Margaret Davidson-Black survived her husband by 43 years. She hyphenated her name legally in 1913, but for the purpose of this finding aid, Margaret Black will be referred to without using her hyphenated surname. This sous-fonds begins with Margaret’s handwritten account of her working life and a file on her official change of name. It also includes other legal documents, materials related to her involvement in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Church of England in Canada, and some photographs. The remainder of the sous-fonds consists mostly of letters sent to her by friends and family members, especially her sons, Redmond and Davidson, who, from boyhood, wrote to her weekly (sometimes more often) when they were apart. There are also a number of letters from her sons’ wives, Grace and Adena; various Delamere relatives, especially her sisters, Sassie and Emily, and brother, Will; and other friends.
In the first accession received in 2011, some of the letters Redmond sent to her are present, but most were separated out by family members and handed over to Redmond’s family. The 2018 accession consists of these letters that had been separated out. However, a number of Davidson’s letters are also present in this accession, as Margaret often passed along letters written by him to her other son Redmond, which he would then return, usually enclosed with his own letters to Margaret.
Davidson’s letters from his youth provide both a detailed description of his activities and insight into his interests and ideas. The letters from 1919 on are of particular interest because of his running commentary on the political turmoil in China, his observations on Chinese customs and society, and the description of aspects of his professional work that he thought would interest
his mother. Letters written by Redmond in 1902 and 1916 are of particular interest, as they reveal aspects of Canadian involvement in overseas wars (Boer War and World War I).