Rose Winslow talks about her hunger strike

Rose Winslow, circa 1916
Rose Winslow, circa 1916

“The women are all so magnificent, so beautiful. Alice Paul is as thin as ever, pale and large-eyed. We have been in solitary for five weeks. There is nothing to tell but that the days go by somehow. I have felt quite feeble the last few days–faint, so that I could hardly get my hair brushed, my arms ached so. But to-day I am well again. Alice Paul and I talk back and forth though we are at opposite ends of the building and a hall door shuts us apart. But occasionally–thrills–we escape from behind our iron-barred doors and visit. Great laughter and rejoicing.

Alice Paul is in the psychopathic ward. She dreaded forcible feeding frightfully, and I hate to think how she must be feeling. I had a nervous time of it, gasping a long time afterward, and my stomach rejecting during the process. I spent a bad, restless night, but otherwise I am all right. The poor soul who feed me got liberally besprinkled during the process. I heard myself making the most hideous sounds…One feels so forsaken when one lies prone and people shove a pipe down one’s stomach.

This morning, but for an astounding tiredness, I am all right. I  am waiting to see what happens when the President realizes that brutal bullying isn’t quite a statesmanlike method for settling a demand for justice at home.”

– Rose Winslow

Note: In November 1917, Rose became the first to join Alice Paul in a hunger strike in the fight for women to receive the right to vote.

Sources: Rose Winslow of New York; daughter of Polish miner and steel worker in Pennsylvania. She worked in textile mills from the age of eleven to nineteen, until tuberculosis forced her to cease work altogether for two years. She has done factory inspection and trade union organization for women in the C. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>. Doris Steven’s Jailed for Freedom pp. 188-189,