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  4. Harry S. Truman Papers Staff Member and Office Files: Charles S. Murphy Files

Harry S. Truman Papers Staff Member and Office Files: Charles S. Murphy Files

Dates: 1945-1953

Administrative Assistant to the President, 1947-1950; Special Counsel to the President, 1950-1953

The files of Charles S. Murphy consist of correspondence, typed and handwritten drafts of speeches, drafts of legislation, itineraries, memoranda, newspaper clippings and press releases relating to Murphy’s position as Administrative Assistant and Special Counsel to the President. The files mostly consist of materials related to President Truman’s speeches from 1948-1952.

See also Charles S. Murphy oral history and Charles S. Murphy Papers finding aid.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: About 14 linear feet (approximately 28,000 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States government. Documents created by U. S. government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Philip D. Lagerquist (1956); Tammy Kelly, Randy Sowell and David Clark (2006).

The creation of this online resource was made possible in part by funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1909 (August 20)

 

Born, Wallace, North Carolina

1931

 

A.B., Duke University

1934

 

LL.B., Duke University

1934-1946

 

Worked for Office of Legislative Counsel, U.S. Senate

1947-1950

 

Administrative Assistant to the President

1950-1953

 

Special Counsel to the President

1953-1961

 

Worked for Morison, Murphy, Clapp & Abrams Law Firm

1957-1960

 

Counsel to Democratic National Advisory Council

1960-1965

 

Undersecretary of Agriculture

1965-1968

 

Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board

1968-1969

 

Counselor to the President

1969-1979

 

Worked for Morison, Murphy, Abrams & Haddock Law Firm

1969-1981

 

Board of Directors, Harry S. Truman Library Institute

1979-1983

 

Worked for Baker & Hostetler Law Firm

1983 (August 28)

 

Died, Anne Arundel County, Maryland

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Charles S. Murphy Files mostly relate to Murphy’s service as Administrative Assistant and Special Counsel to President Harry S. Truman from 1947-1953. In 1934, Murphy began twelve years of service in the Office of Legislative Counsel of the U. S. Senate during which time he assisted Senator Truman with drafting legislation. In 1947, Murphy joined the White House staff where he worked closely with Clark Clifford, Special Counsel to President Truman. As an administrative aide, Murphy was involved in drafting messages, speeches and legislation. When Clark Clifford retired in 1950, Murphy was promoted to Special Counsel to the President and became Truman’s chief speech writer.

The Murphy files are part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers, which Truman donated to the U.S. government through his will. The collection consists of two series: the Presidential Speech File and the Correspondence and General File.

The Presidential Speech File consists of correspondence, typed and handwritten drafts of speeches, itineraries, memoranda, newspaper clippings and press releases relating to speeches given by President Harry S. Truman. The documents relate to the annual State of the Union addresses, speeches from Truman’s 1948 Presidential campaign run, 1952 presidential campaign speeches when Truman was campaigning for Adlai Stevenson, messages to Congress, veto messages, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and Truman’s Farewell Address. Most of the 1948 presidential campaign speeches were provided by Bill Batt, the Research Director for the Democratic National Committee. Specific speech topics in the series include the death of President Roosevelt, NATO, the United Nations, foreign aid, the Japanese Peace Treaty, the Korean War, Jefferson-Jackson Day, Russia, inflation, the economy, Native Americans, monopolies, education, transportation, fiscal policy, states rights, the Tennessee Valley Authority, communism vs. democracy, and the 1952 steel strike. Although the earliest speech in the series is dated 1948, background material in the series dates from 1945.

The Correspondence and General File consists of correspondence, drafts of legislation, handwritten notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, press releases and drafts, reports, and speeches and speech drafts pertaining to Alaska, China, civil rights, corruption in the government, Eisenhower administration briefings, foreign trade, India, Korea, the Marshall Plan, Mexico, the Middle East, the Missouri River Basin Commission, the Mutual Security Program, the National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy, natural resources, Point IV, the St. Lawrence Seaway, wages, loyalty and the 1952 Steel Strike.

More information about Murphy can be found at the Truman Library in the papers of Charles S. Murphy, the oral history interview of Charles S. Murphy, and the Papers of Harry S. Truman (President’s Secretary’s Files, Official File 1186, President’s Personal File 952 and the Post-Presidential Papers).

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

01-24

  PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH FILE, 1945-1953
Correspondence, typed and handwritten drafts of speeches, itineraries, memoranda, newspaper clippings and press releases pertaining to speeches by President Harry S. Truman. Arranged chronologically.

25-33

  CORRESPONDENCE AND GENERAL FILE, 1945-1953
Correspondence, drafts of legislation, handwritten notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, press releases and drafts, reports, and speeches and speech drafts pertaining to foreign and domestic policy during the Truman administration. Arranged alphabetically.
[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

FOLDER TITLE LIST

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH FILE, 1945-1953

Box 1

  • [January 7, ] 1948, State of the Union Message
  • February 23, 1948, Housing Message
  • April 14, 1948, Savings Bonds Speech
  • April 17, 1948, American Society of Newspaper Editors Speech
  • May 1, 1948, National Health Assembly Dinner Speech
  • May 6, 1948, National Conference on Family Life
  • May 14, 1948, Young Democrats Dinner
  • May 20, 1948, Girard College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • c. June 1948, Bill Batt’s Speech Material [for Whistlestops]
  • June 3-18, 1948, Pre-Campaign Trip
  • June 4, 1948, Fort Wayne, Indiana – Outline
  • June 5, 1948, Omaha, Nebraska
  • June 12, 1948, Berkeley, California – Outline
  • June 12, 1948, Sacramento, California – Outline
  • June 14, 1948, Los Angeles, California – Outline
  • July 5, 1948, Bolivar, Missouri
  • July 15, 1948, Speech Accepting Presidential Nomination
  • July 27, 1948, Speech Opening Special Session of Congress [Includes Record of the Special Session of Congress]
  • September 5-7, 1948, Campaign Trip #1
  • September 6, 1948, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • September 6, 1948, Lansing, Michigan
  • September 6, 1948, Detroit, Michigan
  • September 6, 1948, Pontiac, Michigan – Outline
  • September 6, 1948, Flint, Michigan
  • c. September 1948, Campaign Speeches [From Bill Batt For Whistlestops]
  • September 17-October 2, 1948, Campaign Trip #2
  • September 18, 1948, Iowa City, Iowa

Box 2

  • September 18, 1948, Dexter, Iowa
  • September 20, 1948, Denver, Colorado
  • September 21, 1948, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • September 22, 1948, Sacramento, California
  • September 22, 1948, San Francisco, California
  • September 23, 1948, Los Angeles, California
  • September 24, 1948, Phoenix, Arizona
  • September 27, 1948, Bonham, Texas
  • September 28, 1948, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • September 30, 1948, Louisville, Kentucky
  • October 1, 1948, Charleston, West Virginia
  • c. October 1948, Bill Batt Outlines [for Whistlestops]
  • October 6-9, 1948, Campaign Trip #3

Box 3

  • October 6, 1948, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • October 7, 1948, Jersey City, New Jersey – Outl