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Jeannette Rankin Papers

Jeannette Rankin Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Jeannette Rankin Papers
Creator: Rankin, Jeannette, 1880-1973
Inclusive Dates: 1910-2005
Bulk Dates: 1940-1980
Language(s): English
Extent: 13 box(es) (8.75 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/325
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States Congress and was noted for her campaigning for women's suffrage and pacifism. Her papers document her congressional and activist career and include correspondence, writings, and subject files.

Collection Description

Biographical/Historical note

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was a notable activist for peace and women's suffrage. She served two non-consecutive terms in Congress (1917-1919 and 1941-1943), where she voted against United States entry into World War I and later became the only member of Congress to oppose entry into World War II. During her first term, she was also instrumental in passing the Nineteenth Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote, in the House of Representatives.

Rankin was instrumental in humanitarian causes throughout her life, including women's suffrage and women's rights, working at Hull House for Jane Addams, and lobbied Congress for various pacifist organizations and worked for child labor laws. She helped form the Georgia Peace Society in 1935 with Lucy Stanton and 35 others. From 1943 to 1958, Rankin traveled extensively, studying the political and social systems of the countries she visited. Rankin played a growing role in the social movements of the 1960s and frequently spoke to classes and other groups at the University of Georgia. Beginning in 1968 and throughout the rest of her life Jeannette Rankin was a forceful, vigorous, and outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and organized several protests against it that gained national attention.

Jeannette Rankin was born June 11, 1880 in Missoula, Montana and received her education at the University of Montana, Columbia University, and the University of Washington. In 1925 she purchased land near Watkinsville, Georgia where she built a house to serve as a base for her work in the eastern part of the country. She died in Carmel, California on May 23, 1973.

Scope and Content

The Jeannette Rankin Papers document the political and activist career of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, who was known for her work for women's suffrage and pacifism. The papers include correspondence, her writings, articles and papers written about her, and subject files. Significant subjects include her opposition to World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War, and her support for abolishing the electoral college in favor of electing the President of the United States through popular vote.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, II. Writings, III. Biographical, IV. Subject Files.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jeannette Rankin Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2009 October 16.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Electoral college -- United States.
Pacifists -- United States
Peace movements -- United States.
Presidents -- Election
United States. Constitution. 19th Amendment
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements.
Women -- Suffrage -- United States.
Women and peace -- United States.
Women legislators -- United States.
Women legislators.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Protest movements
World War, 1939-1945 -- Protest movements.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


I. Correspondence , 1914-2001

The correspondence series includes letters from political figures, friends, and supporters, most dating from either the early 1940s or late 1960s and early 1970s. Subjects mentioned include World War II, the Vietnamese Conflict, the Peace Movement, and presidential election reform. There are also a few family letters, including some from Rankin written while she was traveling in the Middle and Far East during 1946 and 1947.

Subseries 1A: A. Chronological , 1942-1994

121941 February-November
131941 December 1-6
141941 December 8
151941 December 9
161941 December 10
171941 December 11
181941 December 12-14
191941 December 15-17
1101941 December 18-31
1111941 December
1121942 January
1131942 February-April
1141942 May-December
251967 January-April
261967 May 1-21
271967 May 22-31
281967 June
291967 July-September
2101967 October-December
311968 January
321968 February-December
341970 January-April
351970 May-1971
37Fragments, etc., undated

