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William Plumer
New Hampshire

Gov. William Plumer

  • June 5, 1812 - June 3, 1813
  • Democratic-Republican
  • June 25, 1759
  • December 22, 1850
  • Massachusetts
  • Married Sally Fowler; six children


WILLIAM PLUMER, the eleventh and thirteenth governor to serve New Hampshire, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts on June 25, 1759. His early education was attained at the Newburyport South Writing School. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1787, and then established his legal career in Epping, New Hampshire. Plumer first entered politics as selectman of Epping, a position he held in 1783. He served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1785 to 1786, 1788, 1790 to 1791, and 1797 to 1800, serving as speaker in 1791 and 1797. He also served as a member of the 1791 and 1792 State Constitutional Conventions; was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1802 to 1807; and served as a member and president of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1810 to 1811. Plumer next won election to the governorship, and was sworn into office on June 5, 1812. He lost his reelection bids in 1813, 1814, and 1815, but was successful in his 1816 campaign. During his tenure, the penal code was amended; construction was initiated on a new state prison; war issues were dealt with; modifications to the Dartmouth College charter were addressed; and the state judicial system was reorganized. After leaving the governorship, Plumer served as an 1820 presidential elector and cast the sole vote opposing the James Monroe-Tompkins renomination ticket. Plumer then retired from politics, but stayed active, establishing a successful literary career, as well as playing an instrumental part in the founding of the New Hampshire Historical Society. Governor William Plumer passed away on December 22, 1850, and was buried in the family graveyard on his estate near Epping, New Hampshire.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.


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