First Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin Lobbies President Wilson
Jeannette Rankin, a former NAWSA field secretary who worked on multiple state suffrage campaigns, was the first woman elected to Congress in 1916, two years after her home state of Montana passed women’s suffrage. In this letter of January 8, 1918 (misdated December), she asked President Woodrow Wilson to exert influence on “doubting Members,” pointedly reminding him of his avowed support for democracy. The next day, Wilson publicly endorsed the federal suffrage amendment for the first time and met with ten wavering representatives. On January 10, the bill narrowly passed the House but was shelved in the Senate.