Subseries 1B: B. Direct Elections of the President

38Alinsky, Saul D., 1970
39Baker, Howard H. Jr., 1969
310Baldwin, Roger, 1970
311Bayh, Birch, 1969
312Bedell, Daniel S., 1970
313Belfrage, Mary, 1969
314Bellmon, Henry, 1969
315Blumberg, Nathan, 1970
316Brownlow, Donald G., 1969-1970
317Burdick, Quentin N., 1969-1970
318Burn, Marthena, 1969
319Cellar, Emanuel, 1969
320Chandler, Alfred D., 1970
321Committee for Nonviolent Action, 1969
322Cook, Marlow W., 1969
323Cotton, Norris, 1969
324Cronkite, Walter, 1970
325Davis, John W., 1970
326De Graaff, Mrs. Jan, circa 1969-1970
327Degler, Carl N., 1970
328Ellender, Allen J., 1969
329Galbraith, John K., 1970
330Goodell, Charles E., 1969
331Gore, Albert, 1969
332Grantham, Dewey, 1970
333Gravel, Mike, 1969
334Griffin, Mervyn E. Jr., 1970
335Gruening, Ernest, 1969
336Handlin, Oscar, 1970
337Harris, Fred R., 1969
338Hart, Philip A., 1969
339Hartke, Vance, 1969
340Hess, James A., 1969
341Hoffman, Mary J., 1970
342Holland, Spessard L., 1969
343Hutchins, Robert M., 1970
344Jackson, Henry M., 1969
345Javits, Jacob K., 1969
346Jones, Dorothy B., 1970
41Josephson, Hannah, 1970
42Kennedy, Edward M., 1969
43Lawson, Don, 1970
44Liebert, Anna, 1969
45Long, Russell B., 1969
46Lugar, Richard G., 1970
47McCarthy, Eugene J., 1970
48McCloskey, Paul N. Jr., 1970
49McDonald, Donald, 1970
410McFarland, Lil, 1969
411Mansfield, Mike, 1969
412Meloney, Stephen, circa 1969-1970
413Meredith, Betty, circa 1969-1970
414Merritt, Janet S., 1969
415Metcalf, Lee, 1969
416Miha, Clara de, 1969
417Moss, John E., 1969
418Mundt, Karl E., 1969
419Murphy, George, 1970
420Muskie, Edmund, 1970
421Nelson, Gaylord, 1968-1969
422Nixon, Richard, 1969-1970
423Olson, David M., 1969
424Opal, Alma, 1970
425Park, Myrtle H., 1970
426Pastore, John O., 1969
427Pellerzi, L.M., 1969
428Pendergrast, Mrs. John B., 1969
429Percy, Charles H., 1969
430Proxmire, William, 1969
431Pryor, Hubert C., 1970
432Randolph, Jennings, 1969-1970
433Robinson, Joel D., 1969
434Rubin, Morris H., circa 1969-1970
435Russell, Richard, 1969-1970
436Sawyer, Betty, 1970
437Saxbe, William, 1969
438Scannell, Mrs. S.A., 1969-1970
439Schweiker, Richard S., 1969
440Sevareid, Eric, 1968
441Smith, Margaret Chase, 1969
442Sparkman, John, 1969
443Strout, Richard L., circa 1969-1970
444Talcott, Burt, 1969-1970
445Talmadge, Herman, 1969
446Tydings, Joseph, 1969
447Wallace, Mike, circa 1969-1970
448Wedel, Mrs. T.O., 1970
449Williams, John J., 1969
450Williams, T. Harry, 1969
451Yarborough, Ralph W., 1970

Subseries 1C: C. Family and Personal Letters

52Letters from JR, 1940-1973

II. Writings , 1917-1970

The Writings Series contains copies of articles and speeches written by Rankin. Topics include her opposition to both World Wars, pacifism, electoral reform so the president is elected by popular vote, and the repeal of laws restricting contraception and abortion. Also included are transcripts of interviews with Rankin about her life, including her campaigns for women's suffrage and world peace, and her service in Congress.
53Writings, speeches, etc. by Rankin, 1917-1970
54Writings by or assumed to be by Jeanette Rankin, undated
55Interviews, 1949-1971
56Letters to the Editor, 1942-1971

