Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Sawyer, Charles, 1887-1979; Landry, Robert B. (Robert Broussard), 1909-2000; Dennison, Robert L. (Robert Lee), 1901-1980; Tobin, Maurice J., 1901-1953; Vaughan, Harry H., 1893-1981; King, Ernest Joseph, 1878-1956; Vardaman, James K. (James Kimble), 1894-1
Presidential advisors; Cabinet officers; White House staff; Legislators; Presidential campaign, 1948; Judges

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, Not dated. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Secretaries of State

Edward R. Stettinius

James F. Byrnes

George C. Marshall

Dean Acheson

Secretaries of the Treasury

Henry Morgenthau

Fred M. Vinson

John W. Snyder

Secretaries of War

Henry L. Stinason

Robert P Patterson

Secretary of the Navy

James Forestal

Secretaries of Defense

James Forestal

Louis Johnson

George C. Marshall

Secretaries of Defense

Robert Lovett

Attorneys General

Francis Biddle

Tom Clark

Howard McGrath

James P. McGranery

Postmasters General

Frank Walker

Robert E. Hannegan

Jesse M. Donaldson

Secretaries of the Interior

Harold F. Ickes

Julius Krug

Oscar Chapman

Secretaries of Agriculture

Claude Wickard

Clinton P. Anderson

Secretaries of Agriculture

Charles F. Brannan

Secretaries of Commerce

Harry Hopkins

Averell Harriman

Charles Sawyer

Secretaries of Labor

Miss Perkins

Louis Schwellenbach

Maurice Tobin

Assistants to the President

Fred M. Vinson

John W. Snyder

John R. Steelman

Averell Harriman

Councilors to the President

Samuel I. Roseaman

Clark Clifford

Councilors to the President

Charles E. Murphy

Appointment Secretaries

Matthew Connelly

Press Secretaries

Jonathan Daniels

Charles G. Ross

Joseph Short

Correspondence Secretary

William E. Hassett

Executive Assistants

George Schoenaman

Raymond R. Zimmerman

Edward McKim

Stephen Springarn

David Stowe

David Bell

David Lloyd

State Dept.

Edward R. Stettinius Inherited from F.D.R. Became our representative to the United Nations, the highest post on the protocol list next to the Secretary of State died in office. Did not meet him until I became President.

James F. Byrnes. Appointed Sec. of State when Stettimins went to the United Nations. He was the Senator from South Carolina when I was in the Senate. Roosevelt appointed him to State Supreme Court, took him off the Court and made him Assistant to the President.

George C. Marshall. Appointed to succeed Sec. Byrnes in Feb. 1947 as Sec. of State. Was Chief of Staff for Roosevelt all during the World War II was Chief of Staff for me until he retired. Special Envoy to China 1946. The ablest man in World War II.

Dean Acheson. Asst. Secretary of the Treasury, Under Secretary of State. Appointed Sec. of State to succeed Gen. Marshall. Negotiated Atlantic Treaty, Austrian Treaty and the Treaty with Japan, the Pacific agreement with Australia & New Zealand. Is a great Secretary of State.


Henry Morgenthau, was Roosevelt's Sec. of the Treas.

Fred M. Vinson, head of Defense Mobilization, former Member of Congress from Ky., Judge Court of appeals. Appointed by me to Supreme Court.

Made a great Sec. of the Treasury.

John W. Snyder succeeded Vinson. He had been head of the R.F.C. in St. Louis, appointed by Jesse Jones because of his efficient handling of bank receiverships over the State.

Mr. Jones brought him to Washington and made him head of the Defense Plants Corporation. He was responsible for the construction of twenty billion dollars of defense plants. When Vinson went to Treasury Snyder was his logical successor and when Vinson became Chief Snyder was the proper man to be Secretary of the Treasury. He has been able, efficient and right in his handling of the money matters of the government.

War, Navy & Defense

Mr. Patterson was Sec. of War. Mr. Forestal of Navy. After hostilities ceased I asked all field commanders and the Sec. of War and Navy to give me their ideas on unified command. I had reports from Gen. Marshall, Gen. Eisenhower, Gen. MacArthur, Adm. King, Adm. Nimitz, Adm. Halsey, Adm. Sherman and many other field commanders.

Conferences were held in the Cabinet room time after time Mr. Clifford, Mr. Murphy and the Defense heads were called in. Finally a compromise bill was passed. Mr. Vinson, the Chairman of the House Committee for Defense and Mr. Russell, the Chairman of the Senate committee worked out a compromise. It was not what I wanted or what we should have had.

