Two Women Presidential Candidates

Women's Suffrage Memorabilia

Belva Lockwood and Victoria Woodhull

Early History of Women Voting
Some states, primarily those in the West, did allow women full voting rights in the 19th Century.  Wyoming was the first to do so in 1869 followed by Utah in 1870, Washington in 1883, and Colorado in 1893.  In this print, we see women voting in Wyoming Territory.

Women were allowed to vote in Boston in 1888, but only for municipal offices. Other cities and towns permitted women to participate in school elections.

Advertising or Merchants' Trade Cards
In the 1880's, merchants handed out these trade cards, which were then saved in scrap albums. Although women were expanding their roles as consumers, advertisers still took a patronizing attitude towards suffrage, reducing it to a vote for a choice of such products as yeast, stoves, stove polish, and soap.

This pair of cards showing possible futures in store for the children illustrated was probably intended not as an ideological statement but as an objective portrayal of gender roles at the time..

As with the previous pair of cards, the boy is holding something, indicative of activity. The girl is simply standing, attempting to look pretty.

Both soap and sewing machines were domestic items manufactured with women in mind, and advertisements for both frequently appeared on trade cards.

This card portrays a mock suffrage lecture, where the speaker is urging revolution, not in terms of voting but rather of which stove to purchase.

In the 20th century, advertisers were becoming more aware of women's desire to attain voting rights. This booklet for "White House Shoes" even has the subject dreaming of becoming President.

At the turn of the century, there were few women lawyers, Belva Lockwood's chosen profession. These inner pages of the "White House" booklet were a projection of the future.

In another set of pages from the "White House Shoe" booklet, we see woman as artist. Women did paint but had difficulty achieving serious recognition by the all male academies.

Women as Voters
Special ballot boxes were used in those districts where women had partial suffrage. These special boxes, in this case a tin drum, prevented women from casting a ballot for those offices that they weren't entitled to. If they attempted to cast an "illegal" ballot, it could easily be recognized and thrown out. There was a male equivalent to this drum that was unmarked in terms of gender.

Here is a typical ballot "box." In general, male ballot boxes were not marked for gender as were women's.

Victoria Woodhull For President
On January 28, 1871, Victoria Woodhull announced her candidacy for President in the journal "Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly" that she published in conjunction with her sister. This announcement ran in every issue until May 20 of that year. Woodhull chose as her running mate the escaped slave Frederick Douglass, who never acknowledged his nomination. Woodhull was jailed for indecency in 1872 for exposing in the journal an adulterous affair between the famous Rev. Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton, the wife of one of his best friends.

Woodhull was savaged in the press for her advocacy of "free love." Here the satirical paper "Wild Oats" pictures her with Frederick Douglass, some labeling the pair the "amalgamation ticket."

Woodhull tried to pay for her campaign by issuing bonds redeemable after the election. In a vignette at the top right of this image from "Wild Oats," we see supporters rushing to buy these bonds.

Other periodicals mocked her campaign. Here "The National Republican" portrays both Woman's Rights and Woodhull's candidacy as part of a large comic carnival.

Woodhull was one of five women who tried to cast a ballot in November, 1871. After much discussion she was turned away, although one of her party, a Mrs. Miller, was somehow able to vote,

With the help of General Benjamin Butler, Woodhull appeared before a joint session of Congress on Dec. 21, 1870 arguing for female enfranchisment, which she believed was embedded in the Constitution.

Displayed here is a copy of Woodhull's "memorium" or argument before Congress on December 21, 1870 asserting the right of women to vote based on Constitutional grounds.

To supply the public's fascination with both Woodhull and her sister, photographers and merchants sold carte de visites, or small photos mounted on cardboard. Many people mounted these in albums.

In addition to carte de visites, photographers also produced cabinet photos, larger size images that were displayed on top of dressers or mounted in albums.

Zulu, Victoria's daughter, was also the subject of photographers. When Woodhull moved to England, she changed the spelling of her daughter's name to Zula to make it sound more English.

