Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Daisy E. Welsh, ca. 1880-?

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Daisy Rix was born in North Carolina about 1880 (Census and marriage records vary). In 1902 she married John A. Welch, also of North Carolina. Their first two children were born in North Carolina and the third in Virginia in 1900 or 1901. The 1920 census found them living on Florida Ave., NW in the District of Columbia, living with two boarders as well as their three children. John worked as a messenger in the War Department; no occupation was noted for Daisy.

Daisy Welsh was active in community affairs. In April 1917 she worked under the leadership of Mary Church Terrell to raise funds in the Black community for the Instructive Visiting Nurse Society. In March 1925 Daisy served as a hostess for a reception and musical held at Dunbar High School to honor Hallie Q. Brown, president of the National Association of Colored Women. In April 1926 she read the Emancipation Proclamation at the annual emancipation celebration sponsored by the National Race Congress of America.

In February 1921, Daisy Welsh joined a delegation of 60 Black women suffragists, who protested violations of the recently ratified 19th Amendment in Southern states that denied Black women their voting rights. The delegation, headed by the field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Addie W. Hunton, met with Alice Paul, head of the National Woman's Party (NWP), on the eve of the party's national convention. Their purpose was to press the NWP to pass a resolution calling on Congress to investigate the failures of Southern states to enforce the 19th Amendment for Black women. Paul made no such commitment and the convention as a whole refused to endorse the call.

The ratification of the 19th Amendment did not give women in the District of Columbia the vote because Washington residents did not have home rule and they did not vote in federal elections. Still, Daisy Welsh became involved in city politics. She helped found the Colored Women's Republican League in September 1920 and in October she spoke at the opening session of the group. In 1924 she served as membership secretary of the Women's Political Study Club. In October 1924 she served on the planning committee for a Republican mass meeting sponsored by the Lucretia Mott Republican League.

In March 1929 her husband passed away and the death notice lists Daisy and two of her children as surviving him. In June 1935 she gave an address at St. Mark's Baptist Church. In June 1942 Daisy, now in her sixties, completed a training program to serve as a Child Care Aid in support of the war effort.

I've not found a death record for Daisy Welsh.

Sources:

Federal Manuscript Census, Washington, D.C., 1920. 1902 Marriage Record for John Welch and Daisy Rix. Accessible online with Ancestry Library Edition.

Mary-Elizabeth B. Murphy, "African American Women's Politics, Organizing, and Activism in 1920s-Washington, D.C.," (Unpublished Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, 2012).

List of NAACP Delegation Members to Alice Paul, 12 February 1921, NAACP Papers, Part 04 Voting Rights and Voting Rights Campaign, 1916-1950 (Feb. 8, 1921-April 3, 1921), frames 61-64, Library of Congress.

"Nurse Fund Drive Gets Colored Aid," Washington Evening Star, 16 April 1921, p. 2.

"Rally for Women," Washington Evening Star, 12 Oct. 1924, p. 23.

"G.O.P. Colored Women in Conference Here," Washington Evening Star, 6 March 1925, p. 17.

"Race Congress Plans Annual Celebration," Washington Evening Star, 27 December 1925, p. 24.

 

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