Speaker Cannon's Trunk

Forgotten for decades, a House staffer discovered a trunk full of correspondence belonging to Speaker Joseph Cannon in the Cannon House Office Building in 1994. The contents of the trunk illuminate how letters from House Members and lobbyists on their behalf influenced the Speaker’s decision-making.

Cannon's Trunk Photograph courtesy of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives; footlocker from RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration Cannon's Trunk


The Letters
A small sampling of the letters found in Cannon’s trunk.

Blogs and Exhibitions

Do Me a Favor
A blog detailing the significance of the letters found in Speaker Cannon’s trunk and their impact on committee assignments.

Don’t Go Back to Danville: Joe Cannon’s Hidden Trunk
A blog describing the discovery of the long-forgotten trunk in the attic of the Cannon House Office Building.

Discoveries: Cannon’s Trunk
An exhibit showcasing the discovery of the trunk in the Cannon House Office Building.

Securing a Committee Assignment
An exhibit explaining the significance of committee assignments and Speaker Cannon’s role in determining them.