I made Mr. Forestal Sec. of Defense. He broke down under the strain, jumped out of a window at Bethesda and I appointed Louis Johnson Sec. of Defense. He began to run for President the day I appointed him. He had no idea of his responsibility so I had to ask him to quit. Robert Lovett was appointed in his place. Mr. Lovett had long experience in State, Defense and in Germany. He has been 100% in his present position. I was not acquainted with him until he became Secretary of Defense. So-he's no crony of mine!

Attorney General

Mr. Biddle was Mr. Roosevelt's Attorney General when I took over. An able, honest and efficient public servant. He resigned shortly after I took over and I appointed Tom Clark to the post. I was not acquainted with Mr. Clark except in a superficial manner. He did an excellent job as Atty. Gen. When a vacancy came on the Supreme Court I appointed him to it and made Howard McGrath Attorney General. Mr. McGrath had been Governor of Rhode Island, Solicitor General, Senator from Rhode Island and Chairman of the National Democratic Committee. When things became bad in Justice I had to ask for his resignation. It was hard to do.

I then appointed a Pennsylvania Federal Judge, James McGranery as Attorney General. He was doing an excellent job.

Post Master General

I appointed Robt. Hannegan when my good friend Frank Walker resigned because of ill health. Hannegan was Chairman of the National Democratic Committee. When Hannegan quit because of ill health and finally died I appointed a real career man to be Postmaster General, Hon. Jesse Donaldson. He came all the way up from rural carrier to P.M.G. He is the best we've had. He and I have reorganized the Post Office Dept.

Secretary of the Interior

Harold Ickes was Mr. Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior. I was well acquainted with him and was very fond of him. But he quit in a huff when I wanted to carry out a directive to me by the President-Franklin Roosevelt to appoint Ed Pauley Asst. Secretary of the Navy! Pauley had made a record on the Reparations Commission. He was the only man who had been behind the iron curtain in Poland, Korea and Russia. Old man Ickes didn't like Pauley. He had no use for Harry Hopkins and as he said himself he was an old curmudgeon.

When the campaign of 1948 was over Ickes came back into the fold! After 1948 I made Oscar Secretary of the Interior.

When Ickes quit I had called Mr. Justice Douglas, Yra O., to the White House and offered him the Secretary of Interior Job. He hesitated and said No. At Philadelphia in 1948 I offered him the Vice Presidential nomination and he did not answer! If he'd been willing to take a chance and fight with his friends he could have been President!


Mr. Wickard was Sec. of Agriculture when I took over. I did not know him.

One morning I asked Clinton Anderson to come to the White House for breakfast. He came and I told him that I wanted to appointed him to the office of Secretary of Agriculture. He was pleased and complimented. I appointed him.

When the going became rough in 1948 Clint came to see me. He said that New Mexico wanted a Democratic Senator. He said that New Mexico Democrats wanted him to run against Pat Hurley. I told him to do as he thought best. He ran against Hurley and won-so did I!!

I appointed Charlie Brannon Secretary of Agriculture. He is the best one we've had since I've been in Washington. He is a career man.


Harry Hopkins: Not Secretary of Commerce when I became President. He was an able and efficient public servant. I sent him to Moscow. When he died I made Averell Harriman Sec. of Commerce. Averell had been Ambassador to Russia and was Ambassador to Great Britain when he was appointed Sec. of Commerce. I called him in London and asked him to take the position. He did it and was a great Secretary.

When I made him Ambassador at large in charge of the Marshall Plan Charles Sawyer was made Secretary of Commerce. He is the top in that position.


My first meeting with him was in 1944 when he was the State Chairman of the Dom. Committee in Ohio. My second meeting with him was at Antwerp when I went to Potsdam. Sawyer was the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. He has been tops as Secretary of Commerce.


Claud Wichard was Secretary of Agriculture when I became President. When I appointed Clinton Anderson Wichard became head of Rural Electrification. Has been ever since and a good administrator.

When Mr. Anderson quit to run for the Senate in New Mexico I appointed Charlie Brannon Secretary of Agriculture. He is the best one we've had since I've been in Washington-and he is a career man.


Mrs. Perkins was Secretary of Labor when I took over after the death of President Roosevelt. She is a grand person. She gave me my first Federal Appointment as Employment Director for Missouri.

When she resigned I appointed Lou Snellenbach as Sec. of Labor. He was a Federal Judge in the great state of Washington. He died in office and I asked Maurice Tobin of Massa. to take the place. He took it when everyone thought I'd be out in November 1948. I won and Mr. Tobin has been Sec. of Labor ever since.


Press Secretary

Charles G. Ross

He and I went to school together. He became head of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. I made him my Press Secretary. He was a good one.

When he passed on as a result of a heart attack I asked Jos Short to take his place. There never was a more loyal and efficient man than Joe. He was on the staff of the Baltimore Sun and he was not a "Cronie".

