Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell | Go to book overview
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her major work, Woman, Church and State, which some recent feminist theorists believe to be the most important tract of the early woman's rights movement.

She paid a heavy price for her far-reaching, visionary analysis. She lost the friendship of her increasingly conservative coworkers in the woman's movement, who ultimately wrote her out of suffrage history. It was not unexpected. "We are battling for the good of those who shall come after us," she wrote in the final editorial of her newspaper; "they, not ourselves, shall enter into the harvest" ( National Citizen and Ballot Box, October 1881).


Joslyn Gage's papers, gathered by her granddaughter, are available on microfilm from the Schlesinger Library. Her woman's rights scrapbooks, containing some published accounts of her speeches and newspaper clippings of her activities, as well as a sample of her published editorials and news stories, have been microfilmed by the Library of Congress, Rare Books Division, their repository. They represent a researcher's dream and a citation nightmare; most clippings are unidentified. In addition to the newspaper she edited, the National Citizen and Ballot Box, 1878- 1881, Joslyn Gage wrote extensively for the Revolution. The Woman's Tribune, the Sibyl, the ( Boston) Index, the ( Portland) New Northwest, and the ( San Francisco) Golden Age are also sources for her writings and speeches. Her hometown paper, the Fayetteville Weekly Recorder, documents her activities most extensively. The woman's rights clipping file at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, containing articles from the Onondaga Standard, the New York Tribune, and a scattering of other Syracuse papers, is a valuable source on her and on the movement. The New York Public Library's Free Thought Collection (housed in the annex), in addition to several of her writings, speeches, and obituaries, provides context for understanding the radical suffrage/Free Thought connection from the 1870s through the turn of the century. The New York City and State Woman Suffrage Collection, Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University and the Woman's Rights Collection, Rare Books Department, Olin Library, Cornell University, are important sources, as is Lucifer the Light Bearer, Moses Harmon's Kansas publication, which also shows her link to the early (pre-Sanger) birth control/body rights movement.

Other suffrage collections to consult are: Elizabeth Boynton Harbert at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California; Clara Bewick Colby at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; Lillie Devereux Blake at the Missouri Historical Society, Columbia, and in the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College; the Garrison family papers at Sophia Smith; the Robinson/ Shattuck and Olympia Brown Papers at the Schlesinger; and the NAWSA collection, Library of Congress.

When Susan B. Anthony burned all of her papers after the completion of her commissioned biography, she destroyed her correspondence from Joslyn Gage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her children destroyed papers, doing away with almost all of Joslyn Gage's letters. While in the safekeeping of her daughter in Los Angeles, much of Joslyn Gage's correspondence disappeared during the 1920s. Hence, most of the letters between Joslyn Gage and her coeditors of the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage are lost.


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Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook
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