SMITH, Margaret Chase (1897-1995)
Senate Years of Service: 1949-1973

SMITH, MARGARET CHASE, (wife of Clyde Harold Smith), A Senator and a Representative from Maine; born Margaret Madeline Chase, December 14, 1897, in Skowhegan, Somerset County, Maine; attended the public schools; taught school in Skowhegan, Maine 1916-1917; business executive for country weekly newspaper and a woolen company 1919-1930; secretary to husband while he was in Congress 1937-1940; lieutenant colonel, Air Force Reserve 1950-1957; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth Congress, by special election, June 3, 1940, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Clyde H. Smith; reelected to the four succeeding Congresses and served from June 3, 1940, to January 3, 1949; was not a candidate for reelection but was elected in 1948 to the United States Senate; reelected in 1954, 1960 and 1966, and served from January 3, 1949, until January 3, 1973; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1972; first woman to serve in both houses of Congress; chairwoman, Special Committee on Rates of Compensation (Eighty-third Congress), Republican Conference (Ninetieth through Ninety-second Congresses); first woman to be placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party convention 1964; visiting professor for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation 1973-1976; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 6, 1989; was a resident of Skowhegan, Maine, until her death on May 29, 1995; remains were cremated, and ashes placed in the residential wing of the Margaret Chase Smith Library, Skowhegan, Maine.

Broadcast Pioneers Library
University of Maryland Hornbake Library
College Park, MD
Papers: 3 audiotapes (1963-1964) in Westinghouse Broadcasting Company collection, 1945-1981.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (March 5, 1970) in the Academy of Political Science papers; 2 official letters (1968-1971) in the Council on Religion and International Affairs papers; 2 official letters (1954, 1955) in the V.K. Wellington Koo collection; 1 letter (September 28, 1961) in the Lenroot collection; 1 official letter (August 29, 1950) in the Allan Nevins collection; 2 personal business letters (1952, 1961) in the W.W. Norton collection; 10 personal business letters (1945-1970) in the Overbrook Press collection; 5 official letters (1944-1951) in the Frances Perkins collection; 2 personal business letters (December 20, 1961; July 22, 1970) in the Random House collection; in Stein and Day Publishers records, 1963-1988; and 1 letter in Citizens Committee for the Protection of the Environment records, 1966-1969. Finding aids.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Curtis Putnam Nettels papers, 1917-1981.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral history: August 20, 1975. 49 pages.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Charl Ormond Williams papers, 1924-1959. In the Herbert L. Block collection.

Maine Historical Society
Portland, ME
Papers: Correspondence, 1960's and 1970's, in the Edward I. Bernstein collection, 1898-2014; Hazel E. Linnell papers, 1966-1969; and Horace A. Hildreth Papers, 1906-1987.

Margaret Chase Smith Library
Showhegan, ME
Papers: 1930-1995. Ca. 275 feet. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence; scrapbooks; speeches; news releases; photographs; portraits; motion-picture film; videotape; sound recordings; and memorabilia, including records of her service in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and activities since her retirement. The collection is arranged into ten categories: articles, audio, books, cartoons, Front Office Notes, photographs, reference, scrapbooks, Statements and Speeches, and Washington and You. The bulk of the collection, approximately 300,000 documents, is contained in more than 90 fireproof file cabinets. These unique primary sources include correspondence between Senator Smith and leading government officials, as well as constituent correspondence and government reports. Another important resource is the over 500 bound scrapbooks that thoroughly document her career as recorded in newspaper accounts and periodical literature. The scrapbooks also contain the newspaper column, Washington and You, written by Senator Smith between 1941 and 1954 and syndicated nationally from 1949 to 1954. Other highlights of the collection are 43 bound volumes of Senator Smith's speeches, press releases, and general statements; over 2400 historical photographs of state, national, and world leaders; and over 400 audio and video recordings of interviews, debates, and speeches. Information about the collection is available through an extensive searchable database.

Michigan State University Library
Lansing, MI
Audio: 1 audio file (10 min., 52 sec.). Broadcast on WKAR. Former Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) says Watergate is being tried in the press, and discusses both the Senate seniority system and the "stay-at-home" vote.

Mississippi State University
Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State, MS
Papers: 1953. 1 letter in the Hodding and Betty Werlain Carter papers.
Oral history: June 15, 1976. 26 pages. Reminiscence of Stennis, Armed Services Committee, civil rights legislation, her Senate relationship with Stennis, and anecdotes about her service in the Senate. In the John C. Stennis collection.

