Biographical Sketch of Lucy Hyde Ewing

Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920

Biography of Lucy Hyde Ewing, 1885-1942


By John Bello, Gallery Educator, i.d.e.a. Museum, Mesa, Arizona

Lucy H. Ewing was born in 1885 in Cook County, Illinois. She resided in Chicago for most of her life. Her father Adlai Ewing was a Surveyor General and widowed by 1920. Her mother Kate Hyde was a housewife. There is very little information on her formative years. She was the niece of Adlai Stevenson who was the Vice President under Grover Cleveland.

By early 1917, Lucy Ewing had joined the Illinois branch of the militant National Woman's Party. In August 1917, she was arrested while holding a banner in front of the White House, urging presidential support for a constitutional suffrage amendment. Due to lively picketers from previous events the police were using strong-arm tactics to keep the peace. Lucy was one of the first group of political prisoners to receive a government jail sentence. She was sentenced on August 17, 1917, and served a 30-day term in Occoquan Workhouse. During the final years of the push for women's right to vote, the Occoquan Workhouse would house 150 imprisoned women for fighting for their right to vote. The conditions of the workhouse were deplorable.

After her time in jail, she toured with the Prison Special group from February to March in 1919. The Prison Special group would travel around to cities all over the United States giving speeches in garments resembling their prison uniform. The speeches would center on the need for a constitutional amendment providing for women’s right to vote, and the prisoners' own struggles fighting for their cause. Wherever the tour would travel, some crowds were indifferent to the women's plight or were angry at them for speaking about their circumstances. Others were wildly supportive. In the end, the Prison Special, along with many other forms of activism, convinced the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of passing the amendment.

Lucy Ewing was the Chairman of the Illinois NWP during the time of the Prison Special. She was awarded the Prison Door Pin, a brooch designed by NWP chair Alice Paul and given to each woman who endured jail time to win suffrage. The pin served as an emblem for her sacrifice of individual liberty for the liberty of all women.

In 1920 after women achieved the right to vote she married Joseph S. Glickauf. They had at least two children, Mary and John Glickauf. They would later divorce, and Joseph would remarry two more times before his death in 1950. Lucy Ewing died in 1942 in Chicago and is buried there. Throughout her life, she was a champion of women's right to vote and supported the cause until the very end.


Appendix of Suffrage Prisoners,
This source provided information on Lucy Ewing's participation in picketing the White House.

Miss Lucy Ewing, Chicago, Ill[inois], From Library of Congress Record Photo, Print, Drawing Database,
This source provided information on Lucy Ewing when she pickets the White House.

National Woman's Party Webpage,
This source provided information on her family.

Pugh, Evelyn L. "Women Suffrage Prisoners at Occoquan Workhouse Occoquan Regional Park," The Historical Marker Database,
This source provided information on prisoners like Lucy Ewing in the Occoquan Workhouse.

Sun, Rivera. "Silent Sentinels Start Suffrage Protest on Jan 10th, 1917", January 8th, 2016, Article,
This article provided information on the Prison Special speeches and their significance to the suffrage movement.

Teaching with Primary Sources Middle Tennessee State University "Primary Source Set: Women's Suffrage Movement Across America,"
This source provided information on different primary sources regarding the Picketing of the White House and the Prison Special.

Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, Pictures, and Background of Lucy Ewing,;
This source provided photos of Lucy Ewing and their impact on the suffrage movement.

United States. Federal Census Data. Population Schedules 1920, 1940.;
This source provided family information on Lucy Ewing.

Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party, From Library of Congress Record Database,
This source provided information on Lucy Ewing and her connection to the National Women's Party.

back to top