33rd President. Typed letter signed “Harry S. Truman”, 7×10, August 23, 1955, personal “Federal Reserve Bank Building / Kansas City 6, Missouri” stationery, to Francis Whitehair, his former Under Secretary of the Navy, in full:
Thank you for your good letter of the sixteenth.
I am familiar with the Florida situation, and I know exactly what resulted from our action the last time. Despite the fact that Florida has a United States Senator who votes with the Republicans all the time, I am just as sure as you are that is is a Democratic state.
I am glad you are taking the interest you are, and I am confident that Florida will be back where it belongs when the 1956 fuss is on.
The former President has crossed out the salutation and handwritten: “Francis:-“.
Accompanied by original mailing envelope.
Pencil notation at top, mailing folds.
Truman is certainly speaking of Florida Senator Spessard Holland, who had been re-elected in 1952. Although a Democrat, he was a member of the Conservative Coalition in Congress. Whitehair had run against Holland for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida in 1940.
Francis P. Whitehair (1900-1977) was a Florida lawyer and politician and is best remembered for serving as the Under Secretary of the Navy from August 7, 1951-January 29, 1953 during the Truman administration. He was a partner of Landis, Fish, Hull & Whitehair from 1926 and heavily involved in Florida Democratic Party machine politics ultimately running an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1940. During WWII, he served in the Navy Reserve and was made Attorney General of Samoa in 1943. In 1951 he was appointed as the Under Secretary of the Navy by Truman until he resigned when Eisenhower came to office.