Biographical Sketch of Frank D. Tracy

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mrs. Frank D. Tracy, 1883-?

By Pauline Setordjie, student, Binghamton University, Vestal, New York.

Born in 1883 to Mr. Frank M. Sampey and Mrs. S.U Sampey, in Evergreen, Alabama was a daughter, Frank D. Sampey, later known as Frank Tracy. She spent most of her childhood in Alabama until her family moved to Pensacola, Florida, where she grew up and spent her time contributing to the Pensacola community. Her father was of French Protestant (or Huguenot) descent and served in the "Fourth Fighting" regiment of Alabama during the Civil War. Her mother was part of the U.D.C, the United Daughters of Confederacy, and was chosen as an honorary State President. The U.D.C, an association made up of southern women; was founded to commemorate old confederate soldiers and was meant to fund the construction of confederate monuments. It focused on the treatment of the confederacy as heroic, slavery as harmless and promoted the Lost Cause--the idea of the Civil War as an attack on the vulnerable southern states.

After graduating from Judson College in Alabama, she went on to become a teacher in Pensacola and married Frank D. Tracy. (Yes, they shared the same given name.) She spent many years as both a member and later head of many associations. She was a member of the Shakespeare Club and the president of the Pensacola Browning Club, a group based on the very influential poet and playwright, Robert Browning. She was also part of the Pensacola Civic League which focused on improving the quality of life in the Pensacola neighborhood. She would later become the principal of the No. 80 school in Pensacola, president of the Primary Teachers' Association and the vice president of the School Improvement Association.

The only suffrage reference found for Mrs. Tracy was a note in the Florida state report in the History of Woman Suffrage, volume 6. The report indicated that the Florida State Federation of Women's Clubs first endorsed woman suffrage in 1916 and that Mrs. Tracy "directed the State [suffrage] work."

During WWI, she sold many government bonds and later became an instructor at Red Cross drives. From there, she would go on to become the president of the U.D.C chapter in Pensacola. Due to her dedication and her work, she organized a Pensacola Chapter of the Children of Confederacy and also led the U.D.C chapter's groundbreaking success. As a result, she was given the endorsement to be the State President and was appointed as the Florida Division leader in May, 1920. Not only was she involved with the U.D.C, but she was also a member of, the "Southern Literature and Endorsement of Books" and "Jefferson Davis Monument at His Birthplace in Kentucky"--two committees which focused on the endorsement of southern literature and books and the erection of a monument of Jefferson Davis, who served as president of the Confederate States, in his hometown of Fairview, Kentucky.

Sources:

Collier, Margaret Wootten. "Frank D. Tracy" volume I, Biographies of representative women of the South, 1861-[1938] (1920): accessed 30 September 2017.
http://gerritsen.chadwyck.com.proxy.binghamton.edu

The Pensacola journal. (Pensacola, Fla.), 25 Dec. 1908. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062268/1908-12-25/ed-1/seq-8/

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922). [LINK].

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