On this day:
1663 – The Province of Carolina is granted by charter to eight Lords Proprietor in reward for their assistance in restoring Charles II of England to the throne.
The Province of Carolina was an English and later a British colony of North America. Carolina was founded in what is modern day North Carolina. Carolina expanded south and, at its greatest extent, nominally included the modern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, and parts of modern Florida and Louisiana.
Sir Robert Heath, attorney-general of King Charles I of England, was granted the Cape Fear region of America, incorporated as the Province of Carolina, in 1629. The charter was unrealized and ruled invalid, and a new charter was issued to a group of eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, on March 24, 1663. Charles II granted the land to the eight Lords Proprietors in return for their financial and political assistance in restoring him to the throne in 1660. Charles II intended for the newly created province to serve as an English bulwark to contest lands claimed by Spanish Florida and prevent their northward expansion. Led informally by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, the Province of Carolina was controlled from 1663 to 1729 by these lords and their heirs.
In 1691, dissent over the governance of the province led to the appointment of a deputy governor to administer the northern half of Carolina.
The division between the northern and southern governments became complete in 1712, but both colonies remained in the hands of the same group of proprietors. A rebellion against the proprietors broke out in 1719 which led to the appointment of a royal governor for South Carolina in 1720. After nearly a decade in which the British government sought to locate and buy out the proprietors, both North and South Carolina became royal colonies in 1729.
Main article: Colonial period of South Carolina
On October 30, 1629, King Charles I of England granted a patent to Sir Robert Heath for the lands south of 36 degrees and north of 31 degrees, “under the name, in honor of that king, of Carolina.” Carolus is Latin for ‘Charles’. Heath wanted the land for French Huguenots, but when Charles restricted use of the land to members of the Church of England, Heath assigned his grant to George, Lord Berkeley. King Charles I was executed in 1649 and Heath fled to France where he died. Following the 1660 restoration of the monarchy, Heath’s heirs attempted to reassert their claim to the land, but Charles II ruled the claim invalid.
On March 24, 1663, Charles II issued a new charter to a group of eight English noblemen, granting them the land of Carolina, as a reward for their faithful support of his efforts to regain the throne of England. The eight were called Lords Proprietors or simply Proprietors.
The 1663 charter granted the Lords Proprietor title to all of the land from the southern border of the Virginia Colony at 36 degrees north to 31 degrees north (along the coast of present-day Georgia).
In 1665, the charter was revised slightly (see Royal Colonial Boundary of 1665), with the northerly boundary extended to 36 degrees 30 minutes north to include the lands of settlers along the Albemarle Sound who had left the Virginia Colony. Likewise, the southern boundary was moved south to 29 degrees north, just south of present-day Daytona Beach, Florida, which had the effect of including the existing Spanish settlement at St. Augustine. The charter also granted all the land, between these northerly and southerly bounds, from the Atlantic, westward to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
The Lords Proprietors named in the charter were Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon; George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle; William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven; John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton; Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury; Sir George Carteret; Sir William Berkeley (brother of John); and Sir John Colleton. Of the eight, the one who demonstrated the most active interest in Carolina was Lord Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury, with the assistance of his secretary, the philosopher John Locke, drafted the Grand Model for the Province of Carolina (which included the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina), a plan for government of the colony heavily influenced by the ideas of the English political scientist, James Harrington. Some of the other Lords Proprietors also had interests in other colonies: for instance, John Berkeley and George Carteret held stakes in the Province of New Jersey, and William Berkeley had an interest in Virginia.
The Lords Proprietors, operating under their royal charter, were able to exercise their authority with nearly the independence of the king himself. The actual government consisted of a governor, a powerful council, on which half of the councillors were appointed by the Lords Proprietors themselves, and a relatively weak, popularly elected assembly.
