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Joseph Shannon
Author: 
Mary Frances Ivey

Joseph “Joe” Shannon presided over Kansas City’s Northside Democratic Party from the early 20 th century to 1930, after which he relocated to Washington, D.C., for a 14-year tenure as a U.S. Congressman. Shannon’s political career was marked by his Jeffersonian Democratic views and his tenuous relationships with brothers James and Tom Pendergast.

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 Spencer Salisbury to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing the election board and voter registration in Eastern Jackson County ahead of the Douglas-Billings Supreme Court vote.

Date: 
July 16th 1938

List of recipients of a gift of Golden Delicious apple cider from Lloyd C. Stark's orchards, along with an example form letter to be send in advance.

Date: 
September 1935

Letter from Sheriff B. R. Williams to Lloyd C. Stark, congratulating Stark on his endorsement by Pendergast and other Kansas City Democrats.

Date: 
October 16th 1935

Letter from D. Ralston Spalding to gubernatorial candidate Lloyd Stark, offering assistance for his campaign in Kansas City. It includes an offer to contact former students of Spalding's Commercial College.

Date: 
July 29th 1936

Letter from Clarence Cannon to Lloyd Stark, recounting a speech by his Republican opponent, Jesse Barrett. The text discusses corruption under the Pendergast Machine and throughout the state, including insurance and pension fraud.

Date: 
September 12th 1936

Letter from Hugh O'Connor to Guy B. park demanding an investigation into the August 4, 1936 primary election and the ouster of the election commissioners and election judges and clerks.

Date: 
August 19th 1936

Letter from Mitchell J. Henderson to Guy B. Park, incoming Missouri Governor, asking to meet with him about a job in his administration.

Date: 
December 31st 1932

Letter from Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. to Homer S. Cummings in which Mitchell provides a detailed account of Kansas City politics and voter suppression. He urges Cummings to travel to Kansas City to support candidates that oppose the Pendergast machine.

Date: 
March 12th 1934

Letter from Edgar Shook to Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. on April 16, 1934. Shook agrees with Mitchell on the necessity of a Kansas City candidate for Senate that is not tied to the Pendergast machine. He then discusses possible candidates for said position. Despite the Pendergast machine victory during the recent Kansas City local election, Shook is confident that "the tragedies of election day sounded an endless knell to this machine."

Date: 
April 16th 1934

Letter from G. H. Foree to Ewing young Mitchell, Jr. on May 9, 1934. Foree warns of Republican attacks on the Democratic administration in power and requests information concerning candidates for U.S. Senator in Missouri.

Date: 
May 9th 1934

Letter from G. H. Foree to Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. in which Foree discusses the possible outcome of the U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri. He predicts Bennett C. Clark will be "diplomatic enough and spineless enough in case Thurman [Truman] is nominated and elected... to get in the good graces of 'Boss Tom.'"

Date: 
May 21st 1934

Letter from G. H Foree to Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. on June 14, 1934. Foree speculates how the current field of U.S. Senate candidates for Missouri formed and who will win at election. He comments, "This coming primary is not one in which the choice of Democracy will win- it will be Boss manipulated."

Date: 
June 14th 1934

Letter from J. M. Harper to Ewing Young Mitchell, Jr. in which Harper discusses Thomas J. Pendergast's influence on the 1936 primary election in Missouri.

Date: 
August 6th 1936

Two-page typewritten article titled, "Hon. John T. Wayland Overrules the U. S. Supreme Court and Appoints a Democrat. - A Republican After Holding the Sinecure for Thirty Years Is Deposed - An Interesting Story from Washington" by an unknown author. Includes a vote tally from Kansas City wards and handwritten notes in Ewing Young Mitchell Jr.'s hand.

Letter from Katherine W. Halterman to Ralph F. Lozier regarding assistance he has provided for her son, as well the upcoming Senate election.

Date: 
February 19th 1934

Letter from Katherine Halterman to Ralph Lozier regarding potential senate candidates.

Date: 
March 17th 1934

Telegram from Ralph F. Lozier, Jr. to his father Ralph F. Lozier. He reproduces for Lozier a Kansas City Star headline: "Judge Truman Will Announce with Support of Kansas City Organization."

Date: 
May 13th 1934

Letter from Katherine Halterman to Ralph Lozier regarding Harry Truman announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Halterman writes that she "was so disappointes Sunday [she] couldn't talk about it."

Date: 
May 16th 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.