George Francis Train (1829-1904) was an entrepreneurial businessman, who formed a clipper ship line that sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco. He also organized the Union Pacific Railroad and the Credit Mobiler. In 1872 he ran for President of the United States as an independent candidate; that year he was also jailed for defending Victoria Woodhull against obscenity charges for an issue that her newspaper had published revealing Henry Ward Beecher’s adulterous affair.
One of his main planks in his Presidential campaign was that of voting rights for women, as can be seen on the campaign stationery illustrated here, making him the first male candidate to argue for the issue. He offered to fund Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s paper, The Revolution, but never ended giving it the extent of support that he had promised originally. Despite his many business successes early in life, he became known increasingly as a quixotic, eccentric figure. He is said to have been the model for Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.