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Letter from Frank A. Brannock to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, describing Tom Pendergast as the Democratic party's "worst enemy" and describes increased support for James Douglas in Stoddard County for the Missouri Supreme Court primary. Brannock reports that they "are" carrying the fight on Bossism clear down the line, even to the little local Pendergast would be bosses in [Stoddard] County."

Date: 
July 28th 1938

Letter from Chas. P. Johnson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, discussing voter registration, Stark's proposed investigation into the Public Works Administration, clean elections, and the support he is organizing for Judge James Douglas. He is particularly concerned about the lack of rigor in cleaning up voter registrations in St. Louis, and the lack of public confidence that their votes will be secret.

Date: 
July 23rd 1938

Letter from Mrs. N. L. Dwinnett to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, describing a threat she received suggesting she would lose her pension unless she voted for James Billings for Missouri Supreme Court. She pledges her support to Stark and James Douglas.

Date: 
July 27th 1938

Letter from M. Ohern to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, writing that the election for Missouri Supreme Court in Scott County will not be an honest vote as the election judges are Pendergast-allied. He notes that the man who controls the WPA jobs in the county will withhold work unless voters "play ball," and also elections in which "votes have been miscounted or thrown out."

Date: 
July 30th 1938

Letter from Carl Burgoyne Smith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting that Pendergast influenced many voters from the Missouri School for the Deaf to support Truman in 1934, and wonders if the same is happening in support of James Billings for Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
July 30th 1938

Letter from John T. Harding to L. H. Forman, discussing anti-Clark/Douglas circulars being "thrown into the river" in St. Louis.

Date: 
August 2nd 1938

Letter from T. S. Clayton to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting that the "local machine" in Licking are supporting Billings, as are the local WPA heads. Despite this, Clayon feels "sure Douglas will carry this county by a good majority" and "is doing all possible here to put Douglas over."

Date: 
August 1st 1938

Letter from Bert Lyon describing his friendship with and support for Tom Pendergast, as well as endorsing James Billings for Missouri Supreme Court. He claims that "perhaps in all American history there never was a national figure who was more misunderstood than Mr. Pendergast," and that Governor Stark "has proved himself an ingrate."

Date: 
July 25th 1938

Telegram from Chas. F. Williams to Governor Lloyd C. Stark regarding the prior day's election, stating "We killed Tom with 2000 volts in Clay County yesterday."

Date: 
August 3rd 1938

Letter from W. G. Lynch to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting that while the August 2 election was cleaner than in the past, corruption still remains and that "liquor interests must be curbed and license laws enforced." Lynch also congratulations Stark on James Douglas's win in the Supreme Court vote, and writes that "the boss thrives on prestige and privilege... You have deflated him considerably. He is no longer unbeatable."

Date: 
August 3rd 1938

Letter from W. A. Berry to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, describing WPA graft with the Pendergast machine in Camden. He provides "a few names of the drunks gamblers and illiteratures here who have gotten positions here through Pendergast," including "W.P.A. workers who yesterday and the day before lay drunk beside my store." He also vows to work to elect Douglas in the upcoming election.

Date: 
July 24th 1938

Text of a Kansas City Star article on the August 4, 1936 election in Kansas City. It describes ballot boxes being removed before polls closed, threats made against voters, fake votes, and other problems. Joe Shannon is quoted as saying the election was "so corrupt it was a disgrace to American civilization."

Date: 
August 4th 1936

Letter from N. W. Branson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting the presence of Pendergast men on primary election day in Neosho.

Date: 
August 4th 1938

Letter from Walker C. Johnson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, expressing happiness at James Douglas winning the Missouri Supreme Court election, but describing further corruption to be eliminated in his county and WPA. He describes a WPA foreman that other workers call "Little Tom" passing out campaign information for Billings in advance of the election.

Date: 
August 4th 1938

Letter from Garrett E. Spitzer to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, congratulation Stark on Judge James Douglas' win in the Missouri Supreme Court election, but writes that "while it may sound the death knell of Boss Pendergast, ... I wish to say that Pendergast is not dead by any manner of means. He has only received a severe slap."

Date: 
August 4th 1938

Letter from C. E. Blomquist to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, congratulating him on Douglas's win, but requesting he "come to Kansas City and break up this insidious ring of Italians and Pendergast workers who are fostering such a string of 200 or 300 gambling houses upon our people."

Date: 
August 3rd 1938

Leaflet advocating a vote for James Douglas in the Missouri Supreme Court election in order to keep Clay County "free and peaceful." It states that "a vote for Billings means you approve the BOSS and also Crooked Elections, Vote Frauds, Red-Light Districts, Night Clubs with wide open gambling catering to your children ... and an army of hoodlums to force these conditions upon you."

Date: 
1938

Letter from L. B. Hargrave to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, reporting his own defeat in the election for Carroll County probate judge, and saying it was preceded being "visited by one of [Pendergast's] henchmen from Kansas City, and was warned by same if I didn't get in with the Pendergast crowd I would be defeated.".

Date: 
August 6th 1938

Statement by William Hirth, publisher of The Missouri Farmer, discussing the recent Missouri Supreme Court primary election. He describes it as "the greatest blow ever struck for decent government in the history of Missouri" and demonstrating "that when the people finally tire of political bossism they can and will arise in their might, and smite it hip and thigh."

Date: 
1938

Letter from Earl Sinclair to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, complaining that there is no secret ballot, and that when "we voted at the last primary the official unfolded my wife's ballot in the presence of both of us." He also reports Pendergast influence with WPA jobs.

Date: 
August 10th 1938

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
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.