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Virginia Ellis Jenckes collection

Identifier: L374

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of Virginia Ellis Jenckes’s congressional papers. Also included are correspondence, reports, and other papers relating to the Agriculture Waste Recovery Project (1933–1943) and other efforts to help farmers during the Depression; flood control on the Wabash and White Rivers; railroads; women’s rights; education; and Communists in America, as well as her opposition to Communist radio broadcasts. The collection also contains papers relating to her political campaigns (1934 – 1938); the meeting of the 1937 Interparliamentary Union, including transcript of Jenckes’s speech to the Union; political correspondence (1938 – 1940); and newspaper clippings, principally relating to politics (1932 – 1949).

Correspondents include J. Edgar Hoover, Louis M. Howe, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


  • 1918-1951


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Virginia Ellis Jenckes was born November 6, 1877 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana. Jenckes attended the local public and high schools before attending one year of college. After college, Jenckes became involved in agricultural pursuits from 1912 to 1926. In 1926, Jenckes became Secretary of Wabash Valley Improvement Association, serving until 1932. In 1933, Jenckes became the first woman from Indiana to be elected U.S. Representative, where she served three terms until her unsuccessful reelection in 1938. Following her congressional run, Jenckes was appointed U.S. delegate to the Interparlimentary Union in Paris, France in 1937. Jenckes returned to Washington D.C., where she lived and worked for the American Red Cross for many years before returning to her home state in Indianapolis in 1969. Jenckes eventually returned home to Terre Haute in 1971, where she lived until her death on January 9, 1975.


United States Congress. "Jenckes, Virginia Ellis." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed October 21, 2011.


1.3 Cubic Feet (4 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed by Unknown. Collection re-processed 2011/10 by Brent Abercrombie. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/07 by Lauren Patton.
Virginia Ellis Jenckes collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.