Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > History > 112. Frances Perkins

112.  Frances Perkins (1880-1965).  Draft notes of reply to F. D. Roosevelt on her nomination to the Cabinet. Autograph manuscript notes, ca. February 25, 1933. RBML, Frances Perkins Papers

Frances Perkins was the first woman ever to become a U. S. presidential Cabinet member, serving as Secretary of Labor for all twelve years of the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She had been Industrial Commissioner of New York from 1929 to 1932 while Roosevelt was Governor, and after being elected President, he asked her to join him in Washington. Before accepting his offer, she wrote these notes in order to determine whether or not he would support her ideas. These would become the most important elements of the New Deal: including unemployment relief, public works, maximum hours, minimum wages, child labor laws, and social security.

Gift of Frances Perkins, 1955

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