One evening in 1955, Harry Truman came home to find Bess burning her letters to him. “What are you doing? Think of history,” he said. “Oh, I have,” she said and tossed in another stack.
Bess Truman thought her business was hers and nobody else’s, so she destroyed her half of the more than 2,600 letters she and Harry exchanged during their courtship and marriage. While making an inventory of the Truman home in the 1980s, archivists discovered 184 letters Bess had missed. Her grandson Clifton Truman Daniel shares them here, along with portions of Harry’s responses, family photographs, and stories. These letters provide new insight into the life and personalities of Bess and Harry Truman during the formative years of his political life. Despite Bess’s shy and self-effacing manner, her lively correspondence offers a glimpse of a caring and witty woman who shared her concerns about family, politics, and day-to-day activities with her husband.
About the Author
Clifton Truman Daniel is the oldest grandson of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman and son of the late E. Clifton Daniel Jr., former managing editor of the New York Times, and best-selling mystery writer Margaret Truman. Mr. Daniel is director of public relations for Harry S. Truman College and is the honorary chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute in Independence, Missouri. He is a frequent speaker and fundraiser and the author of Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman.
Published by Truman State University Press, paperback, 2012. 296 pages. 50 illustrations.