Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biography of Daisy D. Hart, 1878-1951


By Katherine Riordan, Undergraduate, University of Rhode Island

Daisy D. Heisey was born on August 31, 1878 in South Carolina, but spent a significant amount of her life in Rhode Island. Although Rhode Island undoubtedly had problems regarding racism and discrimination, it is possible that the Heisey family relocated to the Northeast because of the comparatively better opportunities for African Americans in the North. While living in East Providence, Hart worked closely with the women's suffrage movement. At age sixteen, Daisy married 19 year-Richard Dean Hart. Also from South Carolina, Richard Hart worked as a janitor in private homes. Richard and Daisy D. Hart had one son, Richard Dean Hart, Jr., who was born on March 1, 1910. The Harts owned their home in East Providence for almost fifty years.

Daisy D. Hart did not have any official occupation listed in the censuses, but there is evidence she was deeply involved with the women's suffrage movement in the State of Rhode Island. On April 25, 1902, Rhode Island Secretary of State Charles Bennett certified that Daisy D. Hart, as well as Grace E. Johnston, Jennie Pierce, Gertrude J. Gumes, and Hattie Sawyer could form a "corporation" called the "Womens New Century Club." In addition to being a women's working home, Womens New Century Club's purpose was that of "charitable, social, and literary work." The Women's New Century Club also housed 35 working women and helped them have a place to live. The club furnished the house at 144 Wayland Avenue. The Providence Journal praised this club for all its philanthropy they have done regardless of a small membership. Daisy Hart was chairman for the opening day.

On December 15th, 1914 Hart was a member of the committee of arrangements for an event at the First Baptist Church. This event featured Mrs. Belle Case La Follette as the keynote speaker. Mrs. La Follette was a lawyer and suffrage advocate who helped her husband, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, on women's issues. Mrs. La Follette advocated for desegregation in the District of Columbia. Mrs. La Follette's visit to the First Baptist in Providence also featured an address on "The Work of the Colored Women of Rhode Island" by Mary E.Jackson, President of the R.I. Union of Colored Women's Clubs.

Daisy D. Hart's signature was featured on the 1916 Resolution of the Union Colored Women's Clubs Supporting the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment. This resolution was signed by 24 black women, including famous suffragist Mary E. Jackson, at the Congdon St. Baptist Church.

Daisy Hart died on December 9, 1951 at their longtime home of 114 Metacomet Avenue in East Providence; Richard Hart later died in the same house in 1954. Richard Dean Hart, Jr., died in 1998 in Maryland after a long career in the Navy.


"Charlotta Bass (U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

Providence Journal, 1918, p. 14.

Providence Journal, 1914, p. 9.

Providence Journal, March 19, 1954, "Hart" death notice.

Island, Rhode. At the General Assembly of the State of Rhode -Island and Providence. Nabu Press, 2012.

"Resolution of the [Rhode Island] Union Colored Women's Clubs Supporting the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, 1916." U.S. Senate: Resolution of the [Rhode Island] Union Colored Women's Clubs Supporting the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, 1916,

U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, Richard D. Hart, Jr.

Nancy Unger, "How Did Belle La Follette Oppose Racial Segregation in Washington, D.C., 1913-1914?," in Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000, an online subscription database.


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