Woman of the Century/Frances Dana Gage
GAGE, Mrs. Frances Dana, woman suffragist and author, born in Marietta, Washington county, Ohio, 12th October, 1808. Her father was Joseph Barker, a native of New Hampshire, and her mother was Elizabcth Dana, allied to the Dana and Bancroft families of Massachusetts. Frances Dana Barker, as she was named, was educated at home, in a frontier log cabin. She was studious and thoughtful, and she became a clear reasoner, a good writer and an effective orator. Her father was a farmer and a cooper, and her early days were filled with work. She could make a good barrel and till a farm in her girlhood. Her sympathies early went out for the fugitive slaves, of whom she saw many. In 1S29 she became the wife of Mr. Gage, a lawyer practicing in McConnellsville, Ohio. They reared a family of eight children, and, in spite of all her domestic distractions, Mrs. Gage continued to read, write, think and speak on woman's rights, temperance and slavery. In 1851 she attended the woman's rights convention in Akron, Ohio, and was chosen president of the meeting. From that time she has been conspicuous in the councils of the woman suffragists. In 1853 she moved to St. Louis, Mo. , with her family. There her views caused her to be branded as an abolitionist and ostracised by "good society." The resources of the family were reduced by three disastrous fires, doubtless the work of incendiaries. Her husband's health failed, and she took a position as assistant editor of an agricultural paper, published in Columbus, Ohio. The war destroyed the circulation of the paper. Her four sons enlisted in the Union army, and she went, in 1862, to Port Royal, to care for the sick and wounded soldiers. She spent thirteen months in Beaufort, Paris and Fernandina. ministering to soldiers and freedmen alike. In her work she was aided by her daughter, Mary. She lectured throughout the North to soldiers' aid societies in advocacy of the Sanitary Commission. She went without commission or salary - to Memphis, Yicksburg and Natchez. She aroused great interest in the work for the soldiers. After the war she lectured successfully on temperance. In 1867 she was made helpless by paralysis, which shut her from the world, being able only to talk, read and write. Her mental faculties were unimpaired. She was for years prominent in national woman's rights conventions. Under the pen-name "Aunt Fanny" she has written many juvenile stories, poems and social sketches. She has been a contributor to the "Saturday Visitor" and the New York "Independent" Her latest published works are a volume of poems and a temperance story. " Elsie Magoon."