BORN CRIM­I­NAL: MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, RAD­I­CAL SUFFRAGIST

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Au­thor: An­gel­ica Shirley Car­pen­ter, curator emerita at the Arne Nixon Cen­ter for the Study of Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture at Fresno State

De­scrip­tion: In 1893, a deputy sher­iff knocked on Matilda Joslyn Gage’s door in Fayet­teville, New York. He had come to ar­rest her. “All of the crimes which I was not guilty of rushed through my mind,” she wrote later, “but I failed to re­mem­ber that I was a born crim­i­nal – a woman.” Her crime: reg­is­ter­ing to vote. The ver­dict: guilty as charged.

Matilda was ac­tu­ally pleased to be ar­rested. She wel­comed at­ten­tion to her cause: women’s rights. A fa­mous leader in the early women’s move­ment, she was a writer, or­ga­nizer, speaker, plan­ner, and his­to­rian. She worked closely with Su­san B. An­thony and El­iz­a­beth Cady Stan­ton, but to­day she is mostly for­got­ten, af­ter those so-called friends wrote her out of his­tory. Car­pen­ter says, “I hope that my book will help to write her back in.” (South Dakota His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety Press, 272 pages)

Avail­able at Pe­tu­nia’s Place in Fresno, A Book Barn in Clo­vis and on Ama­zon, $16.95 for hardcover, an­gel­i­cacar­pen­ter.com.

Cour­tesy of An­gel­ica Shirley Car­pen­ter

Lo­cal au­thor An­gel­ica Shirley Car­pen­ter pub­lished a new book about suffragist Matila Joslyn Gage.

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