On June 4, 1919 the 19th Amendment passed by the Senate and the moment was monumental in securing a woman’s right to vote in the United States. Much of the work that was done a century ago and is largely in part due to the grassroots efforts of first-wave feminists including one Central New York woman.
Women in the
Although we hear so much of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in terms of first-wave feminism in the
The radical suffragist was born in
By the time of her death in 1898, women’s movements had become a lot more conservative. But this hadn’t stopped Gage from organizing extreme feminist action across the nation until the very end. This includes writing an acerbic criticism of Christianity and the misogyny therein called Woman, Church, and State, promoting a matrilineal society, and sympathizing with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, having been part of the Wolf Clan herself.
To put it in a word, Searing notes that “she was a radical, a very radical woman.” And like so many other radicals, Gage was pushed to the sidelines in the wake of more digestible, more moderate figures.
If you want to learn more about Matilda Joslyn Gage or any other important pieces of Onondaga County history, visit the OHA Museum at 321 Montgomery Street in Syracuse or the Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center at the Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool.