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Ca. 1955 Portrait of James Pendergast, Kansas City political faction leader, long-time friend of former President Harry S. Truman From: Michael Pruett.

Kansas City political boss Thomas J. Pendergast and his nephew, James Pendergast, sit on a bench together in what appears to be an office, ca. 1939. From: Truman Home.

Mr. James Pendergast (third from left) is photographed at President Harry S. Truman's inaugural gala at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C. Pendergast's wife, Kathleen (fourth from left), and daughter, Mary Ellen Pendergast (unknown position), are also present along with two unidentified women.

Date: 
January 19th 1949

President Harry S. Truman (right) with James Pendergast, evidently taken in Independence, Missouri, upon Truman's arrival from Washington, D.C. This photo has been badly retouched and contains crop marks. Donor: John Boos.

Date: 
August 3rd 1946

Photograph showing Tom Pendergast and his nephew James Pendergast. Tom Pendergast is seated, and his nephew standing.

Date: 
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 day and then provides the latest information concerning Kansas City and Missouri politics: "I missed a call from [Joseph B.] Shannon... Jim P. [Pendergast] said he hoped I'd keep him here but I'm glad he's going home. He says [Lloyd C.] Stark will run against [Bennett C.] Clark and not against me."

Date: 
November 22nd 1937

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Buena Vista, Colorado. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his return to Kansas City and his speech there. Of his associates, he noted that "Mr. [Bennett C.] Clark accepted but failed to appear as usual. Told Jim P. [Pendergast] he'd be in this afternoon but didn't come."

Date: 
August 23rd 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Washington D.C. to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman discusses a few minor personal matters and mentions his activities from the previous day: "...Joe Guffey and I studied the various strains of thoroughbred horses at Laurel (in the interest of agriculture you understand). I lost most of my Saturday's winnings but we had a grand time..."

Date: 
October 19th 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Robidoux in St. Joseph, Missouri to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In the letter, Truman mentions sharing his hotel room with James Pendergast during an American Legion State Convention. Truman comments that James is, "a nice boy and as smart as the old man he's named for."

Date: 
September 20th 1921

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Connor in Joplin, Missouri to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman describes his trip to Joplin with Jimmy (James M.) Pendergast.

Date: 
August 18th 1924

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this particularly revealing letter, Truman provides a detailed update on politics in Jackson County and says, "I have talked to T.J. [Tom Pendergast] and to Jim [James Pendergast] over the phone. T.J. is much better and gave me to understand that I could do as I pleased with the county."

Date: 
April 14th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at The Majestic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman gives Bess his opinion of the 1936 Democratic National Convention and mentions that James M. Pendergast was present. He also makes note that the date marks his seventeenth anniversary with Bess.

Date: 
June 28th 1936

A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman recounts his childhood and early adulthood. Notable events described include his construction of the Jackson County Courthouse, his start in politics, and his family history.

Date: 
May 14th 1934

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen describes in detail an investigation by Harvey L. Duncan concerning an alleged theft of an interstate shipment of liquor. Kitchen warns against a conspiracy charge, which would reflect poorly on the Kansas City organization. Thus, he suggests that any suspect be tried separately, and not as co-conspirators in a large scheme. In order to do this, Kitchen recommends Truman has Bennett C. Clark call Maurice M. Milligan and request that Milligan prosecutes violators separately.

Date: 
May 12th 1936

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen provides his opinion on two appointments to the Workmen's Compensation Commission and the political repercussions of the same. He also informs Truman of James M. Pendergast's opinion on the situation.

Date: 
April 6th 1937

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen informs Truman that he spoke with Col. Bob Walton of Armstrong, Missouri. After explaining Truman's side of the story concerning the WPA issue, Kitchen reports that Walton agrees with Truman, but is still worried about the Democratic party in the 1940 campaign.

Date: 
March 25th 1939

Photocopy of a military circular letter that calls fourteen officers of the 130th Field Artillery to be present at a general court-martial for persons unnamed in the letter. Among these officers are 1st Lieutenant James M. Pendergast, who had previously served with Harry S. Truman in the 129th Field Artillery. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum does not hold the original document.

Date: 
April 25th 1918

Photocopy of a letter from James M. Pendergast to his wife Kathleen Pendergast. He tells her that he will be traveling to Columbia, Missouri in the morning (July 6, 1934) for Harry S. Truman's senate campaign opening and a State Committee meeting. He then updates Kathleen on his plans for the next week and details of the past few days. The letter is written on Jackson Democratic Club letterhead that also includes Harry S. Truman and T. J. Pendergast as members of the executive board. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum does not hold the original document.

Date: 
July 5th 1934

Photocopy of a letter from James M. Pendergast to his wife Kathleen Pendergast in Lexington, Virginia. James explains the circumstances of John Lazia's death and mentions being there with him as he died in the hospital. James then updates her on other personal details. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum does not hold the original document.

Date: 
July 11th 1934

Photocopy of a letter from James M. Pendergast to his wife Kathleen Pendergast. James recounts the details of John Lazia's funeral which the local newspapers believe to be Kansas City's largest funeral gathering. He then updates Kathleen on his trip to Monroe County and on his upcoming trip with Harry S. Truman to Cameron, Missouri. The letter is written on Jackson Democratic Club letterhead that also includes Harry S. Truman and T. J. Pendergast as members of the executive board. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum does not hold the original document.

Date: 
July 13th 1934

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.