United Daughters of the Confederacy
|Motto||"Think, Love, Pray, Dare, Live"|
|Established||September 10, 1894|
|Legal status||Federally chartered corporation|
|Purpose||Social, benevolent, historical, memorial|
328 North Boulevard,
|General Executive Board|
|Subsidiaries||Children of the Confederacy|
|National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy|
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., founded in 1894, is an association of female descendants of Confederate veterans. Its role is to preserve and uphold the memory of the Confederate veterans, especially those husbands, sons, fathers and brothers who died in the war.
The UDC was influential primarily in the early twentieth century across the South, where its main role was to preserve and uphold the memory of the Confederate veterans, especially those husbands, sons, fathers and brothers who died in the war.
Across the Southern United States, associations were founded after the Civil War, chiefly by women, to organize burials of Confederate soldiers, establish and care for permanent cemeteries for Confederate soldiers, organize commemorative ceremonies, and sponsor impressive monuments as a permanent way of remembering the Confederate cause and tradition. They were "strikingly successful at raising money to build Confederate monuments, lobbying legislatures and Congress for the reburial of Confederate dead, and working to shape the content of history textbooks." They also raised money to care for the widows and children of the Confederate dead. Most of these memorial associations eventually merged into the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which grew from 17,000 members in 1900 to nearly 100,000 women by World War I.
Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall argues that the UDC was a powerful promoter of women's history:
- UDC leaders were determined to assert women's cultural authority over virtually every representation of the region's past. This they did by lobbying for state archives and museums, national historic sites, and historic highways; compiling genealogies; interviewing former soldiers; writing history textbooks; and erecting monuments, which now moved triumphantly from cemeteries into town centers. More than half a century before women's history and public history emerged as fields of inquiry and action, the UDC, with other women's associations, strove to etch women's accomplishments into the historical record and to take history to the people, from the nursery and the fireside to the schoolhouse and the public square.
The organization encouraged women to publish their experiences in the war, beginning with biographies of major southern figures, such as Varina Davis' of her husband Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. Later, women began adding more of their own experiences to the "public discourse about the war", in the form of memoirs, such as those published in the early 1900s by Sara Pryor, Virginia Clopton and Louise Wright and others. They also recommended structures for the memoirs. By the turn of the twentieth century, a dozen memoirs by southern women were published. They constituted part of the growing public memory about the antebellum years and the Lost Cause, as they vigorously defended the Confederacy.
After 1900 the UDC became an umbrella organization coordinating local memorial groups.The UDC women specialized in sponsoring local monuments to anonymous soldiers. After 1945, they were active in placing historical markers along Southern highways.
The UDC has also been active in national causes during wartime. According to the organization, during World War I, it funded 70 hospital beds at the American Military Hospital on the Western front and contributed $82,000 for French and Belgian war orphans. Homefront campaign raised $24 million for war bonds and savings stamps. Members donated over $800,000 to the Red Cross. During World War II, the U.D.C. gave financial aid to student nurses.
The UDC donated US$50,000 for the construction of Confederate Memorial Hall on the campus of Vanderbilt University in 1935. By August 2016, the university returned US$1.2 million to the UDC after the board of trust, backed by "anonymous donors", agreed to remove the word "Confederate" from the building.
"The number of women's clubs devoted to filiopietism and history was staggering," says historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage. He notes two typical club women in Texas and Mississippi, who between them belonged to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Daughters of the Pilgrims, Daughters of the War of 1812, Daughters of Colonial Governors, and Daughters of the Founders and Patriots of America, Order of the First Families of Virginia, and the Colonial Dames of America, as well as a few other historically oriented societies. Comparable men, on the other hand, were much less interested in historical organizations, and devoted their energies to secret fraternal societies, while they emphasized athletic, political and financial exploits. Brundage notes that after women's suffrage came in 1920, the historical role of the women's organizations eroded.
Goals of the group
As stated in the Articles of Incorporation of 1894, the Objectives of the society are Historical, Benevolent, Educational, Memorial and Patriotic and include the following goals:
- To honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States.
- To protect, preserve and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.
- To collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States.
- To record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle and in untiring efforts after the War during the reconstruction of the South.
- To fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence toward the survivors and toward those dependent upon them.
- To assist descendants of worthy Confederates in securing proper education.
- To cherish the ties of friendship among the members of the Organization.
