Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mrs. Annie E. McDavid, 1867-1939
By Amanda Sanger, undergraduate student, Binghamton University, Vestal, NY
President of Pensacola 298 United Daughters of the Confederacy
Annie E. Young was born in September 1867 in Alabama. Her father was born in Great Britain (either Ireland or Scotland), and her mother, born in New York, was of Irish descent. She was named after her mother, also Annie E. Young. She married R. B. McDavid on August 26, 1884. Before he passed away, they had three daughters together; Ethel (born in approximately 1885), Vera (born in approximately 1888), and Irma (born in approximately 1890). Annie McDavid was able to read, write, and speak in English. She lived in Pensacola, Florida, for much of her life, and that is where she performed the majority of her suffragist work. She died in the year 1939, at approximately 72 years old.
Annie McDavid held many occupations throughout her life. Early on she was a stenographer, and after she was widowed and became the head of her household, she opened her house up to boarders. Her eldest daughter, Ethel, and her family, were among the first of boarders that Mrs. McDavid had. However, there were countless others, too. She put various ads in newspapers to attract boarders. Along with running her boarding house, she became very prominent in the suffrage work being done in her town of residence: Pensacola, Florida.
Mrs. A. E. McDavid was elected the President of the Pensacola Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederation in 1906, following the retirement of Miss Lella C. Reese. Various documents have stated that she well represented the women of Pensacola in her role as president. She had a very successful presidency and kept her chapter of the U. D. C. in pristine condition. She was only president for a few years, but she was a lifelong member of the United Daughters of the Confederation. She put on many social functions and held the meetings at her house, which was a commonality among women in the early twentieth century. She frequently wrote journal entries for the local newspaper that updated the public on what was happening within the UDC sphere.
The United Daughters of the Confederation aimed to preserve the conservative southern culture after the defeat of the Confederacy. The UDC wished to aid proper southern ladies in maintaining their social status, yet also allowed them to enter and participate in the public social sphere. The United Daughters of the Confederation was formed to encourage support for the war efforts and those who were affected. Mrs. McDavid was in charge of giving out Crosses of Honor to Confederate Veterans. Members of the UDC were always at political functions and events voicing their opinions, using their new-found knowledge of public speaking and lobbying. This organization served as a platform for elite, white suffragists to get their foot in the door by expanding women's societal roles and giving women leadership roles that would help them gain acknowledgment and respect. This organization served as a platform for Mrs. McDavid, and many elite women like her, to have the ability to create social and political change in their society and have an impact on conserving their southern culture.
There are few accessible sources that show how Mrs. A. E. McDavid directly contributed to the Suffrage Movement. The History of Woman Suffrage, volume 6 (1922), notes that she was active in Florida suffrage work, but gives no dates or details. In 1914 she served as chairman of the finance committee of the Pensacola Equal Suffrage League. By March 1915 she was serving as president of the league and reported its membership at "over two hundred." There was not a lot of information about her father or husband, most likely because they both passed away before she accomplished anything notable. There were not records of what occurred in Mrs. McDavid's childhood, or how she ended up in Pensacola.
Ancestry. Accessed October 1, 2017. https://www.ancestry.com/.
Beck, E. Nellie. "People and Events." Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL), January 14, 1906, U. D. C. Officers and Standing Committees '06, 10.
Beck, E. Nellie. "People and Events." Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL), March 11, 1906, Pensacola U. D. C. Meet Tuesday Afternoon.
Confederate Veteran. Vol. 14. N.p.: S. A. Cunningham, 1998, 315.
Foster, Gaines M. "Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughter of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture (review)." Southern Cultures 10, no. 1 (Spring 2004).
Family Search. Accessed October 1, 2017. https://www.familysearch.org/.
McDavid, A. E., Mrs. "United Daughters of the Confederacy." Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL), July 2, 1907.
Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, FL). "'Want' Advertisements." January 6, 1905, Board and Rooms.
Remillard, Arthur. Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post Reconstruction Era. N.p.: University of Georgia Press, 2011.
United Daughters of the Confederacy. https://www.hqudc.org/.
Numerous references to her activism in the Pensacola Equal Suffrage League in 1914-1915 in the Pensacola News Journal, accessed through Newspapers.com.