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William Short Collection

Identifier: Mss. 39.2 Sh9 and 1995.33

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Letters, [1772], 1789, 1839, and 1846-1847, of William Short, while a diplomat in France, and later while living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the later letters discussing the settlement of his estate with his nephew, Charles W. Short (1794-1863), of Louisville, Kentucky. Also includes copies of Short's appointment to various diplomatic posts, 1790-1794; a copy of George Washington's letter to the King of Spain explaining Short's departure from Spain, 1796; his will; a genealogical chart of the Short family; an article of his love affair with the Duchess de la Rochefoucauld; and his watch and fob.

Acc. Mss 1995.33 addition:

ALS from William Short to P.S. DuPonceau, n.d., regarding indisposition, preparation of him into  "Our Society" and the delay of packets.

Acc. Mss 1982.06 addition:

Photocopy of typescript of an article regarding Short and Duchesse de la Rouchefoucauld and miscellaneous photocopied material.


  • Creation: 1772-1931
  • Creation: 1772, 1789-1847, 1931


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

William Short was born in Surry County, Virginia, in 1759, the son of William Short and Elizabeth (Skipwith) Short. He graduated in 1779 from the College of William and Mary where he had been one of the founders of Phi Beta Kappa. He acted as Thomas Jefferson's private secretary in Paris and as secretary of legation and charge d'affairs. He was minister to The Hague. He participated in negotiations of the Pinchney Treaty with Spain. Short died in 1849. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


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Arrangement of Materials:

Organization: This collection is organized into 5 series. Series 1 contains correspondence; Series 2 contains manuscript volumes; Series 3 contains photographs; Series 4 contain artifacts; and Series 5 contains miscellaneous. Arrangement: Series 1 is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information:

Gift: 1 item, undated. Gift: 1 item, 07/26/1934. Gift: 6 items, 1938. Gift: 1 item, 04/15/1942. Gift 1 item, 04/30/1945. Gift: 1 item, 01/1967. Acc. No. 82-6; Gift: 5 items, 01/1982. Acc. No. 1995.33; Purchase: 1 item, 06/16/1995.   1938.201:  Will of William Short, Sept 11,1847. certified copy, Mary Churchill and Fanny Short descendants of Peyton Short, brother of William Short 1934.09:  Watch Fob, Gift of Ms Mary Short through EG Swem 1840.87:  Blueprint of Short Genealogy, gift of W.H. Corutenay 1935.45:  Arithmetic Book, purchase, Mrs. Camilla Short 1982.06:  Gift of Mrs. E. Alban Watson 1995.33:  ALS from William Short to P.S. DuPonceau, Purchased from Timothy Bakken

Related Materials:

65 Sh9 William and Peyton Short Papers

Guide to the William Short Collection
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository