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The new Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. This drawing was rendered as if looking southeast on Oak Street just north of 12th Street. From: "Courthouses of Jackson County, Missouri, 1933"

Date: 
1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this revealing letter, Truman provides a detailed update on politics in Kansas City and says, "The Star is making a goat of me--not a Pendergast goat either but a tax goat. I'll lick the whole gang yet and make 'em like it."

Date: 
April 15th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman provides a short update on politics in Kansas City and says, "The Star seems to be softening up somewhat but they have planted a lot of poison."

Date: 
April 16th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on personal matters and then comments that, "This has been a dizzy week. Every day I've been listening to the woes of the taxpayers and getting no where. I am going to straighten things out before another week."

Date: 
April 20th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on personal matters after commenting that he "had the biggest day on record before the equalization board, and there'll be another one today. I am on my way to see Mr. Pendergast and I think I'm going to come out all right on the situation."

Date: 
April 22nd 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Grandview, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his meeting with Tom Pendergast, saying that, "He told me to do as I pleased with the county payroll, make the adjustments I wanted to, and he'd put the organization in line behind me. He also told me that I could be Congressman or collector."

Date: 
April 23rd 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman informs Bess that he met up with Lee C. "Doc" Johnson, then spent the following day, "…trying to make a budget. It will require the discharge of some two hundred and two employees…"

Date: 
April 24th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman informs Bess of some of the difficulties of his responsibilties as Jackson County judge: "It was necessary to make arrangements to discharge some two hundred people from the payroll and it was some job. If you don't think I had a headache when it was over you are mistaken."

Date: 
April 26th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman warns Bess of the dangers that accompanies his responsibilities as Jackson County judge: "Please be careful about eating anything that comes in the mail. Someone sent me a cake the other day and I threw it away. With these discharges coming off you can't tell what they'll do."

Date: 
April 27th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on the newspaper's reception at Truman laying off over two hundred county workers: "The Star is off me anyway. I think our friend at the city hall has been "helping me out" down there."

Date: 
April 28th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on the public's reaction at Truman laying off over two hundred county workers: "I have had to go off and hide. I am now on the seventh floor of the Pickwick Hotel. The manager gave me a room without registering so no job holder who wants to stay on can see or phone me."

Date: 
April 28th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman provides Bess with another update on the layoff of 202 county workers: "The papers didn't treat me so very badly. I guess I'll survive-politically I mean."

Date: 
April 29th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Grandview, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and then informs her that "I shall have a great deal to tell you about the two jobs I'm to choose from when I see you. There are excellent reasons for taking either, and the same kind for taking neither, so we'll decide it later."

Date: 
April 30th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his plans for the next two weeks and his recent work making payrolls and salary cuts.

Date: 
May 1st 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and with county matters, saying that, "The sheriff has... closed the Independence jail. He thinks he'll cripple the road work. I'm not sorry he closed the jail because we don't need two and it will give me an excuse to cut some more expense."

Date: 
May 3rd 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and with county matters, saying that, "...the papers tried to start a row between me and the Sheriff. I don't want to start any row but I am going to finish one. He is out on a limb, and I am going to saw it off a little at a time."

Date: 
May 3rd 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Robidoux in St. Joseph, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. On the eve of his forty-ninth birthday, Truman reflects to Bess that, "Politics should make a thief... and a pessimist of anyone, but I don't believe I'm any of them and if I can get the Kansas City courthouse done without scandal no other judge will have done as much, and then maybe I can retire as collector..."

Date: 
May 7th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and his Jackson County Courthouse proposal to Conrad Mann, Henry F. McElroy, and Ruby Garrett.

Date: 
May 9th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Claridge in Saint Louis, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and his on Jackson County Courthouse proposal. After the courthouse is complete, Truman exclaims that, "...I can probably retire to a quiet job and enjoy life a little bit with my family. Not that I'm not enjoying it now but it is sometimes pretty hard on head and nerves."

Date: 
May 11th 1933

Letter from Harry S. Truman at Camp Pike near Little Rock, Arkansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman reacts to a clipping and a copy of the Independence Examiner, in which he says, "That letter from that old maid stenographer was just what you'd expect from a rabid dog. They tried me and convicted the county court without a hearing. If I'd opened up on the delegation as I should have, they'd have all been in jail for contempt."

Date: 
August 21st 1933

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.