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Overview

This microfilm collection offers insight into the lives of a father and his son--both of whom served America and provided vision and leadership in its early days.

The papers of William Plumer and his son William Plumer, Jr., span a century of energetic development in our country. Both men were active in the political arenas of their era, and both wrote fluently on virtually every facet of contemporary society. Students of early America's political, social, literary and legal history discover a new perspective on important aspects of history, such as:

 

  • the formative years of the U.S. Congress
  • New Hampshire state and local history
  • the debate concerning the Missouri Compromise
  • America's literary contributions to the world of culture

William Plumer (1759-1850) was an active participant in the governmental process during his lifetime. He was Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and President of the State Senate, a U.S. Senator, the Governor of New Hampshire, and the first President of the New Hampshire Historical Society.

His son, William Plumer, Jr. (1789-1854) carried on this tradition of service as a New Hampshire Legislator and a U.S. Congressman. He also contributed richly to America's literary life as a poet.

In addition to a multitude of personal and professional correspondence, this unique collection features the more than 2,000 finished biographies written by the senior Plumer. His subjects included noteworthy people from before his lifetime, his contemporaries, and people whose very longevity he considered remarkable.

Of special interest are the essays and speeches written by Plumer under the pseudonym "Cincinnatus," as well as copies or drafts of speeches by William Plumer, Jr. dealing with such subjects as slavery. The collection also includes legal papers, documents from William Plumer's tenure as governor, and his unpublished histories of the United States.

Students and researchers are provided through this collection the opportunity to view American history and politics through the unusual continuum of two distinguished men from the same family.

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