Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


John R. Clagett Papers

Dates: 1927-1985.

Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, 1932-1984; Member, War Crimes Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1944-1946.

This collection contains biographical information, correspondence, scrapbooks, speeches, and other items pertaining to John R. Clagett and his involvement in the prosecution of war crimes after World War II.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 10 linear inches (about 1,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: The donor gave to the U.S. Government all her copyrights in these papers. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyrights in other documents in this collection presumably belong to the creators of those documents, or to their heirs.
Processed by: Stephanie M. Seim (2011).


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


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

John Robertson Clagett was born in Sedalia, Missouri in 1908. He graduated from Washington University Law School and began his career as a lawyer in Kansas City in 1932. In 1938, he joined the law firm of McVey and Clagett. During World War II, Clagett served in the U.S. Army. From November 1944 to March 1946, he was a member of the War Crimes Division in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He conducted interrogations, collected evidence, and helped prepare cases for prosecution at the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg. Clagett left the Army with the rank of Captain and resumed his career as a private attorney. In 1984, he retired from practice as a senior partner in the firm of Lathrop, Koontz, Righter, Clagett, Parker, and Norquist. Clagett died in 1985.

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


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of John R. Clagett include letters, memorandums, scrapbooks, speeches, and other items mostly pertaining to Clagett's military service with the War Crimes Division during and after World War II, and his involvement in Kansas City politics during the 1930s and 1940s.

Most of the letters in the collection are from Clagett to his wife, written while he was on duty in Europe from 1945 to 1946. The memorandums mostly relate to Clagett's work in the War Crimes Division during the same period.

Four scrapbooks in the collection cover the years from 1933 to 1974. They contain newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, and memorabilia. Most of the clippings are from Kansas City newspapers and relate to political corruption in the city during the reign of "Boss Tom" Pendergast and his machine. Clagett's involvement in the National Youth Movement and its efforts to reform Kansas City government is also reflected in many of his speeches. After the 1940s, most of clippings pertain to Clagett's family and legal career.

The collection also contains biographical information about Clagett, his personnel records from the Army, and various documents concerning the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg, including transcripts of interrogations conducted by Clagett.

More information about war crimes trials can be found at Truman Library in the papers of John C. Young, Katherine Fite Lincoln, Eleanor Bontecou, and Alvin J. Rockwell.

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


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-2SUBJECT FILE, 1927-1985
Correspondence, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, speeches, biographical information, and other items. Arranged alphabetically.

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


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Biographical
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Nuremberg Trial
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Personnel
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Printed Materials
  • Scrapbook, 1933-1935
      [1 of 2]
Box 2
      [2 of 2]
  • Scrapbook, 1935-1940
  • Scrapbook, 1938-1939
  • Scrapbook, 1944-1974
  • Speeches
  • War Crimes Office
  • War Ration Book

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