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Biography Information
Political Campaigns

Victoria Woodhull

Birth Date: 1838
Death Date: 1927
State: New York
Marital Status: Married
General Occupation:
Political Party Activism: Equal Rights
Social Reform Activism: This woman was not a social reform activist.


Victoria Woodhull, a medical clairvoyant, stock broker, and newspaper publisher, was born into a poor family in Homer, Ohio. A hard-luck marriage to an alcoholic at the age of 15 made it necessary that she support her family. In 1867 she traveled with her sister Tennessee Claflin to New York City where the smart, beautiful sisters sought, and received, the financial backing of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the richest man in America. The three formed an extraordinary relationship that brought the two women fame, wealth, and, for Woodhull, the opportunity to speak forcefully on the subject of woman's unequal status. She started a newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. She used this paper to discuss her progressive social and economic views including socialism, sex education, and dress reform. In 1870 she declared herself a candidate for president in the election of 1872. She brought together a team of advisers, developed a platform, spoke in behalf of woman suffrage before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and used her newspaper to further her campaign. As a candidate she was primarily interested in challenging entrenched attitudes about women and social relations. Famed cartoonist Thomas Nast portrayed her as "Mrs. Satan." Financial reversals and a public feud with powerful New York preacher Henry Ward Beecher caused her to abandon the campaign shortly before Election Day. She subsequently lectured and later moved to England where she married a prominent banker. 1838

Additional Notes


Victoria Woodhull's Campaign for U.S. President, 1872

Political Office: U.S. President
Election Year: 1872
Political Party: Equal Rights
Elected: No



Author Title More
Gabriel, Mary Notorious Victoria Details
Stern, Madeleine B. The Victoria Woodhull Reader Details
Underhill, Lois B. The Woman Who Ran for President Details
Goldsmith, Barbara Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull Details