Petitions and Memorials

Correspondence can provide a window into how Americans interact with their government and how the House operates. Citizens send petitions and memorials to Congress to communicate the issues that are important to them. Representatives also use letters and memos to communicate and conduct business.

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About this record
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Records and Photographs

Petitions and Memorials
A collection of petitions and memorials sent to the House from Americans asking Congress for action.

A sampling of correspondence that shows the ways House Members interact with constituents, agencies, and each other.

Giant Petition for Hawaiian Statehood
A photo of an oversized petition sent to grab the attention of Congressmen.

Blogs and Highlights

Can I Have this Dance?
A blog about an organized effort to petition Congress for a national folk dance.

The “So Very Peculiar” Case of Sarah Seelye
A blog on a female Civil War soldier's petition for a veteran’s pension.

A Great Disaster
A blog showcasing the unique petition sent to Congressmen to bring attention to a 1951 natural disaster in Kansas.

“Congress Took No Further Action”: Women and the Right to Petition
A blog examining how women used petitions to engage with the political process and find their voices as citizens before the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

“Land of Misfortune”: Sarah Winnemucca Petitions Congress
A blog about Sarah Winnemucca’s petition urging Congress to restore the Paiute Indians to the Malheur Reservation in southern Oregon.

“I Ask Nothing Because I am a Negro”: A Letter to the Committee on Military Affairs
A blog describing Henry Flipper’s 1898 petition requesting a bill to restore his duty, rank, and service to the U.S. Army.

Susan B. Anthony’s Petition to the 43rd Congress
A historical highlight outlining Susan B. Anthony’s petition to the 43rd Congress regarding a fine she received for voting illegally.

Petition for a Presidential Impeachment
A historical highlight featuring a petition demanding President John Tyler resign or face impeachment.

Mid-Nineteenth Century Proposals for Electronic Voting
A historical highlight recalling a petition sent by Francis H. Smith of Baltimore asking the House to consider using his invention, “the voting register,” to tally yeas and nays.

A Bonus for World War I Veterans
A historical highlight about a petition delivered to the Capitol bearing more than one million signatures in support of a bonus for World War I veterans.