Within three generations of Columbus, the Spanish from their Florida base had issued up the coast permeating North Carolina. A hostile Virginia tribe drove them back to Georgia. A Scottish contingent had meanwhile settled in South Carolina only to be extirpated by the Spanish, who inhabited Parris Island, SC as late as 1655. The Spanish were again beaten back to Georgia.
Although the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island was the first English attempt at settlement in the Carolina territory, the first permanent English settlement was not established until 1653, when emigrants from the Virginia Colony, with others from New England and Bermuda, settled at the mouths of the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers, on the shores of Albemarle Sound, in the northeastern corner of present-day North Carolina. The Albemarle Settlements, preceding the royal charter by ten years, came to be known in Virginia as “Rogues’ Harbor”. By 1664, the region was organized as Albemarle County.
In 1663, Captain William Hilton had noted the presence of a wooden cross erected by the Spaniards that still stood before the town meeting house of the Indians living at what later became Port Royal. In 1665, Sir John Yeamans established a second short-lived English settlement on the Cape Fear River, near present-day Wilmington, North Carolina, which he named Clarendon.
The Lords Proprietors founded a sturdier new settlement when they sent 150 colonists to the province in early 1670, landing them at a location south of the other settlements, near present-day Charleston, South Carolina. Many of the settlers, who stepped off the ship in April of that year, were planters from Barbados. The “Charles Town” settlement, as it was known then, developed more rapidly than the Albemarle and Cape Fear settlements due to the advantages of a natural harbor and expanding trade with the West Indies. Charles Town was made the principal seat of government for the entire province; Lord Shaftesbury specified its street plan. The nearby Ashley and Cooper rivers are named for him.
Due to their remoteness from each other, the northern and southern sections of the colony operated more or less independently until 1691, when Philip Ludwell was appointed governor of the entire province. From that time until 1708, the northern and southern settlements remained under one government. The north continued to have its own assembly and council; the governor resided in Charles Towne and appointed a deputy-governor for the north. During this period, the two halves of the province began increasingly to be known as North Carolina and South Carolina.
Carolina was the first of three colonies in North America settled by the English to have a comprehensive plan. Known as the Grand Model, or Grand Modell, it was composed of a constitution and detailed guidelines for settlement and development. The constitution, titled Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, was drafted by the philosopher John Locke under the direction of Anthony Ashley Cooper (later made Earl of Shaftesbury).
From 1708 to 1710, due to disquiet over attempts to establish the Anglican church in the province, the people were unable to agree on a slate of elected officials; consequently, there was no recognized and legal government for more than two years, a period which culminated in Cary’s Rebellion when the Lords Proprietors finally commissioned a new governor. This circumstance, coupled with the Tuscarora War and the Yamasee War, and the inability of the Lords Proprietors to act decisively, led to separate governments for North and South Carolina.
Some take this period as the establishment of separate colonies, but that did not officially occur until 1729, when seven of the Lords Proprietors sold their interests in Carolina to the Crown, and both North Carolina and South Carolina became royal colonies. The eighth share was Sir George Carteret’s, which had passed to his great-grandson John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. He retained ownership of a sixty-mile-wide strip of land in North Carolina adjoining the Virginia boundary, which became known as the Granville District. This district was to become the scene of many disputes, from 1729 until the American Revolutionary War, at which time it was seized by the North Carolina revolutionary government.
Governments under proprietary rule and under crown rule were similarly organized. The primary difference was who was to appoint the governing officials: the Lords Proprietors or the Sovereign.
In 1732, a corporate charter for the Province of Georgia was carved out of South Carolina by King George II.
Born on this day:
1826 – Matilda Joslyn Gage, American activist and author (d. 1898)
Matilda Electa Gage (née Joslyn; March 24, 1826 – March 18, 1898) was a suffragist, a Native American rights activist, an abolitionist, a freethinker, and a prolific author, who was “born with a hatred of oppression”.
Matilda Gage spent her childhood in a house which was used as a station of the Underground Railroad. She faced prison for her actions under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 which criminalized assistance to escaped slaves. Even though she was beset by both financial and physical (cardiac) problems throughout her life, her work for women’s rights was extensive, practical, and often brilliantly executed.
