19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio Main MenuIntroductionThe Road to SuffrageThe Struggle at CWRUNotable FiguresAfter SuffrageEinav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958Lauren Dostal628641db4e19e9efe2242726f29ce1860e9c6baeIsabel Fedewa20dc403a88a0fde6c4856bc25beccbae49174777Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01Kellyn Toombsef2469033dbca72962b50fe7dea33c71c0a45069Abbey Wellsef2cda5c08d1ad75ae8532e3f202032ddc31cee0
Frances Dana Barker Gage
12020-04-02T17:35:19+00:00Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf0183Ohio women's rights activist, 1808-1884plain2020-04-02T23:35:18+00:00Library of CongressJewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01
When Frances Barker Gage recounted significant events in her life for the Women’s Journal, she began with a story from her childhood, in which she tried to make a barrel but received a scolding for her efforts. “What a pity she was not a boy!” she remembered her father sighing. "Then and there sprang up my hatred to the limitations of sex,” Gage wrote. “Then and there the foundation was laid for all my woman suffrage work, which began in 1818, when I was ten years old." Gage first got involved with reform movements through writing for local newspapers. She was drawn to the abolition and temperance movements as well as the women’s rights movement, believing that women and black people both suffered from their lack of political rights. As for temperance, Gage saw how women whose husbands abused alcohol couldn’t control their wages or get a divorce, leaving them trapped in cycles of poverty and abuse. She spoke throughout the Midwest, persuading many other women to join her in reform activism.
Gage was aware of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, and she shared many of the goals of the emerging women’s rights movement. She first organized a local convention in McConnelsville, OH, in 1850, in which she led an effort to petition the Ohio State legislature to remove language referring to race and gender from citizenship requirements. Although Gage felt her inexperience keenly (“I have never in my life attended a regular business meeting”), she also led a women’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio in 1851 and the fourth national women’s convention in Cleveland in October 1853. Gage went on to campaign for Ohio women’s rights to control their own property as well.