Appointment Secretary

Matthew Connelly came to the White House with me. There was never an abler or more efficient secretary!

Correspondence Secretary

I inherited William Hassett from Roosevelt. He is the best there is.

Legal Council

Same Roseaman was Mr. Roosevelt's advisor and legal council. He is able and efficient. I consult him all the time.

Clark Clifford, Mr. Roseaman's Assistant. When Sam quit Clark took his place. Clark was a Naval Officer and as efficient as they come.

I had asked Charles Murphy who had been the legislative advisor to the Senate to come to the White House as an advisor. After Sam Roseaman left, Murphy became Clifford's assistant. When Clifford quit Murphy became the councilor to the President and has been ever since.

Assistant to the President

When I came to the White House Fred Vinson was the Assistant to the President. When I made him Sec. of the Treasury, John Snyder succeeded him. When Mr. Snyder was appointed Secretary of the Treasury I appointed John Steelman, Asst. to the President.

Dr. Steelman is tops. He understands every part of the government. He is a career man.

Press Secretary

When I came to the White House as President, Jonathan Daniels was Press Secretary to Roosevelt. He was a good Secretary.

I asked Charles G. Ross to be my Press Secretary. He was with the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I called old man Pulitzer and asked him to let Charlie Rose work for me as press Secretary. He agreed.

When Charlie passed out in his office. I sent for Joe Short and asked him to be my Press Secretary. Joe said that he had talked the situation over with Mrs. Short and that he would do whatever the President wanted. He is a great Press Secretary.

Assistant to the President

Dr. John Steelman is an able efficient public servant. I did not know him until he succeeded John Snyder! No one has had a more efficient helper.

Appointment Secretary

Matthew Connelly is in a class by himself. There never was a better man in his position! He knows how to meet people, how to say yes and most important how to say no.

The President's Legal Advisor

Sam Roseaman was Roosevelt's legal advisor. Sam had Clark Clifford as his assistant. When Sam left the service, Clark took his place. I had asked Charlie Murphy to come to the White House from the Senate. Mr. Murphy had been the Legislative Councilor to the Senate. When Mr. Clifford quit the service Mr. Murphy succeeded him.

Executive Assts.

Mr. Dawson came from the R.F.C. to be my personal officer. He is a most efficient one.

Mr. David Stone came to me from the Budget Bureau. He is able and efficient.

David Bell and David Lloyd also came to me from the Budget Bureau. Both able men.

My Military Aide, Harry H. Vaughan, I've known for thirty five years. His military record is beyond comparison. He was a private, sergeant, Captain in the 130th F.A. in World War I. He was a Major, Lt. Colonel in World War II, served as Chief of the Military Police in Australia.

I made him Aide to the Vice President and Military Aide to the President. He has been slandered and misrepresented by Pearson and the sabotage press but he's able and efficient and I'm satisfied with him.

Admiral Brown was Naval Aide to President Roosevelt. When Ler retired I sent for Captain J.K. Vardaman. He was on Okinawa, had landed in North Africa on the first landing. Fought back and gave me the first American flag raided in Africa after the landing. He was wounded and cited!

Naval Aide

He was promoted to Commodore and began to run the whole White House. He had been the President of a Bank in St. Louis after running R.F.C. in that city when Snyder came to Washington. I appointed him to the Federal Reserve Board. A bitter fight was made on him in the Senate but he was finally confirmed. The Senate fight soured him and he has not been friendly since.

Adm. Robt. L. Denison was in command of the Battleship Missouri on our return from Brazil. He impressed me as a man of brains and ability. He is just that. Career man.

Aide for the Air Force

Major General L, Robt. Landry. An able, efficient and loyal Officer. Career man.

I have had four Secretaries of State over the seven year and nine month period I've been President. There has been but one policy, support of the United Nations and pursuit of World Peace.

I have had three Secretaries of the Treasury. Proper debt management and financing of the government has been the continuing policy.

I had two Secretaries of War, Mr. Stimson and Mr. Paterson, one Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Forestal and four Secretaries of Defense, Forestal, Johnson, Marshall & Lovett.

I've had four Attorneys General. Mr. Biddle, Mr. Clark, Mr. McGrath and Mr. McGranery.

There have been three Postmasters General, Mr. Walker, Mr. Hannegan, Mr. Donaldson.

There have been three Secretaries of the Interior, Mr. Ickes, Captain Krug, Mr. Chapman.

Three Secretaries of Agriculture, Mr. Wickard, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Brannon.

Three Secretaries of Commerce, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Harriman and Mr. Sawyer.

Three Secretaries of Labor Miss Perkins, Mr. Schwellenbach, and Mr. Tobin.

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