Gage became involved in the women’s rights movement in 1852 when she decided to speak at the National Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, New York. She served as president of the National Woman Suffrage Association from 1875 to 1876, and served as either Chair of the Executive Committee or Vice President for over twenty years. During the 1876 convention, she successfully argued against a group of police who claimed the association was holding an illegal assembly. They left without pressing charges.
Gage was considered to be more radical than either Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton (with whom she wrote History of Woman Suffrage and Declaration of the Rights of Women). Along with Stanton, she was a vocal critic of the Christian Church, which put her at odds with conservative suffragists such as Frances Willard and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Rather than arguing that women deserved the vote because their feminine morality would then properly influence legislation (as the WCTU did), she argued that they deserved suffrage as a ‘natural right’. Despite her opposition to the Church, Gage was in her own way deeply religious, and she joined Stanton’s Revising Committee to write The Woman’s Bible. She became a Theosophist and encouraged her children and their spouses to do so, some of whom did.
Editor of The National Citizen
Gage was well-educated and a prolific writer—the most gifted and educated woman of her age, claimed her devoted son-in-law, L. Frank Baum. She corresponded with numerous newspapers, reporting on developments in the woman suffrage movement. In 1878 she bought the Ballot Box, a monthly journal of a Toledo, Ohio suffrage association, when its editor, Sarah R.L. Williams, decided to retire. Gage turned it into The National Citizen and Ballot Box, explaining her intentions for the paper thus:
Its especial object will be to secure national protection to women citizens in the exercise of their rights to vote…it will oppose Class Legislation of whatever form…Women of every class, condition, rank and name will find this paper their friend
— Matilda Joslyn Gage, “Prospectus”
Gage became its primary editor for the next three years (until 1881), producing and publishing essays on a wide range of issues. Each edition bore the words ‘The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword’, and included regular columns about prominent women in history and female inventors. Gage wrote clearly, logically, and often with a dry wit and a well-honed sense of irony. Writing about laws which allowed a man to will his children to a guardian unrelated to their mother, Gage observed:
It is sometimes better to be a dead man than a live woman.
— Matilda Joslyn Gage, “All The Rights I Want”
As a result of the campaigning of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association under Gage, the state of New York granted female suffrage for electing members of the school boards. Gage ensured that every woman in her area (Fayetteville, New York) had the opportunity to vote by writing letters making them aware of their rights, and sitting at the polls making sure nobody was turned away. In 1871, Gage was part of a group of 10 women who attempted to vote. Reportedly, she stood by and argued with the polling officials on behalf of each individual woman. She supported Victoria Woodhull and (later) Ulysses S Grant in the 1872 presidential election. In 1873 she defended Susan B. Anthony when Anthony was placed on trial for having voted in that election, making compelling legal and moral arguments.
In 1884, Gage was an Elector-at-Large for Belva Lockwood and the Equal Rights Party.
Founder of the Woman’s National Liberal Union
Gage unsuccessfully tried to prevent the conservative takeover of the women’s suffrage movement. Susan B. Anthony who had helped to found the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), was primarily concerned with gaining the vote, an outlook which Gage found too narrow. Conservative suffragists were drawn into the suffrage movement believing women’s vote would achieve temperance and Christian political goals. These women were not in support of general social reform.
The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), part of the conservative wing of the suffrage movement (and formerly at odds with the National), was open to the prospect of merging with the NWSA under Anthony, while Anthony was working toward unifying the suffrage movement under the single goal of gaining the vote. The merger of the two organizations, pushed through by Lucy Stone, Alice Stone Blackwell and Anthony, produced the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890. Stanton and Gage maintained their radical positions and opposed the merger of the two suffrage associations because they believed it was a threat to separation of church and state.
