To her enemies, she was Mrs Devil. To Walt Whitman, she was ‘a prophecy of the long run’. To Gloria Steinem, trying again from the Seventies, she was ‘probably the most controversial suffragist of all of them’. However to the Equal Rights Get together on 6 June 1872, she was their newly ratified candidate for the presidency of america – and the primary girl to run for that workplace. Her identify was Victoria Claflin Woodhull and he or she was 33 years previous.
The Equal Rights Get together stood on the intersection of social equality, sexual revolution and spiritualism. Woodhull, who had lately based it herself, was a passionate advocate of all three. Born in small-town Ohio in September 1838, her household lived an itinerant life promoting miracle cures and mystic therapeutic. Woodhull herself was a ‘clairvoyant doctor’. She was honest about her powers; nevertheless it was absolutely a rip-off too. It netted $100,000, she stated.
Arriving in New York in 1868 she and her sister closed in on the aged Cornelius Vanderbilt, a eager devotee of spiritualism. Their wealth exploded; by the top of the last decade Woodhull claimed that they had made $700,000 buying and selling. ‘[When] we go in earnest … we are going to do a lot better’, she instructed a reporter, coolly. To fellow suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony, she put it in a different way: ‘Let’s get our arms on Wall Road’, she stated.
In January 1870 the sisters opened the primary brokerage to be run by ladies. 4 months later they based a radical newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly. It printed the primary full publication of the Communist Manifesto in English. She toured the nation, now promoting completely different sorts of prognostications – ladies’s rights, free love, revolution – to audiences of hundreds.
However her profession was damaged by the choice to publish an exposé of the extra-marital affairs of outstanding minister Henry Ward Beecher. It landed her in jail for obscenity.
In 1877 she left the US for England and, finally, respectability. She was written out of suffragist historical past; Anthony dismissed her as ‘lewd and indecent’. However some remembered. ‘Your work began all of it’, a younger lawyer wrote to her in 1905. ‘You gave ladies the concept that they have to personal themselves.’