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Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and then provides some candid information concerning Kansas City and Missouri politics: "…[Bennett C.] Clark has definitely lined up with the Boss [Tom Pendergast] you see. He and Maurice Milligan almost came to blows the last time they met and now the Pres and [Lloyd C.] Stark are thinking of running him for Senator against Clark."

Date: 
November 28th 1937

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on the political maneuvering of Maurice M. Milligan and Bennett C. Clark and mentions that "Then Canfil came in with a whole string of trouble which I got straightened out to some extent and now John Madden and R.R. Brewster are here on a parole for Pendergast."

Date: 
September 25th 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his endeavor to select the new Kansas City W.P.A. Director and then comments about those affiliated with the Pendergast machine: "Mr. [Matthew S.] Murray, Mr. [Henry F.] McElroy, Mr. [Otto P.] Higgins, and even Mr. [Tom] P. himself probably would pay all the ill-gotten loot they took for my position and clear conscience."

Date: 
October 27th 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this particularly candid letter, Truman updates Bess on the politics of Missouri and the nation, saying that "Pendergast hasn't made up his mind yet who will be governor. He'll announce it sometime soon. If the man is smart and politically minded he can say who Clark's successor will be and can deliver the 1940 delegation at the national convention."

Date: 
July 23rd 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this candid letter, Truman informs Bess that he intends to travel in secret to New York to meet with Tom Pendergast.

Date: 
July 24th 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel New Yorker in New York City to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this candid letter, Truman updates Bess on his travel to New York to meet with Tom Pendergast and provides an explanation for his visit: "Charlie Howell was in to see me and I wanted to get to the boss first so that's why I'm here. He... wanted to announce for governor when he gets back. That'll split Clark and T.J. sure I believe."

Date: 
July 28th 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this candid letter, Truman updates Bess on his meeting with Tom Pendergast in New York, saying that "Pendergast was as pleased to see me as if I'd been young Jim. We talked for three hours about everything under the sun. Discarded a couple of prominent candidates for governor..."

Date: 
July 29th 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Governor Clinton in New York City to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this candid letter, Truman updates Bess on his morning and his trip to New York, saying that "[John N. Garner, Nathan L. Bachman, and William J. Bulow] had been to see T.J. [Tom Pendergast] and I must try to find out what they did tomorrow."

Date: 
August 10th 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and upcoming travel plans. He then candidly comments that "Pendergast wants to see me and Clark and I'm of the opinion that everything will be settled when we see him. Wouldn't the papers give something to know that?"

Date: 
August 23rd 1935

Letter from Harry S. Truman at The Majestic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. Written while Truman was attending the 1936 Democratic National Convention, Truman comments on several small details concerning the convention, including the fact that "Mrs. [Bennett C.] Clark was there and sat with the delegation--quite a concession as she had a box seat on the stage. I was given one for you but gave it to T.J. [Tom Pendergast]."

Date: 
June 25th 1936

Letter from Rufus B. Burrus to Jack Alexander, a St. Louis Post Dispatch writer who had written an article critizing Senator Harry S. Truman entitled "Missouri Dark Mule". Burrus responds to accusations that Truman is a Pendergast "yes-man" and that he won because of voter fraud.

Date: 
October 19th 1938

Southeastern Missouri newspaper clipping reporting on Governor Lloyd C. Stark's campaign announcement for U.S. Senator of Missouri. The author favors Senator Harry S. Truman for reelection as he is believed to have a better chance of beating a Republican nominee over his Democratic rivals Stark and Maurice M. Milligan. The author then paints a favorable portrait of Truman and tells the reader to not fear his association with Pendergast, saying, "Don't be foolish enough to vote against him [Truman] just because Tom Pendergast was for him.

Date: 
April 19th 1940

Letter from Thomas McGee to Harry S. Truman in which McGee thanks Truman for giving an appointment to Norman Bowes, saying that it will likely increase support in the Stockyards. McGee acknowledges Truman's receipt of a picture of Thomas J. Pendergast that he sent to Truman. He then updates Truman on a meeting Pendergast calls for that morning.

Date: 
January 15th 1935

Letter from Thomas McGee to Harry S. Truman in which McGee discusses the removal of Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. from his appointment as assistant secretary of commerce in the Roosevelt Administration.

Date: 
June 19th 1935

Letter from Thomas McGee to Harry S. Truman in which McGee discloses his efforts to get Pendergast and James P. Aylward to help re-appoint his son-in-law, John Lillis, to the Federal Housing Administration. McGee says that Pendergast may seek the help of Truman and Bennett C. Clark in this matter. He also informs Truman of his meeting with William Boyle and J. J. Pryor of Boyle-Pryor Construction Company.

Date: 
April 16th 1936

Letter from J. W. Thompson to Governor Lloyd C. Stark concerning social security pensions and Thompson's view of Missouri politicians. He admits he does not like Bennett C. Clark, but as an anti-Pendergast voter, Thompson believes "Clark is better than Truman at his best."

Date: 
May 31st 1939

Essay documenting the role Ralph E. Truman and Olive L. Truman played in the 1934 U.S. Senatorial campaign in Missouri. Olive details how her and her husband helped Jacob L. Milligan with his campaign before learning that Ralph's cousin Harry S. Truman would enter as well. The two had committed themselves to the Milligan campaign and could not aid Harry. Olive also details tactics used by the Pendergast Organization during this campaign.

Date: 
June 9th 1964

Essay documenting the role Ralph E. Truman and Olive L. Truman played in the 1940 U.S. Senatorial campaign in Missouri. Olive describes how Governor Lloyd C. Stark asked for Ralph's support for Stark's senatorial campaign, as Stark had recently appointed Ralph to a General. After Ralph put his support towards the reelection of his cousin Senator Harry S. Truman, Stark attempted to have Ralph's status as General revoked. In response, Ralph, Olive, and Bennett C. Clark resolved to get another Democratic candidate to enter to decrease Stark's chance of nomination.

Date: 
July 3rd 1964
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.