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    "Let Porter go to hell"

    Harry Truman Typed Letter Signed as U.S. Senator from Missouri. One page, 8" x 10.5", August 10, 1937, Washington, D.C., on "United States Senate/ Committee on Interstate Commerce" letterhead, to William M. Kirby of Kansas City, Missouri. As a colonel in the Army Reserves, Harry Truman had commanded Captain William M. Kirby, who eventually became manager of the Missouri Employment Division. In this letter containing the names of several acquaintances from Missouri, Truman, a first-term senator, writes Kirby in part: "You can expect Jess Rogers to get up on his high horse and show how important he is. He owes his appointment to our political friends just the same as you would have if you had been a member of the Commission. I think you are mistaken about Frank Monroe. He wrote me about the matter when it happened and said that Porter did not have any sense or judgement [sic] but he thought it would work out all right. I wrote Lloyd [Lloyd C. Stark, governor from 1937-1941 and a rival of Truman] and told him to do what was right to let Porter go to hell." In 1937, Paul A. Porter (from Joplin) resigned from his position under Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, to work at the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), a decision with which Truman, known for his quick temper and ability to curse, did not agree.

    During his first term as U.S. Senator, Harry Truman desired a seat on the military affairs committee, but settled for one on the Interstate Commerce Committee (now known as the Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation). Later in January 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a chance-of-a-lifetime offer to his future vice president to sit on the Interstate Commerce Commission, to which Truman said to tell the president to go to hell (Robert H. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman; University of Missouri Press: 1994). On toned paper with smoothed folds; fine.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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