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Jeannette Rankin Collected Papers


Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), of Montana was the first woman to serve in Congress (1917-1919). She was one of more than fifty members of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into World War I. This vote probably cost her any hopes of re-election or of her intention to run for the Senate. Rankin later worked in peace organizations such as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and served as the legislative secretary for the National Council for Prevention of War. In 1940 Rankin was again elected to Congress from Montana. She was the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into World War II, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Once again her vote was unpopular with the Montana electorate and she was not re-elected. In the 1940s Rankin traveled to India following her interest in Gandhian pacifism. On her return and move to Georgia, founded the Georgia Peace Society. When activists from Women Strike for Peace began organizing the first all-women's protest march against the war, they contacted Rankin asked for her support. This march and Congressional lobbying effort was named the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, and Rankin lead the demonstration to the Capitol in January of 1968. Rankin died in 1973 of natural causes.

The items in this collection have been collected from various sources and consist mostly of secondary material.

Letters from Jeannette Rankin to Wilmer Brandt (1952-1973, undated) are available in the Wilmer Brandt Collected Papers.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for these papers/records.

Yes, original letters removed to restricted area, photocopies included in CDG-A.


For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog

Processed by Peace Collection staff; this finding aid was created by Wendy Chmielewski and Eden Hogge, June 2014; edited by Anne Yoder, 2016.

Photos removed to the Photograph Collection. Stickers removed to the Stamp/Sticker/Envelope Collection. Posters removed to the Poster Collection [see the National Council for Prevention of War posters].

Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Access Restrictions


Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendants), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.
Use Restrictions


Collection Inventory

Removal forms.
Box 1
Biographical information.
Box 1
Biographical information: play "Year of the Woman" about Rankin.
Box 1
Disposition of Rankin Papers at Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College.
Box 1
FBI files re: Rankin and The Rankin Brigade.
Box 1
Writings; Statements; Involvements; etc.
Box 1
Reference Material, 1920s.
Box 1
Reference Material [folder 1], 1930s.
Box 1
Reference Material [folder 2], 1930s.
Box 1
Reference Material, 1951-1952.
Box 1

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