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Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American leader of the woman's suffrage movement.
In 1872, Woodhull was the first female candidate for President of the United States. An activist for women's rights and labor reforms, Woodhull was also an advocate of free love, by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference.
Woodhull went from rags to riches twice, her first fortune being made on the road as a highly successful magnetic healer before she joined the spiritualist movement in the 1870s. Together with her sister, she was the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street, and they were among the first women to found a newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, which began publication in 1870.
At her peak of political activity in the early 1870s, Woodhull is best known as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency, which she ran for in 1872 from the Equal Rights Party, supporting women's suffrage and equal rights. Her arrest on obscenity charges a few days before the election for publishing an account of the alleged adulterous affair between the prominent minister Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton added to the sensational coverage of her candidacy. She did not receive any electoral votes, and there is conflicting evidence about popular votes.
Many of the reforms and ideals Woodhull espoused for the working class, against what she saw as the corrupt capitalist elite, were extremely controversial in her time. Generations later many of these reforms have been implemented and are now taken for granted. Some of her ideas and suggested reforms are still debated today.
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Victoria is 29 degrees from Rosa Parks, 26 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 21 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.