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James Shannon papers, 1804-1833

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


James Shannon papers




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arrangement is chronological.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], James Shannon papers, 1804-1833, 1VF55W22, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


73 pieces


Diplomat, lawyer. James Shannon served as a lieutenant in the 27th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry during the War of 1812. He lived and practiced law in Lexington, Kentucky after the war. In 1832 he received a diplomatic appointment from President Andrew Jackson as Charg'e d'Affaires to Guatemala. Soon after the arrival of his entourage, which included his wife, Susan Shelby Shannon, and his niece, Susan Hart Shelby, both James Shannon and his niece contracted yellow fever and died.

Scope and Content

See also the Susan Shelby papers (1VF55W56) for her account of the journey to Guatemala for further details.

These are the papers of diplomat James Shannon. Most of the material consists of letters concerning Shannon's appointment as minister to Guatemala. Included is a list from the U.S. State Department of books Shannon would find useful in his post. There are also letters of condolence to Susan Shannon, including two letters from her brother-in-law, Wilson Shannon who later served as minister to Mexico and as governor of both Ohio and Kansas. There is an exchange of letters between Shannon and his brother-in-law, Charles S. Todd, a lawyer, soldier and later minister to Columbia concerning allegations exchanged between the two men in the KENTUCKY GAZETTE and the KENTUCKY ADVOCATE relating to the treaty with the Chickasaw Indians, negotiated by their father-in-law, Isaac Shelby and by Andrew Jackson. This treaty resulted in the addition of the area known as Jackson Purchase territory. Notes to Shannon while he was in the Army and various legal documents are present as well.


  • Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845.
  • Shannon, James, d. 1832.
  • Shannon, Susan Shelby, 1791-1868.
  • Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877.
  • Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826.
  • Shelby, Susan Hart, 1816-1832.
  • Todd, Charles Stewart, 1791-1871.
  • Diplomats.
  • Guatemala.
  • South America--Description and travel

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