Gage, Matilda Joslyn (1826–1898)

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Gage, Matilda Joslyn (1826–1898)

American feminist. Born Matilda Joslyn in Cicero, New York, Mar 25, 1826; died of an embolism in Chicago, Illinois, Mar 18, 1898; dau. of Dr. Hezekiah Joslyn (physician) and Helen (Leslie) Joslyn; m. Henry H. Gage, 1845; children: Helen Leslie Gage, Thomas Clarkson Gage, Julie L. Gage, and Maud Gage.

Influential 19th-century radical suffragist whose work on behalf of the rights of women has been largely ignored; delivered her 1st public address advocating women's rights in Syracuse, New York (1852); formed the National Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and helped found the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (1869); was named president of both state and national suffrage organizations (1875); co-wrote the "Declaration of the Rights of Women" (1876); was a founding member of the Equal Rights Party (1880); co-edited with Stanton and Anthony the 1st three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage (1881–86); formed the Woman's National Liberal Union (1890); published Woman, Church and State (1893), which set out to prove that the most egregious wrong ever inflicted upon woman was in the Christian teaching that God did not create her as man's equal (it offended many in the women's movement, particularly members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union); more radical than either Anthony or Stanton, was also the most intellectually daring; while her contemporaries focused on political issues, particularly the vote, concerned herself with the broader sociological and historical aspects of women's issues (1893).

See also Women in World History.