48 Facts About Victoria Woodhull


Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin, was an American leader of the women's suffrage movement who ran for President of the United States in the 1872 election.

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An activist for women's rights and labor reforms, Victoria Woodhull was an advocate of "free love", by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce and bear children without social restriction or government interference.

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Victoria Woodhull twice went from rags to riches, her first fortune being made on the road as a magnetic healer before she joined the spiritualist movement in the 1870s.

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Victoria Woodhull was politically active in the early 1870s when she was nominated as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency.

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Victoria Woodhull was the candidate in 1872 from the Equal Rights Party, supporting women's suffrage and equal rights; her running mate was abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

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Victoria Woodhull California Claflin was born the seventh of ten children, in the rural frontier town of Homer, Licking County, Ohio.

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Victoria Woodhull's had become a follower of the Austrian mystic Franz Mesmer and the new spiritualist movement.

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Victoria Woodhull came from an impoverished branch of the Massachusetts-based Scots-American Claflin family, semi-distant cousins to Massachusetts Governor William Claflin.

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Victoria Woodhull was whipped by her father, according to biographer Theodore Tilton.

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Victoria Woodhull believed in spiritualism – she referred to "Banquo's Ghost" from Shakespeare's Macbeth – because it gave her belief in a better life.

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Victoria Woodhull's said that she was guided in 1868 by Demosthenes to what symbolism to use supporting her theories of Free Love.

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Victoria Woodhull's was forced to leave school and home with her family when her father, after having "insured it heavily, " burned the family's rotting gristmill.

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When she was 14, Victoria met 28-year-old Canning Woodhull, a doctor from a town outside Rochester, New York.

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Victoria Woodhull practiced medicine in Ohio at a time when the state did not require formal medical education and licensing.

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Victoria Woodhull claimed to be the nephew of Caleb Smith Victoria Woodhull, mayor of New York City from 1849 to 1851; he was in fact a distant cousin.

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Victoria Woodhull soon learned that her new husband was an alcoholic and a womanizer.

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Victoria Woodhull's often had to work outside the home to support the family.

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About 1866, Victoria Woodhull married Colonel James Harvey Blood, who was marrying for a second time.

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Victoria Woodhull had served in the Union Army in Missouri during the American Civil War, and had been elected as city auditor of St Louis, Missouri.

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Victoria Woodhull concluded that women should have the choice to leave unbearable marriages.

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Victoria Woodhull believed in monogamous relationships, although she said she had the right to change her mind.

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In 1872, Victoria Woodhull publicly criticized well-known clergyman Henry Ward Beecher for adultery.

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Victoria Woodhull was prosecuted on obscenity charges for sending accounts of the affair through the federal mails, and she was briefly jailed.

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However, in 1875, Victoria Woodhull began to publicly espouse Christianity and she changed her political stances.

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Victoria Woodhull's exposed Spiritualist frauds in her periodical, alienating her Spiritualist followers.

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Victoria Woodhull's wrote articles against promiscuity, calling it a "curse of society".

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Victoria Woodhull repudiated her earlier views on free love, and began idealizing purity, motherhood, marriage, and the Bible in her writings.

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Victoria Woodhull's even claimed that some works had been written in her name without her consent.

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Victoria Woodhull made a fortune on the New York Stock Exchange by advising clients like Vanderbilt.

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Victoria Woodhull ended up standing trial in 1875, for adultery in a proceeding that proved to be one of the most sensational legal episodes of the era, gripping the attention of hundreds of thousands of Americans: the trial ended with a hung jury, but the church won the case hands down.

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Victoria Woodhull learned how to infiltrate the all-male domain of national politics and arranged to testify on women's suffrage before the House Judiciary Committee.

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Victoria Woodhull was the second woman to petition Congress in person .

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Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper printed a full-page engraving of Victoria Woodhull, surrounded by prominent suffragists, delivering her argument.

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Victoria Woodhull joined the International Workingmen's Association, known as the First International.

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Recent scholarship has shown Victoria Woodhull to have been a far more significant presence in the socialist movement than previous historians had allowed.

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Victoria Woodhull thought of herself as a revolutionary and her conception of social and political reorganization was, like Marx, based upon economics.

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Victoria Woodhull's campaign was notable because Frederick Douglass was nominated as a vice-presidential candidate, even though he did not take part in the convention, he did not acknowledge his nomination and he did not play any active role in the campaign.

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Victoria Woodhull's nomination stirred up controversy about the mixing of whites and blacks in public life and fears of miscegenation.

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Victoria Woodhull supported female suffrage but had lectured against free love in his sermons.

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Victoria Woodhull received no electoral votes in the election of 1872, an election in which six different candidates received at least one electoral vote, and an unknown percentage of the popular vote.

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Victoria Woodhull again tried to gain nominations for the presidency in 1884 and 1892.

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Victoria Woodhull was quoted as saying that she was "destined" by "prophecy" to be elected president of the United States in the upcoming election.

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Victoria Woodhull promoted eugenics, which was popular in the early 20th century, especially in the years prior to World War II.

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In 2006, publisher Michael W Perry discovered writings which show that Woodhull supported the forcible sterilization of people who she considered unfit to breed.

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Victoria Woodhull published these writings in his book "Lady Eugenist".

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Victoria Woodhull cited a New York Times article from 1927 in which she concurred with the ruling of the case Buck v Bell.

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In 2001, Victoria Woodhull was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

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Victoria Woodhull's was honored by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President in March 2008 and she was included on a map of historical sites which are related or dedicated to important women.

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