Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


James M. Pendergast Papers

Dates: 1918-1987.

President of the Jackson Democratic Club.

The Papers of James M. Pendergast consist of correspondence, newspaper articles, and other documents mostly concerning Pendergastís relationship with Harry S. Truman.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one-half of one linear foot (about 100 pages).
Access: Open, except for two documents that are closed at the request of the donors.
Copyright: No donation of copyright was received with this collection. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Marco A. Ibarra (2008) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

James M. ďJimĒ Pendergast was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He was the nephew of the famous Kansas City political boss, Thomas J. Pendergast. Jim and Harry S. Truman became close personal friends when they met as Army officers during World War I. After the war, Pendergast graduated from the Kansas City School of Law and became an attorney. He later succeeded his uncle as President of the Jackson Democratic Club. As a leader of the Pendergast organization, he helped launch Trumanís political career. Jim Pendergast died in Kansas City on March 28, 1966 at the age of seventy.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of James M. Pendergast mainly consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other items relating to Pendergastís friendship with Harry S. Truman.

Included in the collection are many letters from Truman to Pendergast, containing references to personal matters, government jobs, and Missouri politics. Also included are a few letters from Pendergast to his wife Kathleen regarding Trumanís 1934 Senate campaign. One letter from Pendergastís grandson to the historian David McCullough pertains to McCulloughís research into Trumanís life.

The newspaper articles in the collection mostly document the Truman-Pendergast relationship. Also included is the text of a televised speech delivered by Pendergast in 1956, with introductory remarks by Truman.

More information about Pendergast is available in the papers of Harry S. Truman (Papers as U.S. Senator and Vice President and Presidentís Personal Files 3232 and 5507).

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1 CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1918-1987
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other items relating to Pendergastís friendship with Harry S. Truman. Arranged chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • 1918-1934
  • 1941-1952
  • 1954-1987 and Undated

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