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A socialist and deist, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an independent thinker, author, and speaker who was an intellectual leader of the women's movement from the late 1890s through the mid-1920s. Often known for her short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” Gilman also wrote nonfiction works about the social and economic position of women. Additionally, she published a magazine called The Forerunner. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Gilman was a great-granddaughter of Lyman Beecher. She grew up mainly in Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1884 married Charles Walter Stetson, an artist. They had one daughter, Katharine Stetson Chamberlin, and were divorced in 1894. In the 1890s Gilman lived in California. After her marriage (1900) to Houghton Gilman, a lawyer, and a cousin, she lived in New York City and then in Norwich, Connecticut. She died in Pasadena.
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The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is the primary repository for the papers of early 20th-century American feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935). To celebrate the sesquicentennial of Gilman's birth, the Schlesinger Library digitized Gilman's papers, with the generous help of the Cynthia Green Colin '54 Fund.