Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

 

Harry S. Truman Papers
Staff Member and Office Files:
George M. Elsey Files

Dates: 1945-1949

Officer, United States Naval Reserve, 1941-1947; Assistant Naval Aide, White House intelligence and communications center, World War II; Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President, 1947-1949; Administrative Assistant to the President, 1949-1951; Member, Mutual Security Agency Staff, 1951-1953; Vice-President, American Red Cross, 1958-1961; President, American Red Cross, 1970-1980; Trustee, George C. Marshall Research Foundation, 1973-1983; Member, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, 1973-1995; Member, National Archives Advisory Council, 1974-1979

The George M. Elsey Files document some of his work from 1945-1949 as a member of the White House staff. The files include copies of Presidential messages and addresses; a list of Presidential addresses; copies of Presidential letters and messages to Congress on the budget and other matters; a list of appearances by Truman before Congress; a list of the reports, treaties, conventions, and protocols sent to Congress; summaries of legislation recommended by the President and the actions taken by Congress on those recommendations; copies of statements issued by the President upon signing legislation; and copies of memoranda of disapproval issued by the President upon vetoing legislation. The collection has one series, a subject file, arranged alphabetically.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one-half of one linear foot (approximately 900 pages)
Access: Open
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States government. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Lori Schwartz as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Reviewing Archivists: Randy Sowell and Amy Williams

See also George M. Elsey oral history and George M. Elsey Papers finding aid


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1918, February 5 Born, Palo Alto, California
1939

B.A., Princeton University

1940 M.A., Harvard University
1941, December - 1947, April Officer, United States Naval Reserve; assigned to White House Map Room (intelligence and communications center) in April 1942
1947, April - 1949, August Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President, Clark Clifford

1949, August - 1951, November Administrative Assistant to the President

1951, December - 1953, January Assistant to the Director, Mutual Security Agency

1958 - 1961 Vice-President, American Red Cross
1970 - 1980 President, American Red Cross
1973 - 1983 Trustee, George C. Marshall Research Foundation
1973 - 1995 Member, Harry S. Truman Library Institute
1974 - 1979 Member, National Archives Advisory Council

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The George M. Elsey Files document some of his work from 1945-1949 as a member of the White House staff. During those years, Elsey worked as a naval officer in the White House Map Room (the intelligence and communications center) and served as Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President, Clark Clifford. In 1949, he became an Administrative Assistant to the President. Elsey's duties at the White House included writing speeches for the President. He worked on such major addresses as the 1947 State of the Union address and the Truman Doctrine speech of March 12, 1947. He also served as a speechwriter during the 1948 "Whistle-stop" campaign.

The Elsey Files are a part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers. Elsey did not take the material in these files with him at the conclusion of his government service. Instead, this material was shipped to Kansas City in 1953 as part of Mr. Truman's presidential papers. Truman subsequently donated his papers to the United States government. The collection is less than one-half of one linear foot (approximately 900 pages) in volume, arranged alphabetically by folder title in one series, a Subject File.

Most of the material in the Elsey Files relates to President Truman's speeches and relations with Congress from 1945 to 1949. Included are copies of speeches delivered by the President from April 1945 to December 1948, mostly in the form of press releases; copies of messages from the President to Congress on the budget and other matters; a list of reports, treaties, protocols, and conventions sent to Congress; and a list of the personal appearances the President made before Congress from April 1945 to January 1949. Also included are summaries of legislation recommended by Truman and the status of his recommendations in Congress, as well as copies of statements or memoranda of disapproval issued by Truman when he signed or vetoed bills that had been passed by Congress.

Other materials at the Truman Library that relate to George Elsey and his years at the White House include the George Elsey Papers and Library oral history interviews conducted with Elsey (oral history collection # 128 and #398).

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1 Subject File, 1945-1949
Copies of Presidential messages and addresses; a list of Presidential addresses; copies of Presidential letters and messages to Congress on the budget and other matters; a list of appearances by Truman before Congress; a list of the reports, treaties, conventions, and protocols sent to Congress; summaries of legislation recommended by the President and the actions taken by Congress on those recommendations; copies of statements issued by the President upon signing legislation; and copies of memoranda of disapproval issued by the President upon vetoing legislation. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

  • Addresses of President Truman, April 16, 1945 - December 31, 1947
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Addresses of President Truman, January 7, 1948 - December 23, 1948
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Chronological List of Reports, Treaties, Protocols, and Conventions Submitted to Congress, 1945-49.
  • Personal Appearances of President Truman Before the Congress, 1945-49.
  • President Truman's Messages and Letters to Congress, 1945-49.
  • Status of Legislation Relating to Recommendations of the President (Prepared by the Bureau of the Budget), 1947-49.
  • Tabulation of Bills Approved or Disapproved by the President, 1945-49
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]