Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898)
Editor of National Citizen and Ballot Box
When the American colonies began their resistance to English tyranny, the women- all this inherited tendency to freedom surging in their veins- were as active, earnest, determined and self-sacrificing as the men… - 1881
Matilda Joslyn Gage entered the women’s rights movement with a speech at the 1852 National Women’s Rights Convention. Though not anticipated on the program, hers was the only speech of the convention to be reprinted in the paper, with her call to “Let Syracuse sustain her name for radicalism.”
Gage was close with her Native American neighbors, and was adopted by the Haudenosaunee into the Wolf Clan: “I received the name of Ka-ron-ien-ha-wi, or ‘Sky Carrier,’ or She who holds the sky.” While working with the Haudenosaunee, she observed a culture with a vastly different view toward women than her own. Gage and Stanton both wrote of a more equal division of power and labor in Haudenosaunee society, of women’s roles in choosing clan leaders, and of the matrilineal organization of Haudenosaunee families.