Truman and Pendergast by Robert H. Ferrell

By Robert H. Ferrell

No element of the political profession of Harry S. Truman was once extra fraught with drama than his dating with Thomas J. Pendergast. in a single in their earliest conferences, the 2 males have been momentarily at odds after Truman, who was once then presiding pass judgement on of Jackson County, gave a $400,000 street agreement to a building corporation in South Dakota, and Pendergast, the boss of Kansas urban, wasn't more than pleased approximately it. He had another person in brain for the agreement. Their organization hence had its disagreements, yet their universal curiosity in politics used to be adequate to set up an enduring relationship.In 1934, after contemplating fourteen different males, Pendergast subsidized Truman for the Senate. even if Truman had frequently cooperated with Pendergast on patronage matters, he had by no means concerned himself within the illegalities that will finally wreck the Pendergast computing device. in truth, Truman had no notion how deeply the Boss had engaged in corruption in his own affairs, in addition to in handling the govt of Kansas urban. while the Boss was once despatched to Leavenworth for tax evasion in 1939, Truman used to be astonished.Despite Truman's honesty, his dating with Pendergast virtually triggered his defeat throughout the Missouri senatorial basic in August 1940. the most challenger for Truman's Senate seat was once the bold governor of Missouri, Lloyd C. Stark, who after destroying Truman's sponsor, the Pendergast computing device, denounced Truman as "the Pendergast senator." at the back of the governor was once President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom Stark became opposed to Truman. Roosevelt sought after Missouri's electoral votes in his imminent bid for a 3rd time period, and he believed that Stark may perhaps provide them to him.Because of the stigma of Truman's Pendergast connection, the 1940 Democratic fundamental was once the tightest election in his whole political occupation. He received by way of fewer than 8 thousand votes. In Truman and Pendergast, Robert H. Ferrell masterfully provides Truman's fight to maintain his Senate seat with out the help of Pendergast and regardless of Stark's enlistment of Roosevelt opposed to him. Ferrell indicates that Truman received the election in his ordinary fashion—going on to the folk, talking in truth and prefer certainly one of them.

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It was not necessary. ”8 Judge Truman was largely an independent force politically. For county issues it was necessary for Pendergast to negotiate with him. Nonetheless, the arrangement meant some cooperating. Truman was careful to give county jobs to deserving Democrats, which meant Pendergast Democrats, for they could do the work as well as ordinary Democrats, certainly as well as Republicans, of whom there were not all that many in the county. For Truman, another embarrassment was that Pendergast could count on the presiding judge’s reputation for honesty to assist whatever projects the boss had in mind in the city.

Celebrating at the Christian Church, 30 / Truman and Pendergast surrounded by friends and supporters, he enjoyed himself thoroughly. For Pendergast, however, the senatorial election had purposes other than providing a faithful member of the machine with an office. It brought the machine to its highest point of influence. It persuaded Senator Clark to cooperate with Pendergast rather than skewer him. Clark was coming up for reelection in 1938 and needed support from the man who took over Kansas City after its citizens voted for reform, elected most of the congressmen after a Republican governor vetoed the Democratic gerrymanders, elected Governor Park, and sent Truman to the Senate.

In the second there were similar results. In 1925 that ward cast 3,338 Democratic votes. Without any increase in population, ghost voting became evident in 1930 when the number of voters doubled to 6,128. It rose to 15,940 in 1934 when the machine’s mayoral candidate carried the ward by 13,721. In 1936, President Roosevelt received 88 percent of 21,242 votes in that ward. That year Pendergast’s statehouse nominee, Stark, received 19,202, his opponent 12. The population of the second ward—men, women, and children—was 18,478.

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