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Morgan Jedediah Livingston Smead Papers

Identifier: UA 6.115

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes letters written by or sent to Smead. While most are written in English, some are written in German.

One letter of note was written by Smead in 1855 to Hugh Blair Grisby, noting the discovery of the original Phi Beta Kappa seal, found in a secret desk drawer of W&M alumnus Judge Stuart of Staunton, Virginia. He details the story relayed to him by Stuart's son regarding how it's likely the seal came to be hidden and forgotten about for more than 50 years.

Another letter of note is from May 29, 1848 and received by Smead. The writer, Benjamin A. Gould, Jr. describes the revolution in Berlin, soldiers all over town in Göttingen, the German attack on Denmark, and other political news.

Subjects included in other letters include relations between Europe and the United States, the Polish Revolution, professors at Leipzig, Berlin, and consumption, with the majority of the text related to personal business of the writer.


  • Creation: 1846-1848, 1851, 1855


Language of Materials

Collection is in both English and German.

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 publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

From Tyler's Quarterly HIstorical and Genealogical Magazine, Volumes 3-4, pg. 134:

Morgan Jedediah Livingston Smead was "born March 4, 1813, and died November 11, 1871, son of Jedediah L. and Caroline Howe Smead. He was educated at the District School of Covington, New York; Wyoming Academy, New York; Union College and Berlin University." "He taught Greek at William and Mary College, languages at Le Febre's School at Montgomery, Alabama, and modern languages at the Univesrity of Georgia." "He married Susan Wright Empie, daughter of Dr. Adam Empie, President of William and Mary College, but left no children."

Smead served on the faculty of William & Mary from 1848-1858.


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Immediate Source of Acquisition

July 12, 1855 letter to Hugh Blair Grisby is a gift of Mrs. William S. Morton

Related Materials

University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection

Henry A. Washington Papers


Removed from the Faculty-Alumni File Collection in 2016

Morgan Jedediah Livingston Smead Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository