Life in Washington, D.C. : Capital-Era Writing

Ruth Hanna McCormick to FPK from August 16, 1930

Letter from Ruth Hanna McCormick to FPK from August 16, 1930 that mentions the arrival of a copy of FPK's "Queen Anne's Lace" for Ruth McCormick to read. The campaign is also addressed.

While Henry Keyes campaigned in D.C., Frances Keyes continued to write novels and articles for women, and she even involved her colleagues and friends in the processes of creating her literary works, including “Queen Anne’s Lace,” which she allowed her friend, Ruth McCormick, to read and critique. [i] FPK’s writing opened many doors for her and thus more opportunities for women. In a letter to President Hoover, FPK wrote about her credentials to demonstrate her influence, “My position as a writer of current events and the Associate Editor of a large magazine, and also as the wife of a Republican Senator, is unique and should be advantageous.”[ii] She articulated in the letter her plan to write a series of articles in Good Housekeeping with reprints in pamphlets to be distributed by the Republican National Committee as a way to stimulate the interest of women to take part in the next political campaign. FPK desired to travel around the U.S. and Europe and promote the involvement of women in politics.

Keyes used her writing to reach out to women and in turn, she was their inspiration to fight for their rights and become involved in politics. In a description of her work she said,

“As I became more and more familiar with the different phases of life in Washington, it seemed to me that there must be many isolated women throughout the country who would be interested in reading about it and that, perhaps, I could write about what I was seeing and doing in a way which would please and interest them.” [iii]

Keyes did exactly that with her contributions to “Letters from a Senator’s Wife” and Capital Kaleidoscope,” and her work for Good Housekeeping as an associate editor with a popular monthly column.[iv]

[i] "Frances Parkinson Keyes." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

[ii] "Frances Parkinson Keyes Dies; New York Times 4 July 1970: 21. Ibid.

[iii] McCormick, Ruth H. Letter to Frances Parkinson Keyes. 16 Aug. 1930. MS. North Haverhill, New Hampshire.

[iv] Keyes, Frances Parkinson. Letter to President Herbert Hoover. 7 May 1931. MS. Washington, D.C.