MARCH 24, 1826–MARCH 18, 1898
Matilda Joslyn Gage was born in Cicero, New York, in 1826. She was a women’s rights activist, lecturer, and writer. She began her activist career in 1852 when she spoke at a women’s rights convention in Syracuse, New York.
Gage coedited the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The six-volume publication was part of an effort to establish an official record of the women’s suffrage movement in America. Written from the limited perspective of Anthony and Stanton’s faction of the movement, the History is thawed, but it remains an important document containing a great deal of valuable information. Gage also wrote pro women’s rights essays and pamphlets, often questioning anti woman stances in the Christian Church. She believed that the Church’s laws and traditions unfairly made women seem sinful and inferior to men, and that to allow the Church to influence laws would contribute to women’s legal inequality.
Gage supported the rights of Native Americans, speaking out against their cruel and unfair treatment by the US government. In 1890, she organized a group called the Woman’s National Liberal Union, which advocated for the separation of church and state. She died in 1898 at age 71.
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