Lot 38 of 563:
Archive of Documents Pertaining to the Matthew J. Connelly Prosecution.  

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Maximum Bid

$1,000 - $2,000


Description: Archive of Documents Pertaining to the Matthew J. Connelly Prosecution. 1950s. Carton with documents approximately 6 inches thick, possibly thousands of pages pertaining to the prosecution of Matthew J. Connelly, including an unbound scrapbook with dozens of newspaper clippings, mostly in folders identified by year (1955/1960). Other documents include a group of letters and other original legal correspondence from his attorneys, Jacob and John Lashly, the civil rights attorneys from St. Louis, together with various motions, pleadings, briefs, many of them printed and bound. Some of these include a 176-page Appellate Brief, with separate appendixes, a second Appellate Brief, a Reply Brief, a Petition for Rehearing, all filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals. United States Supreme Court documents include a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, a Reply Brief, a Petition for Writ of Certiorari by co-defendant LaMar Caudle, and a Brief for the United States in Opposition. Present are a Sworn Statement by Harry Schwimmer, the attorney for Irving Sachs, the alleged co-conspirator, a Petition for Probation, Petition for Rehearing, various memoranda, Exhibits, Briefs, Income Tax Records and many others. The application for clemency is also included in this archive. Up to 9 x 13 ½”. Good. Matthew J. Connelly, President Truman’s Appointments Secretary, in a politically motivated prosecution, was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States government on December 1, 1955. It was alleged that he and others, in 1949, had attempted to interfere in a tax evasion charge against Irving Sachs, a St. Louis businessman. Mr. Connelly was alleged to have received an oil lease with a value of under $4,000, for which he paid $850.00. After a lengthy delays the matter went to trial, the defendants were convicted, and as the trial judge was entertaining a Motion to Set Aside the Jury Verdict he was found shot to death. The defense argued that the Judge was about to rule in the Defendants’ favor, when, due to the burdens placed upon him by the trial, he committed suicide. The U.S. Court of Appeals then denied a Motion for New Trial and assigned a new judge to sentence the Defendants rather than granting a Motion for New Trial. Mr. Connelly was sentenced to two years in prison. Throughout this prosecution, sentencing, appeals process and for years thereafter, former President Harry S. Truman stood by Mr. Connelly, and called his conduct “above reproach.” In 1959, Mr. Truman was the headline speaker at a fund raising dinner that was held to honor Mr. Connelly, and which raised $150,000.00 to cover some of his legal expenses. The case wound its way through the Federal Courts ending before the U. S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear Connelly’s Appeal. By that time, over ten years after the occurrence of the alleged criminal act, Mr. Connelly began to serve his two year term of imprisonment. He was released after serving six months. In 1962, in his Petition for Executive Clemency, Mr. Connelly states: “A full and unconditional pardon at this time can never erase or remove the suffering which I and my family encountered during the five terrible years of my trial and appeals, and for the ignominy which I suffered while in commitment. But such a pardon would at least help remove the additional burden which I find myself presently laboring under and which has made the pursuit of my career so difficult.”

Categories: Manuscripts, Books and Archives


Terms and Conditions


The lots listed in this catalogue (whether printed or posted online) will be offered at public auction by Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc., as agent for consignor(s) subject to the following terms and conditions. By bidding at auction you agree to be bound by these Conditions of Sale.


Please examine lots. Prospective buyers are strongly advised to "in person" or by personally retained Agent, examine any property in which they are interested before the auction takes place. Condition reports may be provided if requested in a timely manner.

Condition of lots, Warranties and Representations - All lots are sold "AS IS" and without recourse, and neither Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. nor its consignor(s) makes any warranties or representations, express or implied with respect to such lots. Neither Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. nor its consignor(s) makes any express or implied warranty or representation of any kind or nature with respect to merchantability, fitness for purpose, correctness of the catalogue or other description of the physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, medium, material, genuineness, attribution, provenance, period, source, origin, completeness, historical significance of any lot sold. The absence of any reference to the condition of a lot does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. No statement, whether written or oral, and whether made in the catalogue, or in supplements to the catalogue, an advertisement, a bill of sale, a posting or announcement, the remarks of an auctioneer, or otherwise, shall be deemed to create any warranty, representation or assumption of liability. Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. and its consignor(s) make no warranty or representation, express or implied, that the purchaser will acquire any copyright or reproduction rights to any lot sold.


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Absentee Bids - Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. will use reasonable efforts to carry out written bids given to us prior to the sale for the convenience of clients who are not present at the auction in person. Bids must be placed in U.S. dollars. If we receive written bids on a particular lot for identical amounts, and these are the highest bids on the lot at the auction, it will be sold to the person whose written bid was received and accepted first. Execution of written bids is a free service undertaken subject to other commitments at the time of the sale and Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. does not not accept liability for failing to execute a written bid or for errors and omissions in connection with such written bid(s).

Telephone Bids - If a prospective buyer makes arrangements with us prior to the commencement of the sale we will use reasonable efforts to contact said prospective buyer to enable them to participate in the bidding by telephone and we do not accept liability for failure to do so or for errors and omissions in connection with telephone bidding.

Online Bids - We will use reasonable efforts to carry out online bids and do not accept liability for equipment failure, inability to access the internet or software malfunctions related to the execution of online bids. To avoid the possibility of any error in entering or acceptance of an online bid, it is recommended that you bid directly with Potter and Potter auctions either by way of in person, absentee or telephone bidding.