Children of the Confederacy
The UDC has a youth auxiliary called the Children of the Confederacy (CofC). The UDC is open to both males and females "from birth" to the CofC convention after their 18th birthday, who can trace their lineage to a Confederate ancestor, or to a member of the UDC. The group has historically held meetings with veterans, widows and historians of the Civil War, observed Confederate Memorial Days, decorated graves, sponsored scholarships and published pamphlets and catechisms presenting the "Southern version" of the Civil War. Today they also engage in activities such as book drives for Beauvoir, fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House, canned food drives as well as veterans causes. The first CoC chapter was organized by the Mary Custis Lee Chapter of the UDC in Alexandria, Virginia in 1896. It was formally incorporated on May 6, 1897. New chapters were established in Virginia and Alabama by 1898.
- Confederate monuments
- Confederate Museum
- Jefferson Davis Highway
- Ladies Memorial Association
- Memorial Day
- Sons of Confederate Veterans
- Southern Cross of Honor
- United Confederate Veterans
- Cynthia Mills, and Pamela Hemenway Simpson, eds. Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (U. of Tennessee Press, 2003)
- Megan B. Boccardi, "Remembering in black and white: Missouri women's memorial work 1860-1910" (PhD. Dissertation,, University of Missouri--Columbia, 2011, online.
- Cynthia Mills and Pamela H. Simpson, eds., Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (2003)
- Faust 2008, pp. 237–247.
- Blight 2001, pp. 272–273.
- Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "'You must remember this': Autobiography as social critique." Journal of American History (1998): 439-465 at p 450. in JSTOR
- Gardner 2006, pp. 128–130.
- Janney, 2012
- H. E. Gulley, "Women and the Lost Cause: Preserving A Confederate Identity in the American Deep South." Journal of Historical Geography (1993) 19#2 pp 125-141
- Tamburin, Adam (August 15, 2016). "Vanderbilt to remove 'Confederate' from building name". The Tennessean. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
Anonymous donors recently gave the university the $1.2 million needed for that purpose; the Vanderbilt Board of Trust authorized the move this summer.
- Koren, Marina (August 15, 2016). "The College Dorm and the Confederacy". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
Vanderbilt will return $1.2 million to the Tennessee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the present value of the $50,000 the group donated to the school in 1933 for the construction of the dorm. [...] The $1.2 million payment will come from anonymous donors who gave specifically for the removal of the inscription, the school said.
- W. Fitzhugh Brundage, "White Women and the Politics of Historical Memory in the New South, 1880-1920." in Jane Dailey, Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, & Bryant Simon, eds., Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton UP, 2000) pp. 115-39. esp. 119, 123, 131
- "History of the UDC | United Daughters of the Confederacy". Hqudc.org. 1919-07-18. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Free Speech and the Lost Cause in the Old Dominion Fred Arthur Bailey The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography , Vol. 103, No. 2, "Play the Bitter Loser's Game": Reconstruction and the Lost Cause in the Old Dominion (Apr., 1995), pp. 2350-1
- "Children of Confederacy Active in Community Service". Timesexaminer.com. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "Children of Confederacy, DAR bring gifts to vets". Sptimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Rutherford 1916, p. 28.
- Blight, David (2001). Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Cox, Karen L. Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture (University Press of Florida, 2003)
- Faust, Drew (2008). This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Gardner, Sarah (2006). Blood And Irony: Southern White Women's Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press.
- Gulley, H. E. "Women and the Lost Cause: Preserving A Confederate Identity in the American Deep South." Journal of Historical Geography (1993) 19#2 pp 125–141.
- Janney, Caroline E. Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2012); shows the UDC worked closely with local memorial associations
- Mills, Cynthia and Pamela H. Simpson, eds. Monuments To The Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (2003)
- Rutherford, Mildred Lewis (1916). What the South May Claim. Athens, Georgia: M'Gregor Co. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., Business Office. Minutes of the One Hundred and Twenty-first Annual General Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held in Richmond, Va. November 6-10, 2014. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
- United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., Business Office (2013). U.D.C. Handbook (6th ed.). Richmond, Virginia.
- Codieck, Barrett. "Keepers of history, shapers of memory: The Florida division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1895--1930" (MA Thesis, Florida State University, 2012). online[permanent dead link] Bibliography on pages 58 – 62.
- Foster, Gaines M. (1987). Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Parrott, Angie (1991). "'Love Makes Memory Eternal': The United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, 1897–1920," in Edward Ayers and John C. Willis, eds. The Edge of the South: Life in Nineteenth-Century Virginia, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
- Simpson, Pamela and Cynthia Mills, eds. Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (U of Tennessee Press, 2003).
- United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., Business Office. Minutes of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Annual General Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held in Richmond, Va. November 1-5, 2012. Richmond, Virginia: Author.
- United Daughters of the Confederacy, Inc., History Committee (ed.) (1988). The History of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (Vol. III). Raleigh, North Carolina: Edwards & Broughton.
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