Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Florence Parsons MacDaniel, 1859- 1930

By Roberta Walsh, librarian, retired

Chairman, 5th Campaign District, The Empire State Women's Suffrage Committee; Co-vice-president, Syracuse Political Equality Club.

Florence Parsons was born on June 29, 1859, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the fifth of six children born to Charles R. Parsons (1821-1910) and Selina Adah Hall (1827-1863). In 1893 she married Leonard Osborne MacDaniel (1858-1924). He was treasurer of the Solvay Process Company in Solvay, New York, for many years. Florence devoted much of her time to mental health causes and served on the Onondaga County Mental Hygiene Committee. Florence Parsons MacDaniel died in Ashfield, Massachusetts, on October 9, 1930, and was buried there in Plain Cemetery. #x00a0

Florence served as Co-vice-president of the Syracuse Political Equality Club when it was founded by Miss Harriet May Mills in 1892. On May 6, 1911, she marched in the women's suffrage parade in New York City. At that time plans were already being made for the Woman's Political Union parade scheduled for May 1912, and marchers were being assigned to different parade units according to occupation. Florence Parsons MacDaniel received national media coverage when she replied that she was “a parasite.” Newspapers reported, “Mrs MacDaniel explained that everyone who lived at the expense of someone else was a parasite.” The Syracuse Herald reporter went on to say, with tongue in cheek, “To just what division of the parade Mrs. MacDaniel will be assigned has not yet been decided by those in charge.”

In 1913 Florence was the elected alternate delegate to represent the Syracuse Political Equality Club at the New York State Suffrage Convention in Binghamton. Both she and her husband attended The Fourth Annual Conference of Single Taxers held in Washington, D.C. in 1914, in support of a resolution endorsing woman suffrage which was passed. Florence represented the Syracuse Political Equality Club at the 1914 Women's Political Union convention in Saratoga.


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“Idle Woman a Parasite says Mrs. MacDaniel,” Syracuse Herald, Dec. 8, 1911. From accessible at Syracuse NY Herald 1911 - 5699.pdf and

“Mr. Hazard In Line: Marches With 100 Men in Great Suffrage Parade,” The Syracuse Herald, May 8, 1911. From accessible at Syracuse NY Herald 1911 - 1641.pdf and

Obituary for Florence MacDaniel, The New York Sun, October 10, 1930. From accessible at New York NY Sun 1930 - 7481.pdf and

“Leonard MacDaniel Dies at Ashfield,” The Syracuse Journal, Oct. 22, 1924. From accessible at Syracuse NY Journal 1924 - 6721.pdf and

“Parasite, Occupation Mrs. MacDaniel Gives in Defining Her Work,” The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) Dec. 6, 1911. From accessible at Syracuse NY Post Standard 1911 - 5357.PDF and

“The Fels Fund Conference,” The Public, Vol. XVII #825, Jan. 23, 1914. Accessible at and

“Women Planning Saratoga Trip,” The Syracuse Herald, August 14, 1914. From accessible at Syracuse NY Herald 1914 b - 0769.pdf and

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