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Letter from Harry S. Truman in Fort Riley, Kansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and muses upon an alternative time line in which he and Bess were married earlier, commenting that, "I don't see how I got along until I was thirty-four without you. Just think of all the wasted years that could have been pleasantly and profitably spent. I might even have been a financial success if I'd started with you sooner."

Date: 
July 22nd 1930

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Fort Riley, Kansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this rather candid letter, Harry requests Bess to "Please bring my "Anthony" salve. I have a tender place on my saddle connection."

Date: 
July 24th 1930

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Lafayette in Little Rock, Arkansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his day and comments that many people in Jackson County, Missouri are asking him for favors, saying that, "...the finances of the county were never in such shape since Miles Bulger handled them, and every person I've ever had any association with since birth has wanted me to take pity on him and furnish him some county money without much return."

Date: 
February 12th 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman in Fort Riley, Kansas to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman expresses his yearning to be with Bess and declares that "When I get that courthouse located and the contract let, we'll take another weddin' tour and maybe I can get back on earth (if I'm not in the midst of a state campaign)."

Date: 
July 28th 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his visit with William R. Gentry, Bennett Clark, and Roscoe C. Patterson. Truman adds that Patterson "had severed all connections with Kansas City, wasn't interested in the town or its people that St. Louis put him on the map and that's the town he is for."

Date: 
August 23rd 1931

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Hotel Robidoux in Saint Joseph, Missouri to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman requests that Bess send him several items he forgot to pack on his trip to Camp Ripley. He then provides some candid information on Tom Pendergast, Fred Boxley, Frederick Gunn, Edward F. Neild, and others involved in the planning of the Jackson County Courthouse.

Date: 
July 8th 1932

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minnesota to his wife Bess in Independence, Missouri. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his time since his arrival and about the contraband liquor available at Camp Ripley and Mason City, Iowa.

Date: 
July 11th 1932

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 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

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.