Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
RANKIN, Jeannette (1880-1973)

RANKIN, JEANNETTE, a Representative from Montana; born near Missoula, Missoula County, Mont., June 11, 1880; attended the public schools and graduated from the University of Montana at Missoula in 1902; student at the School of Philanthropy, New York City, in 1908 and 1909; social worker in Seattle, Wash., in 1909; engaged in promoting the cause of woman suffrage in the state of Washington in 1910, in California in 1911, and in Montana 1912-1914; visited New Zealand in 1915 and worked as a seamstress in order to gain personal knowledge of social conditions; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1917-March 4, 1919); was the first woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives; did not seek renomination in 1918, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Senator; was also an unsuccessful candidate on an independent ticket for election to the United States Senate; engaged in social work; elected to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1941-January 3, 1943); was not a candidate for renomination in 1942 to the Seventy-eighth Congress; resumed lecturing and ranching; member, National Consumers League; field worker, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; member, National Council for Prevention of War; remained leader and lobbyist for peace and women's rights until her death in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., May 18, 1973; cremated; ashes scattered on ocean, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Schlesinger Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: 1879-1976, 5.5 feet.
Includes correspondence, card files, financial papers, articles, speeches, pamphlets, leaflets, scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, tapes, and a film depicting aspects of her life. Best documented is her vote against World War II and the consequent public reaction, though both terms in Congress are covered. Other correspondence reflects her involvement in the suffrage movement, Vietnam War protest, election reform, and the women's movement, with information on the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Jeannette Rankin Brigade. News clippings make up over one half of the collection. Some family correspondence is included with Jeannette Rankin's sisters. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository and on microfilm.

Papers: Jeannette Rankin Letters, March 9-May 18, 1917, 1 folder.
Letters to Jeannette Rankin in support of her vote against U.S. participation in World War I. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: 1941-1945, 1 folder.
The collection includes three letters and two postcards to Beall Gantt Booth, most concern peace. Also includes two photographs of unidentified children and a copy of Jeannette Rankin's remarks concerning Pearl Harbor in the Congressional Record, December 8, 1942. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: 1961-1971, 1 folder.
The collection contains two clippings dating 1961 and 1966, and a photograph taken on her arrival in India for a conference of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1971. A finding aid is available in the repository and on microfilm.

Papers: 1973, 2 folders.
The collection includes news clippings on Jeannette Rankin, and letter to Louise Koelz. The collections is on microfilm. A finding aid is available in the repository and on microfilm.

Papers: In the Hannah (Geffen) Josephson Papers, 1969-1974, 2 folders.
Correspondence, speeches, articles, and programs, of or relating to Jeannette Rankin. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Harriet Yarrow Papers, ca. 1943-1974, 1 folder.
Correspondents include Jeannette Rankin. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: 1915-1965, 7 reels of microfilm.
Includes copies of materials in the Montana Historical Society. A finding aid is available in the repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Oral history: In the Oral history collection of the Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office, 1959-1979, 3.2 linear feet.
Interviews include Jeannette Rankin.


Montana Historical Society
Helena, MT
Papers: 1917-1963, 5.5 linear feet.
Papers consist primarily of correspondence reflecting concerns Jeannette Rankin's of constituents. Also included in the papers are subject files documenting: appointments to military academies, invitations, and requests for government brochures. There is also some personal correspondence, some financial records, news clippings, maps, and photographs. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: 1971, 1/10 cubic foot.
One letter concerning suffrage and anti-war activities and one photograph.

Papers: 1917-1942.
Microfilm of originals privately owned; includes correspondence, speeches, clippings, and miscellany.

Papers: In the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Montana State Central Committee records, 1913-1919, 1/10 foot.
Oral history: In the General Montana History Collection, 1963, 3 audio tapes.
An interview with Jeannette Rankin by John C. Board on August 29, 1963 in Great Falls, Montana. Topics covered include Jeannette Rankins political campaigns and elections, her role in Congress, women's suffrage, the peace movement, and World War I and World War II.

Oral history: In the General Montana History Collection, 1972, 293 pages.
An transcript of the original interview with Jeannette Rankin by Malca Chall from June through August, 1972. The interview was conducted as part of the University of California-Berkeley's Suffragists Oral History Project. In the interview, Jeannette Rankin discusses her role in national politics during World War I and World War II, the women's rights movement, and pacifism. Additional materials include photographs, copies of news clippings, magazine articles, and her writings.

Papers: In the Norman Winestine Papers, 1882-1995, 2.5 linear feet.
Subjects covered include Jeannette Rankin.


New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: In the Gwendolen Haste Papers, 1900-1964, 3 linear feet.
Subjects covered include Jeannette Rankin. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Jeannette Rankin Brigade records 1967-1968, 0.7 linear foot.
The records include correspondence, minutes of the steering committee, press releases, petitions to Congress, and reports of the political and legal action workshops. Also, minutes and press releases of the National Women's Emergency Coalition (the successor to the Jeannette Rankin Brigade); position papers on the Vietnam War by the National Council of Jewish Women, the YWCA and the Paris Conference of Women to End the War in Vietnam; and two scrapbooks of press clippings about Jeannette Rankin's activities.


