Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Donald W. Nesbit Papers

Dates: 1904-1924

Friend of Constantine Nabokov, a member of the Russian diplomatic corps.

The papers of Donald W. Nesbit contain primarily the letters that Russian diplomat Constantine Nabokov wrote to his American friend Donald W. Nesbit. The collection includes approximately 200 letters. About 180 of them are from Nabokov to Nesbit, almost all written from 1906 to 1908. The collection also includes several letters from Nabokov to Scott Nesbit, Donald Nesbit's father, and a few letters involving other correspondents. Nabokov's letters discuss such topics as political conditions in Russia and the effects of the events in that country on his family, Nabokov's diplomatic career, his work and life as part of the Russian legation in Brussels, Belgium, his European and Russian travels, and world events in general.

[ Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: One linear foot (About 1,000 pages)
Access: Open
Copyright: Nancy Nesbit Hatch has donated to the United States government her copyright interest in unpublished materials in the collection and in all of Donald W. Nesbit's unpublished writings that are in the custody of any repository administered by the United States government. Copyright interest in documents not included in the above two categories is presumed to remain with the creators of the documents or their heirs.
Processed by: Dennis Bilger, Raymond H. Geselbracht, Anita Smith, and Sharie Simon

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
for Constantine Nabokov

ca. 1877Born, probably near St. Petersburg, Russia
1905Third Secretary in the Russian delegation at the peace talks between Russia and Japan held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
1906-1910Assigned to the Russian legation in Brussels, Belgium
1906, 1907, 1908Took trips to Russia to visit his family
1907, 1908Took trips to the United States to visit Donald Nesbit and his family near Warrenton, Virginia
1910-1912 First Secretary to the Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
1912-1915Consul General to the Russian legation in Calcutta, India
1915-1919Assigned to the Russian Embassy in London, United Kingdom; Charge d'Affairs from January 1917
1919Resigned as Charge d'Affairs in the Russian Embassy in London to allow a Bolshevik to take the position
1919Russian Minister to Norway
1920Forced by the Russian government to leave the diplomatic service
1921Published The Ordeal of a Diplomat, about his diplomatic service in London during World War I
1929Died in London

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Donald W. Nesbit contain primarily the letters that Russian diplomat Constantine Nabokov wrote to his American friend Donald W. Nesbit. The collection includes approximately 200 letters. About 180 of them are from Nabokov to Nesbit, almost all written from 1906 to 1908. The collection also includes several letters from Nabokov to Scott Nesbit, Donald Nesbit's father, and a few letters involving other correspondents. Nabokov's letters discuss such topics as political conditions in Russia and the effects of the events in the country on his family, Nabokov's diplomatic career, his work and life as part of the Russian legation in Brussels, Belgium, his European and Russian travels, and world events in general.

The letters are arranged in chronological order in a correspondence series. The earlier letters from Nabokov to Nesbit are numbered, and several gaps exist in the sequence, suggesting that not all of Nabokov's letters to Nesbit survive. The collection includes several letters from Nabokov to Scott Nesbit, Donald Nesbit's father, and others between different members of Nesbit's family. Some of Nabokov's letters indicate the date according to both old style and new style calendars -- for example, "February 10/23."

The letters of Constantine Nabokov and other materials in this collection were discovered by John F. Melby among the effects of Constance Hordern Clark, Donald Nesbit's niece. Melby and an associate edited and published Nabokov's letters to Donald Nesbit in 1989 under the title Letters of a Russian Diplomat to an American Friend, 1906-22 (The Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston, New York). On Melby's advice, Nancy Nesbit Hatch, Donald Nesbit's daughter, donated Nabokov's letters and a small amount of additional material to the Truman Library in 1993.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-2CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1904-24
Letters from Constantine Nabokov to Donald W. Nesbit and a small number of letters involving other correspondents. Subjects discussed include political conditions in Russia and the effects of those events on his family, Nabokov's diplomatic career, his work with the Russian legation in Brussels, his European and Russian travels, and world events in general. Arranged chronologically.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1 Box 2

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]