Victoria Woodhull Ran For President

Victoria Woodhull

On May 10, 1872, The Equal Rights Party nominated Victoria Woodhull for president as the first woman the run for the presidency.

Born in 1838 to a con man, Victoria Woodhull grew up traveling. To escape she married at age 15 to a man almost twice her age. He drank and went to brothels so to support her family she worked. At one point she held seances. After 11 years she divorced her husband.

Her seances allowed her to met the right people and attain funding to set up a brokering company. She and her sister did well on Wall Street. Next, they started a weekly paper. The paper advocated women’s rights and free love. Free love to her meant the right and easiness to divorce from a bad marriage and start another relationship. Though she disagreed with the abortion she allowed all points of view in her weekly paper.

Finally in 1872, the party she helped create nominated her for president. While they nominated Frederick Douglass as her vice president, he never accepted or acknowledged it. Also, people disputed her nomination on the grounds that she had not yet turned the age listed in the Constitution. Mainly people disagreed with the nomination because of her sex. Though she might have made it on some ballots no one knows how many people would have voted for her as they didn’t count those votes.

Though she supported the suffragist movement, many of the main leaders of that movement did not acknowledge her. They disagreed with her support of free love. She also printed and exposed people in her paper that made her unpopular. Eventually, Victoria Woodhull moved to England and died in 1927.

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