Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Plumer (1789–1854) to Thomas Jefferson, 31 December 1821

From William Plumer (1789–1854)

Washington December 31st 1821


I take the liberty to send you the enclosed Address,—not with the ambitious hope or expectation that it can in any degree contribute to instruct or amuse a mind so familiar as yours is with every branch of useful knowledge, & particularly with that which is the subject of this discourse—but merely as a mark of the sincere respect & esteem with which I have the honor to be

Your most obedient & very humble servant

W. Plumer Jr

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as a letter from “Plumer Wm” received 6 Jan. 1822 and so recorded in SJL; with Dft of TJ to Plumer, 13 Jan. 1822, beneath endorsement. RC (DLC); address cover only; with Dft of TJ to Richard Rush, 26 Apr. 1824, on recto and verso; addressed: “Honble Thomas Jefferson Monticello Va”; postmarked Washington, 1 Jan. Enclosure: Plumer (1789–1854), An Address delivered before the Rockingham Agricultural Society, October 18th, 1821 (Exeter, N.H., 1821), praising the essential role of agricultural societies, the meetings and exhibitions of which “tend to raise the character and improve the condition of the farmer” (p. 4); suggesting improvements in drainage, tillage, manure, adaptation to different soils, and crop rotation; and urging farmers to acquire more agricultural knowledge and thereby adapt to the “new era” created by “the increase of our population, the diminution of foreign commerce, and the sudden growth of manufactures amongst us” (p. 20).

William Plumer (1789–1854), public official and author, was born in Epping, New Hampshire, the son of TJ’s correspondent William Plumer (1759–1850). He attended the Phillips Exeter Academy, 1802–05, and graduated from Harvard University in 1809. Plumer studied law with his father before being admitted to the bar in 1812, but rarely practiced. He was appointed the federal commissioner of loans for New Hampshire, served at Portsmouth, 1816–17, and then sat successively in the lower house of the New Hampshire legislature, 1818–19, the United States House of Representatives, 1819–25, and the New Hampshire senate, 1827–29. Politically a Whig and an antislavery advocate, Plumer was an ally of Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams who declined an appointment in 1827 from the latter to become United States district attorney for New Hampshire. After returning permanently to Epping, Plumer published several works of poetry during the 1840s. He attended the 1850 New Hampshire constitutional convention and in his last years wrote a biography of his father (Andrew P. Peabody, ed., Life of William Plumer, by his son, William Plumer, Junior. Edited, with a Sketch of the Author’s Life [1856], ix–xvi; General Catalogue of the Officers and Students of the Phillips Exeter Academy. 1783–1903 [1903], 14; Harvard Catalogue description begins Harvard University Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1925, 1925 description ends , 187; Portsmouth Oracle, 3 Aug. 1816; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:70, 72 [16, 21 Jan. 1817]; Journal of the Senate of the State of New-Hampshire … commencing Wednesday, November 19, 1828 [1829]; Charles M. Wiltse and others, eds., The Papers of Daniel Webster: Correspondence [1974–86], esp. 1:382, 7:75–7; Bela Chapin, comp., The Poets of New Hampshire [1883], 36–43; Concord New Hampshire Statesman, 23 Sept. 1854).

Index Entries

  • agriculture; and manure search
  • agriculture; books on search
  • agriculture; crop rotation search
  • An Address delivered before the Rockingham Agricultural Society, October 18th, 1821 (W. Plumer [1789–1854]) search
  • books; on agriculture search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Plumer, William (1789–1854); An Address delivered before the Rockingham Agricultural Society, October 18th, 1821 search
  • Plumer, William (1789–1854); identified search
  • Plumer, William (1789–1854); letters from search