A LETTER OF PRAISE FOR HIS SOLICITOR GENERAL,
WHO WOULD LATER SERVE AS HIS ATTORNEY GENERAL
HARRY S. TRUMAN. Typed Letter Signed as President to J. Howard McGrath, Washington [DC], 25 September 1946. 1 page, 7" x 9", on White House stationery.
A letter of fine content and association from Harry Truman, who had become President in April 1945 upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt. He writes here to J. Howard McGrath, a leading Democratic politician who played an important role in Truman’s administration and in his re-election to the Presidency in 1948. McGrath had been Governor of Rhode Island from 1941 to 1945 and was appointed U.S. Solicitor General by Truman in October 1945. He would go on to serve as a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island from 1947 to 1949 and as head of the Democratic National Committee in 1948, where he helped to secure Truman’s re-election. Truman named McGrath the U.S. Attorney General in August 1949, a position he held until April 1952 when a controversy over the handling of an investigation into corruption in the Justice Department forced Truman to ask for McGrath’s resignation.
At this date, McGrath had just submitted his resignation as Solicitor General in order to run for a Senate seat, and this is Truman’s letter of reply. “I have your letter of resignation in which you advise me that you have been nominated as the Democratic candidate for United States Senator from Rhode Island,” the President notes. “It is with regret that I accept your resignation as Solicitor General of the United States....
“You have filled this position with honor and distinction and your conduct of the office has justified the admiration of your friends here and throughout the country,” Truman declares. “You brought to the great office of Solicitor General high integrity, vigor of intellect, wide knowledge of the law and a determination to serve the public interest. The superior character of your work entitles you to take rank among the most eminent of your predecessors and as the peer of your contemporaries in the legal profession. In tendering my thanks and appreciation for all that you have done I need hardly express the hope that you will be chosen by the citizens of your native state to represent them in the deliberations of the United States Senate.” He has signed, “Harry S. Truman.”
The letter has a date-received stamp in a blank area at the top right, but is otherwise in fine condition, with a strong, dark Truman signature. The original White House envelope is also present; this is soiled.
Presidential letters to such high-level Administration officials are uncommon. $2000.00
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