Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) to William Plumer, Jr.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00047 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 December 1841 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Adams praises Plumer's volume of poems and describes his own journal writings as "volume after volume of trash." In retrospect, Adams wishes he had focused his energies on producing a great historical work. He deems Plumer's style of recording time and memories in a "poetical record" superior to the usual diary form. Some of Plumer's verse remind Adams of his own thoughts, and he lauds the poet for giving them permanent existence. Plumer was a former New Hampshire congressman.

People: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Plumer, William, 1759-1850.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: Poetry, Literature and Language Arts, President

Sub Era: Age of Jackson