Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman Fantastic White House Letter, “I was impressed with the moral code taught by the Lectures and the Bible. I always tried to live and act by this moral code.” His Views on the Bible, Terrific Masonic Content Too


Harry Truman Fantastic White House Letter, “I was impressed with the moral code taught by the Lectures and the Bible. I always tried to live and act by this moral code.” His Views on the Bible, Terrific Masonic Content Too


Immediately after becoming President, Harry S. Truman faced one of the most severe moral dilemmas that has confronted any president—whether to drop an atomic bomb on Japan.  In his diary on July 25, 1945, Truman wrote, “We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.” It is fascinating to see how Truman’s thought was informed by Biblical prophecy filtered through Masonic teachings even in his private musings on such an important decision. “Euphrates Valley Era” is a distinctively Masonic formulation of Biblical prophecy, not found in the King James Version of the Bible with which Truman was familiar.


HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, to Ray V. Denslow, January 5, 1953, Washington, D.C. On White House stationery; includes envelope. 2 pp., 7" x 8.875". Expected folds; very good with strong, clear signature.



“One day I was in the barnlot at home on the farm at Grandview discussing things with a cousin of my mother. I told him that I was interested in Masonry and hoped to become a Mason some day. This was in November 1908. A short time after, I received an application for membership in the Belton Lodge 450 AF & AM of Missouri. I signed it and was elected for initiation, which happened on February 9, 1909. I studied faithfully and was given the 3rd Degree on March 9, 1909.”


“When I returned from overseas after World War II [sic—World War I] I took an active interest in Masonic affairs in the whole county. When the District Deputy died I was appointed to the place in 1924.”


“In 1930 William R. Gentry was elected Grand Master of Masons of Missouri. He appointed me to the Grand Lodge line and in 1940 I was elected Grand Master of Masons of the Grand Lodge of Missouri.”


“In the study of the Masonic Lectures and the reading of the Biblical references I was impressed with the moral code taught by the Lectures and the Bible. I always tried to live and act by this moral code.”


Historical Background

Harry S. Truman was raised as a Baptist. In 1890, he attended Sunday school at a Presbyterian Church, where he met his future wife Bess Wallace. They married in an Episcopal Church in Independence, Missouri. For most of his life, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Grandview, Missouri. He avidly read the Bible, completing it twice before the age of 12. However, he was suspicious of evangelicals like Billy Graham, whom he thought was phony.


Truman found in the Bible what he believed to be the moral core of the American political system, and his Masonic studies also reinforced his familiarity with the Bible. In 1939, Truman wrote to the man who later succeeded him as U.S. Senator from Missouri when Truman became Vice President, “Freemasonry is a system of morals which makes it easier to live with your fellow man, whether he understands it or not.” On October 19, 1945, Truman was given the 33rd degree of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the southern jurisdiction. He is the only U.S. President to have received this distinction, which he considered to be the culmination of his Masonic career. Although a total of fourteen Presidents have been Freemasons, in 1959, Truman became the only President to receive a fifty-year award for a half century in Freemasonry.



Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), Thirty-third President of the United States. A Missouri native, Truman first won elective office in 1922, winning a judge’s seat on the Jackson County Court.  After serving several terms, Truman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1934, and in 1940 gained national attention for his chairmanship of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, which was eventually nicknamed “The Truman Committee.” Truman continued his political rise in 1944, when he was elected Vice-President as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s running mate. After only 82 days as Vice President, Truman was thrust into the Presidency when Roosevelt died unexpectedly. His inheritance was a world at war. Germany had surrendered, but Japan refused to give up the war. Truman, in a desperate move to avoid having to invade the Japanese mainland, ordered the deployment of two atomic bombs. They were dropped on August 6 and August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945. As President, Truman waged an undeclared war on the Soviet Union, drafting the “Truman Doctrine,” which proclaimed the United States’ willingness to provide aid to countries resisting communism. The Marshall Plan sought to strengthen the European economy in the hopes that this program, too, would prevent the spread of Soviet influence. Elected President for a full term in 1948, he also brought United States troops into the Korean War (1950-1953). In addition to his cold war activities, Truman’s administration expanded the New Deal and promoted Civil Rights initiatives.


Ray Denslow (1885-1960) was co-publisher with his father of the Trenton Daily News in Trenton, Missouri. In 1921, he left that business to become Postmaster of Trenton. He devoted the remainder of his life to Masonic work, serving as Grand Master of the State of Missouri in 1931. He helped establish communications between Grand Lodges all over the world and especially helped to reactivate Grand Lodges after World War II. While General Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons in 1942, Denslow created The Royal Arch Magazine, which he edited until 1946, when his son became business manager.



This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.



Item: 66634

Price: $5,500.00
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Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
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