Excerpt from Brief Accounts of Journeys in the Western Country, 1809-1812
Major Peyton Short, the writer of the following descriptions of journeys through a portion of the Mississippi territory, made by him in 1809, was the second son of William Short and Lady Elizabeth Skipw... ith, born December 17, 1761, in Spring Garden, Surry County, Virginia. His elder brother, William, born in 1757, was the early American Diplomat of that name.
In 1787, when about 27 years of age, Peyton Short married Maria, daughter of Judge John Cleves Symmes, and three years later moved with his family into Kentucky, where he was elected soon after to the first State Senate, 1792-96. In¿uenced by the mania for land speculation which was prevalent at that time throughout the United States, he became the owner of thousands of acres of pioneer lands in Kentucky and Ohio. Among other tracts, he purchased from Judge Symmes a section in Cincin nati, which received the name of Short Square; a portion of this was subsequently owned by his brother William.
His wife died in 1801, leaving three children: Charles Wil kins Short became a physician, and married Mary Churchill; John Cleves Short, a lawyer and jurist of Cincinnati, who married Betsey Basset Harrison, daughter of William Henry Harrison and his wife Anna Symmes and a daughter Anna. About 1803 Peyton Short married second Mrs. Jane Churchill, widow of Armistead Churchill, and sister of Col. James Henry of New Jersey. By this wife (who died in 1808-09) there were three daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, and Sarah.
During these years in Kentucky, he sustained very large financial losses owing principally to his extensive speculations in land, and when he went into the Mississippi territory in 1809, it was with the hope of retrieving his fortune. Consequently his own interest led him to Observe keenly all that was presented to his view, and to make his notes clear and explicit for his own use in the future. He returned to Kentucky after several years and died in Christian County September I, 1825.
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