Emily Saunders Arnold was the matriarch of the Plummer family. On May 30, 1841 she married Adam Francis Plummer at the New York Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.
Adam Plummer was a slave in Maryland from 1829 until 1864. The Plummers were separate from each other for the first twenty-two years of their marriage. In 1841 after his marriage to Emily Saunders, Adam began writing in his diary and continued until his death in 1905. Adam's daughter, Nellie Arnold Plummer, continued to write in the diary after the death of her father, expanding on the family narrative.