Perkins, Frances (1880-1965). Typed Letter Signed. Washington, February 16, 1953. Letter of appreciation and farewell addressed to Matthew J. Connelly, from the first woman member of a Presidential Cabinet in U.S. history, appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the post of Secretary of Labor. Although known as “the woman behind the New Deal,” Perkins was largely responsible for the U.S. adoption of social security, unemployment insurance, federal laws regulating child labor, and adoption of the federal minimum wage. She served as the head of the United States Civil Service Commission during the Truman years.