The successful merger of the two suffrage groups prompted Gage to establish the Woman’s National Liberal Union (WNLU) in 1890, of which she was president until her death (by stroke) in 1898. Attracting more radical members than NAWSA, the WNLU became the platform for radical and liberal ideas of the time. Gage became the editor of the official journal of the WNLU, The Liberal Thinker.
Criticism of Christianity
Gage was an avid opponent of the Christian church as controlled by men, having analyzed centuries of Christian practices as degrading and oppressive to women. She saw the Christian church as central to the process of men subjugating women, a process in which church doctrine and authority were used to portray women as morally inferior and inherently sinful.
Gage strongly supported the separation of church and state, believing “that the greatest injury to women arose from theological laws that subjugated woman to man.” She wrote in October 1881:
Believing this country to be a political and not a religious organisation … the editor of the National Citizen will use all her influence of voice and pen against “Sabbath Laws”, the uses of the “Bible in School”, and pre-eminently against an amendment which shall introduce “God in the Constitution”.
— ”God in the Constitution”, page 2
In 1893, she published Woman, Church and State, a book which outlined the variety of ways in which Christianity had oppressed women and reinforced patriarchal systems. It was wide-ranging and built extensively upon arguments and ideas she had previously put forth in speeches (and in a chapter of History of Woman Suffrage which bore the same name).
Views on social issues
Like many other suffragists, Gage considered abortion a regrettable tragedy, although her views on the subject were more complex than simple opposition. In 1868, she wrote a letter to The Revolution (a women’s rights paper edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Parker Pillsbury), supporting the view that abortion was an institution supported, dominated and furthered by men. Gage opposed abortion on principle, blaming it on the ‘selfish desire’ of husbands to maintain their wealth by reducing their offspring:
The short article on “Child Murder” in your paper of March 12 that touched a subject which lies deeper down in woman’s wrongs than any other. This is the denial of the right to herself … nowhere has the marital union of the sexes been one in which woman has had control over her own body. Enforced motherhood is a crime against the body of the mother and the soul of the child….But the crime of abortion is not one in which the guilt lies solely or even chiefly with the woman….I hesitate not to assert that most of this crime of “child murder”, “abortion”, “infanticide”, lies at the door of the male sex. Many a woman has laughed a silent, derisive laugh at the decisions of eminent medical and legal authorities, in cases of crimes committed against her as a woman. Never, until she sits as juror on such trials, will or can just decisions be rendered.
— Matilda Joslyn Gage, “Is Woman Her Own?”
Gage was quite concerned with the rights of a woman over her own life and body. In 1881 she wrote, on the subject of divorce:
When they preach as does Rev. Crummell, of “the hidden mystery of generation, the wondrous secret of propagated life, committed to the trust of woman,” they bring up a self-evident fact of nature which needs no other inspiration, to show the world that the mother, and not the father, is the true head of the family, and that she should be able to free herself from the adulterous husband, keeping her own body a holy temple for its divine-human uses, of which as priestess and holder of the altar she alone should have control.
— Matilda Joslyn Gage, “A Sermon Against Woman”
Other feminists of the period referred to “voluntary motherhood,” achieved through consensual nonprocreative sexual practices, periodic or permanent sexual abstinence, or (most importantly) the right of a woman (especially a wife) to refuse sex. Works about Native Americans in the United States by Lewis Henry Morgan and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft also influenced Gage. She decried the brutal treatment of Native Americans in her writings and public speeches. She was angered that the Federal government of the United States attempted to impose citizenship upon Native Americans thereby negating their (Iroquoia) status as a separate nation and their treaty privileges.
She wrote in 1878:
That the Indians have been oppressed – are now, is true, but the United States has treaties with them, recognising them as distinct political communities, and duty towards them demands not an enforced citizenship but a faithful living up to its obligations on the part of the government.
