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Women’s Rights

While serving as President of the National Woman Suffrage Association eighteen years earlier, Matilda Joslyn Gage had published a series of articles on the Iroquois in The New York Evening Post. Introducing the series, the Post editor wrote, “Mrs. Gage, with an exhibition of ardent devotion to the cause of woman’s rights … gives prominence to the fact that … the power and importance of women were recognized by the allied tribes.”

The division of power between the sexes in this Indian republic was nearly equal. ~ Matilda Joslyn Gage.

In matters of government, “…its women exercised controlling power in peace and war … no sale of lands was valid without consent” of the women, while “the family relation among the Iroquois demonstrated woman’s superiority in power … in the home, the wife was absolute … if the Iroquois husband and wife separated, the wife took with her all the property she had brought … the children also accompanied the mother, whose right to them was recognized as supreme.” “Never was justice more perfect, never civilization higher,” Gage concluded.