Harvard University
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Cambridge, MA
Papers: Correspondence and references in Florence Ledyard Cross Kitchelt papers, 1885-1961; Pauline Newman papers, 1903-1982; Mildred Buchanan Flagg papers, 1876-1955 (bulk 1900-1955); Martha May Eliot papers, 1891-1979; Adelaide Fish Hawley Cumming papers, 1922-1967; and Pluma Burroughs Penton Batten papers, 1948-1964 (bulk 1950-1956).
Oral history: 1988-1989. 227 pages. Transcript of an interview by Pamela Neal Warford. Finding aid.
Oral history: Ca. 1967. 6 pages. Interview for book about women in government service, Few Are Chosen (1968). In the Peggy Lamson papers.

University of Georgia
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Athens, GA
Oral history: 1971. 16 pages. Limited to reminiscences of Russell.

University of Maine
Raymond H. Fogler Library
Orono, ME
Papers: Series of letters written in 1965 between Margaret Chase Smith and Harold Noddin, president of Local 410 in the International Brotherhood of Paper Makers Local 410 (Lincoln, Me.) Collection, 1937-1965. Correspondence in Maine State Federated Labor Council Records, 1914-1967.

University of Maryland Libraries
Archives and Manuscript Department
College Park, MD
Papers: Correspondence in the Daniel B. Brewster Papers, 1950-2007 (bulk 1962-1968).

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Stella Brunt Osborn papers 1916-1992; and Blair Moody papers, 1928-1954. Finding aid.

University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
Papers: Correspondence in Wayne L. Morse papers, 1919-1969. Finding aid.

University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
Laramie, WY
Papers: Correspondence in Morgan Beatty papers, 1922-1973. Finding aid.

Western Reserve Historical Society
Cleveland, OH
Papers: Correspondence in Florence Ellinwood Allen papers, 1856-1967. Finding aid.
Oral history: In the Frances Payne Bolton oral history interviews, 1989, focusing on Bolton and her career.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908 1969; and Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968.

  • Braden, Maria. "A Rose by Any Other Name," inWomen Politicians and the Media, 50-62. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
  • Crouse, Eric. An American Stand: Senator Margaret Chase Smith and the Communist Menace, 1948-1972. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2010.
  • ___. Dear Senator Smith: Small-Town Maine Writes to Senator Margaret Chase Smith about the Vietnam War, 1967-1971. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2008.
  • ___. "Senator Margaret Chase Smith Against McCarthyism: The Methodist Influence." Methodist History 46 (April 2008): 167-178.
  • Fitzpatrick, Ellen. The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women's Quest for the American Presidency. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016.
  • Gallant, Gregory Peter. "Margaret Chase Smith, McCarthyism, and the Drive for Political Purification.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maine, 1992.
  • ___. Hope and Fear in Margaret Chase Smith's America: A Continuous Tangle. New York: Lexington Books, 2014.
  • Graham, Frank. Margaret Chase Smith: Woman of Courage. New York: John Day Co., 1964.
  • Gutgold, Nichola D., "Margaret Chase Smith: A 'Quiet Woman,'" in Paving the Way for Madam President. New York: Lexington Books, 2006.
  • Harris, Lois Anne. "Margaret Chase Smith: An Examination of Her Public Speaking with Emphasis on the `Declaration of Conscience, 1950' and the `Declaration of Conscience, 1970'.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1974.
  • Hutchison, Kay Bailey. "Margaret Chase smith." In American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country. New York: HarperCollins, 2004: 210-243.
  • Kaptur, Marcy. "Margaret Chase Smith." In Women of Congress: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey, 84-101. Washington: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1996.
  • Lamson, Peggy. Few Are Chosen: American Women in Political Life Today. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968.
  • Morrison, Dennis L. "Margaret Chase Smith's 1950 Declaration of Conscience Speech." Maine Historical Society Quarterly 32 (Summer 1992): 2-25; 51-55.
  • Schmidt, Patricia L. Margaret Chase Smith: Beyond Convention. Orono: University of Maine Press, 1996.
  • Sherman, Janann. "'Senator-at-Large for America's Women': Margaret Chase Smith and the Paradox of Gender Affinity," included in Susan J. Carroll, ed., The Impact of Women in Public Office. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001: 89-116.
  • ___. "'They Either Need These Women or They Do Not': Margaret Chase Smith and the Fight for Regular Status for Women in the Military." The Journal of Military History 54 (January 1990), 47-78.
  • ___. No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000.
  • Smith, Margaret Chase. Declaration of Conscience. Edited by William C. Lewis, Jr. New York: Doubleday Co., 1972.
  • Smith, Margaret Chase, and H. Paul Jeffers. Gallant Women. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1968.
  • "Margaret Chase Smith," 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, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006.
  • Vallin, Marlene Boyd. Margaret Chase Smith: Model Public Servant. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.
  • Wallace, Patricia Ward. The Politics of Conscience: A Biography of Margaret Chase Smith. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995.