— Matilda Joslyn Gage, “Indian Citizenship”
In her 1893 work Woman, Church and State she cited the Iroquois society, among others, as a ‘Matriarchate’ in which women had true power, noting that a system of descent through the female line and female property rights led to a more equal relationship between men and women. Gage spent time among the Iroquois and received the name Karonienhawi – “she who holds the sky” – upon her initiation into the Wolf Clan. She was admitted into the Iroquois Council of Matrons.
A daughter of the early abolitionist Hezekiah Joslyn, Gage was the wife of Henry Hill Gage, with whom she had five children: Charles Henry (who died in infancy), Helen Leslie, Thomas Clarkson, Julia Louise, and Maud. Gage lived in Fayetteville, New York for the majority of her life.
Maud, who was ten years younger than Julia, initially horrified her mother when she chose to marry author L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) at a time when he was a struggling actor with only a handful of plays (of which only The Maid of Arran survives) to his writing credit. However, a few minutes after the initial announcement, Gage started laughing, apparently realizing that her emphasis on all individuals making up their own minds was not lost on her headstrong daughter, who gave up a chance at a law career when the opportunity for women was rare. Gage spent six months of every year with Maud and Frank. Gage’s son Thomas Clarkson Gage and his wife Sophia had a daughter named Dorothy Louise Gage, who was born in Bloomington, Illinois on June 11, 1898, but died five months later, on November 11, 1898.
The death so upset the child’s aunt Maud, who had always longed for a daughter, that she required medical attention. Thomas Clarkson Gage’s child was the namesake of her uncle Frank Baum’s famed fictional character, Dorothy Gale. In 1996, Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, a biographer of Matilda Joslyn Gage, located young Dorothy’s grave in Bloomington. A memorial was erected in the child’s memory at her gravesite on May 21, 1997. This child is often mistaken for her cousin of the same name, Dorothy Louise Gage (1883–1889), Helen Leslie (Gage) Gage’s child.
Gage died in the Baum home in Chicago, in 1898. Although Gage was cremated, there is a memorial stone at Fayetteville Cemetery that bears her slogan “There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven. That word is Liberty.” 
In 1993, scientific historian Margaret W. Rossiter coined the term “Matilda effect”, after Matilda Gage, to identify the social situation where woman scientists inaccurately receive less credit for their scientific work than an objective examination of their actual effort would reveal. The “Matilda effect” is a corollary to the “Matthew effect”, which was postulated by the sociologist Robert K. Merton.
Gage acted as editor of The National Citizen and Ballot Box, May 1878 – October 1881, (available on microfilm) and as editor of The Liberal Thinker, from 1890 – onwards. These publications offered her the opportunity to publish essays and opinion pieces. The following is a partial list of published works:
“Is Woman Her Own?”, published in The Revolution, April 9, 1868, ed. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Parker Pillsbury. pp 215–216.
“Prospectus”, published in The National Citizen and Ballot Box, ed. Matilda E. J. Gage. May 1878 p 1.
“Indian Citizenship”, published in The National Citizen and Ballot Box, ed. Matilda E. J. Gage. May 1878 p 2.
“All The Rights I Want”, published in The National Citizen and Ballot Box, ed. Matilda E. J. Gage. January 1879 p 2.
“A Sermon Against Woman”, published in The National Citizen and Ballot Box, ed. Matilda E. J. Gage. September 1881 p 2.
“God in the Constitution”, published in The National Citizen and Ballot Box, ed. Matilda E. J. Gage. October 1881 p 2.
Woman As Inventor, 1870, Fayetteville, NY: F.A. Darling
History of Woman Suffrage, 1881, Chapters by Cady Stanton, E., Anthony, S.B., Gage, M. E. J., Harper, I.H. (published again in 1985 by Salem NH: Ayer Company)
The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, 14 and 21 March 1891, editor and editorials. It is possible she wrote some previous unsigned editorials, rather than L. Frank Baum, for whom she completed the paper’s run.
Woman, Church and State, 1893 (published again in 1980 by Watertowne MA: Persephone Press)
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