III. Biographical , 1910-2005

The Biographical Series contains copies of articles and papers written about Rankin's life and career campaigning for women's suffrage and world peace, and serving as the first woman in the U.S. Congress. The series also contains programs from events about Rankin, photographs, and a scrapbook.
57Article about Rankin: Biography, 1997 May
58Article about Rankin: Friendly Woman, 1985 Summer
59Article about Rankin: Georgia Advocate, 1970 Fall
510Article about Rankin: The Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1974 Spring
511Article about Rankin: McCall's, 1917 April
512Article about Rankin: McCall's, 1958 January
513Article about Rankin: McCall's, 1976 April
514Article about Rankin: Modern Maturity, 1983 December - 1984 January
515Article about Rankin: Montana, 1980 Winter
516Article about Rankin: Montanan, 1993 Winter
517Article about Rankin: Ms., 1986 March
518Article about Rankin: Newsweek, 1966 February 14
519Article about Rankin: Ramparts, 1968 February
520Article about Rankin: The Union Signal, 1945 May 5
521Article about Rankin: U.S. News & World Report, 1964 February 10
522Article about Rankin: WIN, 1968 January 31
523Article about Rankin: Unidentified magazines, etc., undated
524Clippings re. Rankin, 1910-1939
525Clippings re. Rankin, 1940-1949
526Clippings re. Rankin, 1950-1959
527Clippings re. Rankin, 1960-1969
528Clippings re. Rankin, 1970-1979
529Clippings re. Rankin, 1980-1999
530Clippings re. Rankin, undated
531Clippings re. Rankin (photocopies), 1916-1973
532Clippings re: Wellington Rankin, 1958-1966
61Dendy, Gail "Jeanette Rankin", 1977
62Fisher, Motier H. "But, Lord, It was a Brave Thing!", undated
63Goldman, Eric F. from Rendezvous with Destiny, 1956
64Mansfield, Mike "In a Montana Mood", 1967
65Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 1 of 6), undated
66Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 2 of 6), undated
67Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 3 of 6), undated
68Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 4 of 6), undated
69Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 5 of 6), undated
610Smith, Norma Stubborn Woman: The Life and Times of Jeanette Rankin (folder 6 of 6), undated
611Unidentified. "Jeanette Rankin on Woman's Liberation", circa 1969
612Unidentified and no title, undated
613Other printed material re. Rankin, 1949-2005
614Biographical material
615Financial Material, 1942-1966
616Residence (Oconne Co.) Documents, 1969-1973
617Travel Papers, 1946, 1956
618Programs re. Rankin, 1958-2005
619Photos, slides, etc., undated
620Stationary - Rankin
8Scrapbook (clippings; pictures; articles concerning peace, Miss Jeannette Rankin, World Peaceways, the National Council for the Prevention of War, and similar organizations), 1917-1966
8Printer's Plates of Rankin Portraits, undated

IV. Subject Files

The Subject Files series is composed of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and papers about methods of nonviolent protest, pacifism, Gandhi, Pearl Harbor, protests against the Vietnam, and supporting the direct election of the President of the United States.
621Other printed material - Pictures of Gandhi, undated
622Other miscellaneous printed material (folder 1 of 3), 1949-1971
71Other miscellaneous printed materials (folder 2 of 3), 1949-1950
72Other miscellaneous printed materials (folder 3 of 3), 1937-1995
73Burt, Helen. "Why Women Weep" (poem), undated
74Chudiwale, G.S. Speech, 1950
75Crist, Charles F. "My Conception of Religion and a Religious Person", 1943
76Davison, Roland G. "Tempus Vigilare", undated
77Guaddgno, Carl "Peace Treatis", undated
78Holmes, John Haynes. "Gandhiji", 1948
79Lakey, George. "Exploring Nonviolent Action", 1969
710Lakey, George. "Strategy for Nonviolent Revolution", undated
711Lierde, Jean van. "Revolution: Ends and Means. Revolutionary Groups and Nonviolent Action", 1969
712Meredith, Betty. "Mothers of America", circa 1967
713Murray, Mary. "The Pattern of War as Described by Mark Twain", undated
714Rankin, Wellington Speech re: Paradise Dam Proposal, undated
715Smith, Donald F. "The Death of Nonviolence", undated
716"Our Hope", 1945
717Lists, undated
718Notes, etc., undated
719Political ephemera ("Votes for Women" playing card, "Wellington D. Rankin for U.S. Senator" cards, "Governments Make War" pins)
720Postcards, undated
721Other clippings, 1940-1979
722Other clippings, undated
723Other clippings (photocopies), 1965-1972
724Other magazine and journal articles, 1942-1989

