Short, William (1759-1849)

Thomas Jefferson’s secretary.

Served on Executive Council of Virginia (1783-84). Followed Jefferson to France, where he negotiated a commercial treaty between Prussia and the United States and served as Jefferson’s private secretary and secretary of legation. Later served in several diplomatic posts in France, the Netherlands, and Spain (1789-1802).

Son of William and Elizabeth (Skipwith) Short of Surry County, Virginia. Educated at William and Mary College (B.A. 1779), where he was a founding member of Phi Beta Kappa. Never married, but had a long-term liaison with Rosalie, wife of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld.