Biographical Sketch of Addie Worth Bagley Daniels

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Addie Worth Bagley Daniels, 1869-1943

By Kathleen Monahan, librarian
Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

US Delegate to World Suffrage Alliance; honorary President - North Carolina Equal Suffrage League, 1920; author.

Addie Worth Bagley was born on May 1, 1869 to a prominent North Carolina family. She was the daughter of W.H. Bagley, a clerk in the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the granddaughter of Jonathan Worth, a former governor of North Carolina. Addie Bagley grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the Peace Institute, a women's college in Raleigh.

After college she met Josephus Daniels, who owned the local Raleigh newspaper The State Chronicle. They married on May 2, 1888 and had four sons. Addie Daniels worked in the Chronicle offices with her husband and oversaw many of the bills and accounts.

In 1893, Grover Cleveland appointed Josephus Daniels as chief clerk of the federal Department of Interior. The Daniels family moved to Washington, D.C., where Addie entertained many of the political families in the capital. She also wrote a series of editorials for the Saturday Evening Post on life in Washington D.C. that Josephus later collected and published as Recollections of a Cabinet Minister's Wife.

The Daniels both became interested in the woman suffrage movement. Starting in 1913, the News & Observer, the new name for their Raleigh newspaper, advocated for suffrage. During World War I, while Josephus served as Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of the Navy, Addie became the president of the Navy Red Cross. She organized Hostess Houses and training centers with the War Work Council of the Young Women's Christian Association around the country.

After the war ended, Addie joined the suffrage movement and supported North Carolina's campaign to ratify the 19th Amendment. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson appointed her as the official delegate from the United States to the World Suffrage Alliance, on the recommendation of Carrie Chapman Catt. Both Addie Daniels and her husband had a close relationship with Wilson. At the World Suffrage Alliance in Geneva, she met with suffrage delegates from all across Europe.

That same year she was also appointed as honorary president of the North Carolina Equal Suffrage League. Addie returned to Raleigh from Washington D.C. in order to help the campaign for North Carolina to ratify the constitutional amendment. She wrote an article "The Justice, Expediency and Inevitableness of Ratification" in the July/August 1920 issue of Everywoman's Magazine, a North Carolina suffrage journal. Addie argued in part that Wilson would not have won the 1916 election without the female vote in the western states and that female suffrage was needed to bolster the Democratic party. She worked to influence North Carolinian politicians to support ratification, and appeared with the Governor when he spoke to the House of Representatives on the inevitability of women's suffrage.

In 1921, after Josephus Daniels's tenure as Secretary of the Navy ended, the couple returned to Raleigh, North Carolina. Addie Daniels because the president of the local Women's Club and was deeply involved in Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She was one of the leaders in establishing the YMCA in Raleigh. Addie Daniels was the first female trustee of the Peace Institute, as well as one of the first female trustees for Rex Hospital in Raleigh. In 1940 she was presented with the honorary degree of doctor of laws at the Women's College of University of North Carolina; she was the second woman to receive an honorary degree from that university.

In 1933, Josephus Daniels was appointed to be the ambassador to Mexico; Addie Daniels traveled with him and continued to work with her husband in diplomatic affairs. They remained in Mexico until Addie Daniels's ill health forced Josephus Daniels to resign so they could return to the United States. She died on December 13, 1943.

Sources:

Henderson Gold Leaf, May 10 1888.

Brandimarte, Cynthia , "Women on the Home Front: Hostess Houses during World War I," Winterthur Portfolio 42, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 201-222.

Daniels, Addie Worth Bagley. Recollections of a cabinet minister's wife: 1913-1921. Raleigh, North Carolina: [publisher unknown,]1945.

Daniels, Addie Worth Bagley. "The Justice, Expediency and Inevitableness of Ratification." Everywoman's Magazine: July/August 1920.

Rogers, Lou. "Addie Worth Bagley Daniels." We the People of North Carolina Vol 4, No. 1: May 1946, pp 20-23.

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