V. Additions

These files were donated to the Russell Library in 2019 by the family of the late Rankin biographer, Ted Harris. It consists of five boxes of personal and political correspondence, more of Rankin's writings, records of her post-career travels, and a large amount of clippings and articles documenting her political career.
These folders retain the original arrangement and names given to them by the creator or the previous custodian of the papers.
81Reforms, undated
82Round House, undated
83Rankin Brigade, undated
84Personal Correspondence, 1969-1970
85Personal Pictures, undated
86Donations, undated
87Christmas Pictures, undated
88Center for Study of Democratic Institutions, undated
89Board, John, undated
810Autographs Wanted, undated
811A.B.M. Correspondence, undated
812Manuscripts, undated
813Miscellaneous, undated
814Personal Business, undated
815McKinnon, Edna, undated
816Hate Mail, undated
817Elliot, Jeff, undated
818Congressional Record, 1942
819Old Letters, undated
820National Women's Party, undated
821French Letters, undated
822Personal Correspondence, 1969-1970
823Opposition Views, undated
824Peace Group Correspondence, undated
825Woodruff, Owen, undated
826Travel #1, undated
827Women in Politics, undated
828War Registers International, undated
829University of Montana, undated
830Scrapbook, undated
831Thirteenth Triennial Conference, undated
832Vietnam, undated
833Peace Magazines, undated
834Travel #2, undated
835Africa, undated
836Czechoslovakia, undated
837India, undated
838Mexico, undated
9Personal correspondence, 1950s-1970s
101Pictures, undated
102Speeches and Writings, 1940
103Speeches and Writings, 1941
104Speeches and Writings, 1941-1942
105Speeches and Writings, 1942
106Speeches and Writings, 1942
107Speeches and Writings, 1942
108Speeches and Writings, 1941-1950
109Campaign Materials, 1918
1010Campaign Materials, 1940
1011Campaign Materials, 1940
1012Clippings, 1916-1917
1013Clippings, 1916-1917
1014Clippings, 1917
1015Clippings, 1918
1016Clippings, 1941-1942
1017Clippings, 1942
1018Clippings, 1941-1942
1019Clippings, 1941-1943
1020Miscellany, 1917
1021Clippings, World War II Vote, [1941]
1022Clippings, 1951
1023Miscellany Before 1917
1024Miscellany, 1916
1025Miscellany, First Term, 1917-1919
1026Miscellany, 1917
1027Miscellany, 1917
1028Miscellany, Second Term, 1941-1943
1029Miscellany, Second Term, War Prevention, [1941]
1030Miscellany, 1940
1031Miscellany, 1941
1032Miscellany, 1941
1033Miscellany, 1942-1943
111Miscellany, 1942
112Miscellany, undated
113Photographs, 1917
114Photographs, undated
115Speeches and Writings, 1939
116Speeches and Writings, 1938
117Speeches and Writings, 1935-1938
118Coastal Georgia Historical Society, undated
119Public Opinion - University of Virginia Speech, 1937
1110Coastal Defense, undated
1111The 1960s
1112Rankin Material, undated
1113Peace, undated
1114Great Falls Tribune, undated
1115World War II Vote, [1941]
1116Response to World War II Vote, 1941
1117Romance, undated
1118Interviews and Letters, undated
12Scrapbook and family photo, undated