Frances D Gage

Lived:October 12, 1808—November 10, 1884 (aged 76)
Career:Activist, leader in the U.S. women's suffrage movement

Frances D. Gage was a leading activist in the anti-slavery, woman's rights and temperance movements in the United States.

Gage was born on October 12, 1808 in Marietta, Ohio. On January 1, 1829, she married James L. Gage, an abolitionist lawyer who supported her activism throughout their marriage.

Gage was among the first to support voting rights for all citizens without regard to race or gender, and she supported suffrage for newly freed African American women along with the men during the Reconstruction. In 1851, her introduction of Sojourner Truth at a woman's-rights convention in Akron, Ohio brought attention to the movement. Later, Gage recorded her recollection of Truth's speech, "Ain't I a Woman?," and her version has become the standard account of that speech.

From 1857 to 1867, she traveled extensively throughout New England and the Midwest, lecturing on the topics of abolition, women's rights and temperance. During the Civil War, she provided aid to wounded Union soldiers and taught freed slaves to read and write. She also was employed by the Western Sanitary Commission, and from 1863 to 1864 was the superintendent in charge of Parris Island, South Carolina, a refuge for more than 500 freed slaves.

In 1965, Gage was crippled when her carriage overturned, but continued to lecture until 1867 when she suffered a debilitating stroke. She died on November 10, 1884, in Greenwich, Connecticut.