Reserves - Although the majority of the lots in the sale are offered without reserve, some lots in the sale may be subject to a reserve which is the confidential minimum price below which such lot will not be sold. The reserve will not exceed the low estimate of the lot. Reserves are agreed upon with consignors or, in the absence thereof, the absolute discretion of Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. The auctioneer may open the bidding on any lot below the reserve by placing a bid on behalf of the seller. The auctioneer may continue to bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve, either by placing consecutive bids or by placing bids in response to other bidders. With respect to lots that are offered without reserve, unless there are already competing bids, the auctioneer, in his or her discretion, will generally open the bidding at half of the low estimate for the lot. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer may proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized, and then continue up from that amount.

Auctioneer's Discretion - The auctioneer has the right at his or her absolute and sole discretion to refuse any bid, to advance the bidding in such a manner as he or she may decide, to withdraw any lot, and in the case of error or dispute, and whether during or after the sale, to determine the successful bidder, to continue the bidding, to cancel the sale or to reoffer and resell the item in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, our sale record is conclusive.

Successful Bid - The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer will be the purchaser. In the case of a tie bid, the winning bidder will determined by the auctioneer at his or her sole discretion. In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer has final discretion to determine the successful bidder or to re-offer the lot in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, the Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. sale record shall be conclusive. Title passes upon the fall of the auctioneer's hammer to the highest acknowledged bidder subject to the Conditions of Sale set forth herein, and the bidder assumes full risk and responsibility.


Buyer's Premium - In addition to the hammer price, the online buyer agrees to pay Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. a buyer's premium of 23%, and the applicable sales tax added to the final total. BIDDERS THAT SUCCESSFULLY BID DIRECTLY WITH POTTER AUCTIONS, THROUGH IN PERSON, ABSENTEE OR TELEPHONE BIDS, SHALL also be subject to a 20% buyer's premium.

Payment - The buyer must pay the entire amount due (including the hammer price, buyer's premium, all applicable taxes and other charges) no later than 5 p.m. on the seventh (7) business day following the sale. Payment in U.S. dollars may be made with cash; bank check or cashier's check drawn on a U.S. bank; money order; or wire transfer unless other arrangements are made with Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. reserves the right to hold merchandise purchased by personal check until the check has cleared the bank. The purchaser agrees to pay Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. a handling charge of $50 for any check dishonored by Bank.

Due to credit card processing charges, In the event buyer desires to pay by using a credit card, a convenience fee equaling 2.5 % of the entire amount due shall be added to the buyer's invoice. 'We encourage you to pay by sending us a check or wire transfer to avoid the credit card convenience fee. Potter and Potter will consider payment through Paypal only for domestic orders, owing to the extremely high service charges for international transactions.

Non-Payment - If we do not receive payment in full, in good cleared funds, within seven (7) business days following the sale, we are entitled in our absolute discretion to exercise one or more of the following measures, in addition to any additional actions available to us by law: (1) to impose a late charge of one and a half percent (1.5%) per thirty (30) days of the total purchase price, prorated to commence on the date of the sale; (2) to hold the defaulting buyer liable for the total amount due and to begin legal proceedings for its recovery together with interest, legal fees and costs to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law; (3) to rescind the sale; (4) to resell the property publicly or privately with such terms as we find appropriate; (5) to resell the property at public auction without reserve, and with the purchaser liable for any deficiency, cost, including handling charges, the expenses of both sales, our commission on both sales at our regular rate, all other charges due hereunder and incidental damages. In addition, a defaulting purchaser will be deemed to have granted us a security interest in, and we may retain as collateral security for such purchaser's obligations to us, any property in our possession owned by such purchaser. At our option, payment will not be deemed to have been made in full until we have collected funds represented by checks, or in the case of bank or cashier's checks, we have confirmed their authenticity; (6) to offset against any amount owed; (7) to not allow any bids at any upcoming auction by or on behalf of the buyer; (8)to take other action as we find necessary or appropriate.


Condition Reports - Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. is not responsible for the correctness of any statement of any kind concerning any lot, whether written or oral, nor for any other errors or omissions in description or for any faults or defects in any lot. Neither the seller, ourselves, our officers, employees or agents, give any representation, warranty or guarantee or assume any liability of any kind in respect of any lot with regard to merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, description, size, quality, completeness, condition, attribution, authenticity, rarity, importance, medium, provenance, prior ownership history, or historical relevance. Except as required by local law any warranty of any kind whatsoever is excluded by this paragraph.

Purchased Lots - If for any reason a purchased lot cannot be delivered in the same condition as at the time of sale, or should any purchased lot be stolen, mis-delivered or lost prior to delivery, Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc. shall not be liable for any amount in excess of that paid by the purchaser.

Legal Ramifications - The rights and obligations of the parties with respect to these Conditions of Sale, the conduct of the auction and any matters connected with any of the foregoing shall be governed and interpreted by the laws of the jurisdiction in Illinois. If any part of these Conditions of Sale is found by any court to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that part shall be discounted and the rest of the conditions shall continue to be valid to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Discretion - Any and all of the conditions may be waived or modified in the sole discretion of Potter and Potter Auctions, Inc.

Please note: Posters are graded on a letter system, A - C, and are linen backed unless otherwise noted.