. 9); proposing the prohibition of lotteries not authorized by the legislature; requesting more stringent laws to insure accurate militia rolls and asking for a requirement that the cloth used in manufacturing uniforms be of “American manufacture” (p. 10); championing prison reform and noting that he will submit to the legislature several pamphlets on the subject sent him by Jeremy Bentham; and reporting that an advance of six thousand dollars from the United States Treasury for “services performed during the late war” has been paid into the state treasury (p. 12).

On 28 July 1818 Plumer sent a copy of the enclosed address to James Madison, noting that it was his “last public message” to the New Hampshire legislature, as he planned to retire from office the following June (Madison, Papers, Retirement Ser., 1:318–9).

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • lotteries; regulation of search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); works sent to search
  • manufacturing; encouragement of in U.S. search
  • Message from His Excellency The Governor of New-Hampshire, To The Legislature, June 4, 1818 (W. Plumer) search
  • New Hampshire; and War of1812 search
  • New Hampshire; judicial reform in search
  • New Hampshire; legislature of search
  • New Hampshire; militia of search
  • New Hampshire; prison reform in search
  • Plumer, William; gubernatorial addresses of search
  • Plumer, William; letters from search
  • Plumer, William; Message from His Excellency The Governor of New-Hampshire, To The Legislature, June 4, 1818 search
  • Treasury Department, U.S.; and wartime finance search
  • War of1812; U.S. financing of search