dora lewis

Dora Lewis was among the outspoken hunger-striking suffragist prisoners and she received some of the most brutal treatment at the hands of wardens at the District jail and the Occoquan Workhouse. During the infamous “Night of Terror” of November 15, 1917, at Occoquan, Lewis was hurled bodily into her cell. She was knocked unconscious and feared dead when she collided headfirst against her iron bed frame.

“Outdoor photograph of Mrs. Lawrence Lewis (Dora Lewis) (center) upon her release from jail, where she participated in a hunger strike for suffrage after being arrested at a Lafayette Square meeting, being physically supported by Clara Louise Rowe (left) and Abby Scott Baker from wagon (right).” I’m always awed by movements which use hunger strikes as one of their tactics. Whether one can judge it as useless martyrdom or courageous and effective, the amount of will power and the suffering involved always give me pause.