Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920

Biography of Alyse Gregory, 1884-1967


By Marcie Flinchum Atkins, author and librarian

Alyse Gregory was a suffrage organizer in both Connecticut and New Jersey. But before that she was a budding musician.

Alyse Gregory was born in 1882 in Norwalk, Connecticut. At fifteen, her parents sent her to France to pursue a musical education as an opera singer.

When she returned to the United States, her suffrage career began. In 1914-1915, she was a Connecticut state suffrage organizer and spoke frequently at suffrage events. She began her suffrage career by organizing a suffrage club attended by only six women. At one tea held in 1915 for the Connecticut General Assembly, suffrage leaders spoke every thirty minutes. When it was Gregory's turn to speak, she said, "The granting of woman suffrage would not bring about any very violent change: the change has already taken place." She sometimes gave speeches in French and Italian.

She marched in a suffrage parade in New York and remembered, "We felt that we in our generation were taking our place in that age-old struggle of enlightenment against ignorance, of liberty against fatality." By April 1915, suffragists recognized the need to campaign for suffrage in New Jersey prior to a fall vote for woman suffrage by the state legislature. Connecticut allowed Alyse Gregory and Emily Pierson to campaign for suffrage in New Jersey. While traveling in New Jersey, someone ransacked their room.

Miss Gregory and a friend opened a tea shop in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1918, just a few blocks from the offices of The Dial, a well-known literary magazine at the time. It became a frequent meeting place for people who worked at The Dial. She often overheard them discussing manuscripts, and Scofield Thayer, a co-owner of The Dial, tried to get Gregory to work for him. Eventually, she agreed, and Thayer appointed her as managing editor, where she edited many famous writers.

She participated in the parade and protest the National Woman's Party held in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House in March 1919. Women were there to protest President Wilson, and many of them were pushed around and their banners were torn.

In addition to being an editor, Gregory herself wrote in newspapers and magazines. After World War I, she wrote about the women who moved into apartments and began earning a living, instead of going home: "girls from well-bred, respectable, middle-class families broke through those invisible chains of custom and asserted their right to a nonchalant, self-sustaining life of their own . . ."

She married Llewelyn Powys, a writer, who published more than two dozen books including Black Laughter. They had no children. Eventually, he became ill and wanted to return to his native England. Gregory resigned her job and moved with her husband to England. He died in Switzerland in 1939.

Alyse Gregory wrote an autobiography, The Day is Gone, published in 1948. It received some scathing reviews. One reviewer wrote, "The style is at first full of muted music…As it goes on, the style though always accomplished, becomes drier and more wooden." She also wrote book reviews, articles for various publications, several novels, and her autobiography. After her death, excerpts from her journals were published as The Cry of a Gull.

Alyse Gregory, described as having a melancholic nature, committed suicide in England in August 1967.


(1) "Alyse E Gregory in Household of James G Gregory, 'United States Census, 1900.'" FamilySearch, /ark:/61903/1:1:M9QN-VQ4. Accessed 16 Mar. 2020.

(2) Alyse Gregory. Accessed 16 Mar. 2020.

(3) "Pushing Campaign for Equal Suffrage." Norwich Bulletin, 18 Nov. 1914. Chronicling America.

(4) "Suffragist Tea for Legislators." Bridgeport Evening Farmer, 11 Feb. 1915. Chronicling America.

(5) "Equal Suffrage Campaign." Daily Register, 30 June 1915.

(6) Gregory, Alyse. The Day is Gone. E.E. Dutton, 1948.

(7) Porritt, A.G. "Connecticut Suffrage News." Bridgeport Evening Farmer, 10 Apr 1915. Chronicling America.

(8) "Ransack Rooms of Torch Bearers." Asbury Park Press, 24 Aug. 1915.

(9) Peltier, Jacqueline. "Alyse Gregory & The Dial." Powys Notes, vol. Spring, 2000, pp. 1-4.

(10) "Alyse Gregory, 84; Writer and Editor." New York Times, 31 Aug. 1967.

(11) "Six Suffragists Are Arrested Here." New York Tribune, 5 March 1919.

(12) Gregory, Alyse. "New Era Girl Smiles a Slow Secret Smile." San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Dec. 1923.

(13) "Llewelyn Powys, Author, Dies at 55 in Switzerland." Boston Globe, 5 Dec. 1939.

(14) Allen, Morse. "Through Violet-Tinted Mist." Harford Courant, 16 May 1948.

(15) "Alyse Gregory.". The Powys Society, Accessed 16 Mar. 2020.

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