Biographical Sketch of Marian Lewis English

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920

Biography of Marian Lewis English, 1886-?

By Taylor Jeromos, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Marian Lewis (Mrs. Fred Lewis English, remarried as Mrs. Chauncey Clark) was born on June 7, 1886 in St. Louis, MO to Patty Cook and Edward S. Lewis. In the mid-1910s, Marian, then in her early twenties, participated in suffrage demonstrations in New York City. Upon returning to St. Louis, she married Fred Lewis in 1916 and continued to press for universal suffrage. She served for 1919-1920 as the President/Chairman of the St. Louis League of Women Voters (formerly the Equal Suffrage League) and was an active participant in the St. Louis national suffrage convention in 1916. Later in life she reflected on the fact that by 1916, universal suffrage was seen by many in her circles as inevitable; according to Marian, the main backlash to their work came in the form of ridicule from those who derided the idea of women's rights. Lewis, and many of her suffragist companions, travelled to Jefferson City, MO to see Governor Gardner sign the 19th Amendment. In 1916, St. Louis hosted the Democratic National Convention during which Lewis served as delegate from the Equal Suffrage League.

Once universal suffrage passed in the United States, Marian worked with local schools and organizations to teach students about government, representation, and the importance of universal voting rights for the good of the community.

Sources:

Ida Husted Harper, History of Women Suffrage, Vol. 6, 1900-1920, ed, p. 352. [LINK]

“Speeding Up the Schools,” The Woman Citizen, Vol. 4, April 17, 1920, p. 1151.

Marian L. Clarke Oral History, July 1, 1976, Oral History Program Tapes – League of Women Voters of Missouri Papers 1911-1976, University of Missouri – St. Louis, MO.

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