The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

SBA to Matilda Joslyn Gage[1]

Dear Mrs. Gage—

I send you some copies of appeal to the friends relative circulating Petitions—  You will of course see that a long list of names is sent up from Manlius— why can't you Canvass Onondaga County— Your Rochester Address is an admirable one to show people the necessity of a change in laws[2]— you could hold meetings in the villages near your home, & not be long absent from your little ones—  We do so need 40 or 50 women to work in the Lecturing field until the first of Feb—  Give that Lecture in Manlius at all events—   Yours Truly

Susan B. Anthony

ALS, Matilda Joslyn Gage Collection, MCR-S.
    [1.] Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898) took a small part in the woman's rights movement in the 1850s, while her children were young and her own health poor, and became one of its leaders in the 1870s. Well educated by her abolitionist father and sent to the Clinton Liberal Institute near their home in Syracuse, she was particularly noted for her skills in research, editing, and writing. She married Henry H. Gage, a merchant, in 1845, and they settled at Fayetteville, a village in Manlius, in Onondaga County, where she raised four children. She made her speaking debut at the woman's rights convention in Syracuse in 1852, but she was never a great or comfortable speaker. Primarily, she wrote. (Notable American Women; Wagner, "Introduction," xv-xxxix.)
    [2.] In an address described as "brief and well written," based on legal authorities and court decisions, Gage identified women's legal disabilities under five headings: husbands' control of wives' earnings, fathers' authority in custody decisions, taxation without representation, limited grounds for divorce, and disfranchisement. (Monroe Democrat, 8 December 1853, Film, 7:848-51.)