BORN CRIMINAL: MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, RADICAL SUFFRAGIST
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.
Local author Angelica Shirley Carpenter published a new book about suffragist Matila Joslyn Gage.