Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 24 September 1785

To William Short

Paris Sep. 24. 1785.

Dear Sir

Finding the assistance of a private Secretary necessary in my office I would wish you to accept of the appointment. In this case it will be necessary for you to abandon your plan of continuing at St. Germain’s. I need not detail to you the ordinary business in which you will be engaged. That will open itself on you of course. But it is necessary for me particularly to authorize and instruct you, in case of any accident happening to myself, to take possession of whatever papers may be in my hands as Minister plenipotentiary for the United States at the court of Versailles, and to deliver them to the order of the Secretary for foreign affairs. I am not able to say with certainty what is the salary allowed: but Mr. Grand who paid young Mr. Franklin’s, and who will pay yours also, will inform you. I think it was a thousand dollars a year. I must add that you are to expect this appointment to cease whenever Congress shall be pleased to countermand or supersede it by any other arrangement. I am with much esteem Dr. Sir your most obedient humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Short Papers); the month “Sep.” is written in TJ’s hand over the original date, “July.” PrC (DNA: PCC, No. 87, i); with the same date correction as in RC. Another PrC (DLC: TJ Papers); also redated and with faint or illegible passages restored in TJ’s hand. Tr (DNA: PCC, No. 107, i). Recorded in SJL under this date; entry in SJPL reads: “Short Wm. App’nt. of Secretary.” A copy was later enclosed in TJ to John Jay, 6 Oct. 1785.

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