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2012 Contest

Click on the appropriate contest for a full explanation of rules and awards. The deadline for all contests is March 12, 2012.

High School Essay Contest 2012 (grades 9-12)

Matilda Joslyn Gage was a life-long resident of Central New York.  She was born in Cicero in 1826 and subsequently lived in Syracuse, Manlius and Fayetteville until her death in 1898.  She made many contributions to national policy and social progress.  Her home in Fayetteville has recently been renovated and opened as a museum.

Select one of the Five Causes to which Matilda Joslyn Gage devoted her life — abolition, women’s suffrage, support for Native American rights, the separation of church and state, and the utopian vision of Oz  and show how you believe she would respond to a related specific contemporary issue of your choice.  Provide evidence of why you believe that Gage would respond in this manner.


Middle School Contest 2012 (grades 6-8)
Matilda Joslyn Gage was a 19th Century women’s rights pioneer from Central New York who worked alongside Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  She was an abolitionist, a supporter of Native American treaty rights and an influence on — and the mother-in-law of — L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  She was excluded from much of written history due to her strong views on religious freedom and the importance of separation of Church and State.  Her home in Fayetteville has been recently restored and opened as a museum dedicated to exploring her ideas from the past and connecting their importance to issues today.

Choose one area of human rights from the list provided that connects an issue from Gage’s lifetime to a related issue in your lives today.


Elementary School Contest 2012 (grades 3-5)
Matilda Joslyn Gage was a 19th Century women’s rights activist from Central New York who worked alongside Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  She fought against slavery, spoke up for the rights of Native Americans and was an influence on — and the mother-in-law of — L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  She was excluded from much of history due to her strong views on religious freedom and keeping religion separate from government.  Her home in Fayetteville has been recently restored and opened as a museum.

Write one paragraph about a time that Gage showed courage.  Then write one paragraph about a time when you showed courage. OR Draw two pictures on a poster (regular size 27″ x 21″).  One picture should represent Gage doing something courageous.  The other picture should show something you did that was courageous.  Then write a few explanatory sentences on the poster describing each drawing.

Matilda Joslyn Gage Footer