Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Secret That Was Victoria

While America sits in debate over the possibility of her first female president, all but written out of the history books is the chapter containing that of the first female presidential candidate, Victoria Claflin Woodhul. Her 1872 campaign against Ulysses S. Grant was a brazen endeavor indeed, considering that women were not given the right to vote until 1920. Running on the appropriately named Equal Rights Party ticket, her nominee for vice president was Frederick Douglass, who never publicly acknowledged his nomination. Victoria and her sister, Tennessee, opened the first brokerage firm that was owned and operated by women in 1870. While never shying away from controversy, she was founder and editor of the Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly which championed feminism, socialism, sex education, and the labor movement. The first English translation of Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto was published in an 1872 issue. She denounced the hypocrisy of the expectations of monogamy for women while married men commonly kept mistresses. She later moved to England and established the magazine, The Hmanitarian which was published from 1892 to 1901. She would reside in England until her death in 1927.

For a more in depth look at Victorial Claflin Woodhull and her many achievements, please see: