Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927)

William R. Howell

Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation

Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation
Pleasantville, United States

Victoria Claflin Woodhull was a journalist, Wall Street broker, and politician. She became the first U.S. woman to run for president, sharing the ticket with Frederick Douglass in 1872. Raised in her family's traveling medicine show, Victoria’s earliest career was as a Spiritualist medium and healer. In 1868 she and her sister Tennessee formed the first brokerage firm operated by women. With $700,000 in profits they started Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, the first female-owned newspaper in the United States. It promoted birth control, female suffrage, and licensed prostitution. In 1872 the sisters broke the story of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher’s adultery with a parishioner. The backlash was so powerful that Woodhull landed in jail on obscenity charges.


  • Title: Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927)
  • Creator: William R. Howell
  • Physical Dimensions: Carte-de-visite (albumen), 4" x 2 1/2"
  • Provenance: The Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation
  • Subject Keywords: Advocate
  • Type: Photograph
  • Date: ca. 1870

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