The Four Horsemen of the Pendergast Machine


Pamphlet written by Ewing Young Mitchell, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce in Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's first term. He first responds to Harry Truman's statement to a reporter that "he never had sought the support of the Pendergast political organization in Missouri" and that the Pendergast machine was not involved in scandal until after he was elected to the Senate. The pamphlet then addresses the "four scandals that Truman would now like to forget": the Union Station Massacre of 1933; the 1934 "bloody city election" in which four people were killed and many others injured; the 1934 primary during which Mitchell alleges Truman stole the nomination; and a December 9, 1934 St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial describing Kansas City as "the wickedest city in the world." Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. describes Johnny Lazia as "the Al Capone of Kansas City." Mitchell argues that and describes how the Senatorial primary was stolen for Truman in 1934, and recounts the convictions of numerous individuals who were involved. Finally, the pamphlet describes "The Four Horsemen of the Pendergast Machine": Boss Tom Pendergast, Johnny Lazia, City Manager H. F. McElroy, and Harry S. Truman.

October 1944
Modern Location: 
Rights Statement: 
Publication, commercial use, or reproduction of this image or the accompanying data requires prior written permission from the State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia. Use of this image also requires that credit be given to the State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia.
Collection Title, Call or Box Number: 
Mitchell, Ewing Young, Jr., (1873-1954), Papers, 1944, C0816-f00001
Digital Object Identifier: 
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.