33rd President. Awesome oversized photo signed “Harry S. Truman” AS PRESIDENT, to his Under Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Whitehair, in full:
To Francis Whitehair with best wishes and a reminder that, in 1808 Chief Whitehair of the Osage Nation traded five million acres of the richest Kansas and Missouri land for the privilege of buying Whiskey at Major Sibley’s Fort in Jackson County, Mo.!”
Attached just above the inscription is an additional note signed by Truman:
“Chief! Don’t you trade off any carriers without telling me about it! H.S.T”
The photo and additional note are presented framed to an overall size of 15.5×15.5
Accompanied by a photocopied letter from Truman to W.L. Mox of the Chicago Sun Times, February 7, 1950, in which Truman further elaborates on the referenced event:
“…I also appreciated what you had to say about Francis P. Whitehair. He is no doubt a descendant of the old Osage Chief who signed a Treaty with Major Sibley in 1808 in Eastern Jackson County. Sibley made a deal with Whitehair for free trade between the Osage River and Kaw River in their respective areas, a tract of land about the size of the State of Kansas, in return for the privilege of Whitehair and his tribes buying whiskey in Sibley’s store. That deed is on record in Independence and a most interested document…”
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.