Matilda Joslyn Gage
(1826–1898) Matilda was a suffragist, Native American rights activist, abolitionist, freethinker, and author. She is the eponym for the Matilda Effect, which describes the tendency to deny women credit for scientific invention.
Matilda was the youngest speaker at the 1852 National Women's Rights Convention held in Syracuse, New York. She was a tireless worker and public speaker, and contributed numerous articles to the press, being regarded as one of the most logical, fearless and scientific writers of her day. During 1878–1881, she published and edited at Syracuse the National Citizen, a paper devoted to the cause of women.
In 1880, she was a delegate from the National Woman Suffrage Association to the Republican and Greenback conventions in Chicago and the Democratic convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, she was for years in the forefront of the suffrage movement, and collaborated with them in writing the History of Woman Suffrage (1881–1887). She was the author of the Woman's Rights Catechism (1868); Woman as Inventor (1870); Who Planned the Tennessee Campaign (1880); and Woman, Church and State (1893).
Matilda served as president of the New York State Suffrage Association for five years, and president of the National Woman's Suffrage Association during 1875–76, which was one of the affiliating societies forming the national suffrage association, in 1890; she also held the office of second vice-president, vice-president-at-large and chairman of the executive committee of the original National Woman Suffrage Association.
Matilda's views on suffrage and feminism were considered too radical by many members of the suffrage association, and in consequence, she organized in 1890 the Woman's National Liberal Union, whose objects were: To assert woman's natural right to self-government; to show the cause of delay in the recognition of her demand; to preserve the principles of civil and religious liberty; to arouse public opinion to the danger of a union of church and state through an amendment to the constitution, and to denounce the doctrine of woman's inferiority. She served as president of this union from its inception until her death in Chicago, in 1898. (Source: Sue Boland)
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