Down the Ballot

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ebay Find # 8: Nan Wood Honeyman with Roosevelt

7/8" Roosevelt Coattail lito Pin
This is another pin from Oregon presidential politics, only this pin is from the 1930s. Most likely this pin is from 1936 when Nan Wood Honeyman won a seat in Congress representing Oregon's 3rd Congressional district. She also had the great distinction of being the first woman to represent the people of Oregon in the United States Congress.

Born in New York, her family soon moved to Portland, Oregon. Her father was the famous Charles Erskine Scott Wood. She attended school in New York and became life long friends of Eleanore Roosevelt. It was this great friendship that would launch her career in Congress. In 1936 she ran as a staunch advocate of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Winning her seat proved easy; keeping it became a whole different task.

While in congress she became a ardent advocate of the New Deal and of the Bonneville  Dam project. Being so close to Roosevelt may have lead to her political downfall as she openly supported his court packing scheme. This lead not only to a primary challenger in 1938, but also state senator and liberal Republican Homer Angell in the general. On election day she would lose by a very slim margin of around 2,500 votes. She was not alone though, 78 other Democrats also lost their seats that day. In 1940 she would try to win it back and again lose by another close count.

After these defeats she served in a variety of other public roles from State Senator to Collector of Customs. Eventually she moved to California where she died in 1970. For more details on Nan Wood Honeyman you can visit her profile on Women in Congress

This pin turns up on occasion on ebay or auction. The price varies substantially depending on how much the seller knows about the pin. Valued between $25-$50 dollars, though if you wait long enough you can find it on ebay for under $15 or even a lot less. It was made by Green Duck, which was a company that has created many political buttons over the years. Creative Pro.com has a wonderful article about them so I won't repeat it here.

A button like this appeals to many different kinds of people. It appeals to Oregon button collectors like myself. Women in congress collectors, Roosevelt collectors, coattail collectors and yes even Green Duck button collectors. A great button for any of those collections. Pins from such obscure candidates take some time to find their way out the old boxes and dressers they are kept in and onto the great marketplaces of commerce.

Honeyman Re-Election Ad 1938
I have also included a scan of a campaign ad taken from a Democratic Party of Oregon Picnic Program from 1938.  "An Experienced Democratic Congressional Leader".
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