Swarthmore College
Peace Collection, McCabe Library
Swarthmore, PA
Papers: 1917-1968, 3 linear inches.
Subjects covered include Jeannette Rankin.


University of California
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Oral history: 1972, 293 pages.
A transcript of the original interview with Jeannette Rankin by Malca Chall from June through August, 1972. The interview was conducted as part of the University of California-Berkeley's Suffragists Oral History Project. In the interview, Jeannette Rankin discusses her role in national politics during World War I and World War II, the women's rights movement, and pacifism. Additional materials include photographs, copies of news clippings, magazine articles, and her writings.

Oral history: 1972, 9 pages.
An interview with Jeannette Rankin by Dick Cavett. This transcript is a photocopy of a typed transcript from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College. With this typed transcript is an announcement of her ninetieth birthday on a Huntley and Brinkely news telecast on June 11, 1970.


University of Montana-Missoula
K. Ross Toole Archives, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
Missoula, MT
Papers: 1917-2009, 0.2 linear foot.
The Jeannette Rankin collection is an artificial collection of various documents and items by and about Rankin pulled together into one collection by archives staff. Series I includes a 1917 campaign letter from Jeannette Rankin addressed to "Dear Friend," a 1938 anti-war campaign button, two 1940 election campaign buttons, and a 1980 invitation to the dedication of a Jeannette Rankin statue. Series II consists of pamphlets, form letters, and stationery related to Rankin's congressional campaigns and key issues she faced as a member of the House, 1917-1942. Specifically, there are mailings and pamphlets reflecting her views on U.S. involvement in World War I and World War II, as well as a bill relating to federal control of mines. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

  • Alonso, Harriet Hyman. "Jeannette Rankin and the Women's Peace Union." Montana, The Magazine of Western History 39 (Spring 1989): 34-49.
  • ___. "'To Make War Legally Impossible': A Study of The Women's Peace Union, 1921-1942." Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1986.
  • Amaro, Charlotte A. "Across Contexts and Through Time: Jeannette Rankin, Feminine Style, and an Ethic of Care." Ph.D. diss., Wayne State University, 2000.
  • Block, Judy Rachel. The First Woman in Congress: Jeannette Rankin. Illustrated by Terry Kovalcik. New York: C.P.I., 1978.
  • Board, John C. "Jeannette Rankin: The Lady from Montana." Montana, The Magazine of Western History 17 (July 1967): 2-17.
  • ___. "The Lady from Montana: Jeannette Rankin." M. A. Thesis, University of Wyoming, 1964.
  • Bonner, Helen Louise Ward. "The Jeannette Rankin Story." Ph.D. diss., Ohio University, 1982.
  • Davidson, Sue. A Heart in Politics: Jeannette Rankin and Patsy T. Mink. Seattle: Seal Press, 1994.
  • Giles, Kevin S. Flight of the Dove: The Story of Jeannette Rankin. Beaverton, OR: Touchstone Press, 1980.
  • Hardaway, Roger D. "Jeannette Rankin: The Early Years." North Dakota Quarterly 48 (Winter 1980): 62-68.
  • Harris, Ted Carlton. "Jeannette Rankin: Suffragist, First Woman Elected to Congress, and Pacifist." Ph.D. Diss., University of Georgia, 1972.
  • ___. "Jeannette Rankin, Warring Pacifist." M. A. Thesis, University of Georgia, 1969.
  • "Jeannette Rankin" in Women in Congress, 1917-2006. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2006.
  • Josephson, Hannah Geffen. Jeannette Rankin, First Lady in Congress: A Biography. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974.
  • Lompach, James J., and Jean A. Luckowski. Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2005.
  • Okura, Yunosuke. Ippyo no Hantai: Janetto Rankin no Shogai (A Single Dissenting Voice Against War: The Life of Jeanette Rankin). Tokyo: Bungei Shunju, 1989.
  • Schaffer, Ronald. "Jeannette Rankin, Progressive Isolationist." Ph.D. Diss., Princeton University, 1959.
  • Smith, Norma. Jeannette Rankin, America's Conscience. Helena, MO.: Montana Historical Society Press, 2002.
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Acceptance and Dedication of the Statue of Jeannette Rankin, Presented by the State of Montana: Proceedings in the Rotunda, United States Capitol, Wednesday, May 1, 1985. 99th Congress. 2nd session. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1987.
  • White, Florence Meiman. First Woman in Congress: Jeannette Rankin. New York: J. Messner, 1980.
  • Wilson, Joan Hoff. "'Peace is a woman's job ....': Jeannette Rankin and American Foreign Policy: Her Lifework as a Pacifist." Montana, The Magazine of Western History 30 (January 1980): 29-41; (April 1980): 38-53.