Stereo view cards were quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When placed in a special viewer, the images on these cards had a three dimensional appearance,

Not all images and stories about Woodhull and her sister were satirical. Here is a straight forward mini-biography of the pair that appeared in the quite respectable "Harper's Bazar."

Perhaps the most vicious cartoon of Woodhull to appear was that by Thomas Nast, who portrayed her as "Mrs. Satan." Nast was also famous for his exposure of the N.Y. political figure "Boss" Tweed.

The image of a woman politician addressing a rowdy crowd in a bar was probably inspired by Woodhull's candidacy. Here the central figure has been corrupted by worldly influences.

An inner page from the same issue of "Women's Rights." Note the figure of an African American in the crowd, combining racism with sexism.

The centerfold from "Women's Rights" depicts the chaotic situation of women attempting to be stock brokers.alluding to Woodhull, who, with Cornelius Vanderbilt's help, was, for a time, a broker,

Currier and Ives--The Age of Brass
This print, published by the firm of Currier and Ives in 1869, is entitled "The Age of Brass."  It depicts a future world overtaken by female politicians.  The images of dissolute women portrayed here anticipate the later mockery of Victoria Woodhull. The theme that granting women voting rights would somehow cause them to take on the vices of men was common to the period.
Belva Lockwood Campaign Card
Belva Lockwood ran for President in both 1884 and 1888, despite concerns from some activists that such campaigns would be distracting to the cause, opening it up to ridicule.  She was not the first woman to run for President, Victoria Woodhull in 1872 was.  But Lockwood, unlike Woodhull, was of legal age to serve, if gender had not been an issue. This campaign card, featuring her portrait, was one of few pieces of memorabilia that was ever issued for this historic campaign.

This is the rear of Lockwood's official campaign card. It asks that the recipient help in organizing the campaign, and it offers documents, information, and "royal size" lithographs of Lockwood.

This, the only known ballot for Lockwood, was issued in New York. People voted by depositing these ballots in a box or tin drum. If they did not like all candidates listed, they crossed them out.

Lockwood originally selected Alfred Love, depicted here, to be her running mate in 1888. He declined, so she then picked Charles Wells. Many publications such as this were not aware of the change.

This carte de visite, probably the earliest known photo of Lockwood, was made in 1861 when she was headmistress of the Union School in Lockport, N. Y. and given out to her students.

This carte de visite could have been either passed out by Lockwood to those requesting her image or sold by photographers. There is no evidence that this carte was given out as part of her campaign,

It was a common practice of Duke's of Durham to place images of presidential candidates in packages of tobacco. This tobacco card of Lockwood is scarcer than those made for her male counterparts.

General Benjamin Butler was a supporter of suffrage and was never linked romantically with Lockwood. Satirists of the day, however, attempted to make a connection. Lift Lockwood's skirt to see Butler.

Benjamin Butler hiding beneath Lockwood's skirt.

In Lockwood's time, there were several popular colorful social/political journals such as "Puck," "Judge," and "The Wasp." In this cartoon, Uncle Sam cowers before the frightening image of Lockwood.

In this centerfold cartoon from "Judge," Lockwood and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are side-show carnival freaks along with several third party candidates from the Prohibition and Greenback Parties.

In this front cover for "Puck," Lockwood pops out of a trap door on stage to the amazement of General Benjamin Butler, dressed in a clown's suit.

Lockwood, along with Prohibition Party candidate, John St. John and Greenback Party candidate, Benjamin Butler, each blaming the other for his or her loss in the 1884 Presidential campaign.

In this advertising card from 1888, Belva Lockwood, a teetotaler, is serving beer to a group of assembled Presidential candidates, including Clinton Fisk, nominee of the Prohibition Party.

The term "Salt River" was used in a political context throughout the 19th century to mean "a trip to oblivion." Here Lockwood is listed on this faux "ticket" as the chambermaid.

Mother Hubbard Anti-Lockwood Satirical Parade
Throughout both of Lockwood's political campaigns, she was mocked by anti-suffragists who held "Mother Hubbard" parades, named after a style of dress then popular.  Participants would dress up as women and pretend to be Lockwood supporters, marching in the afternoon or evening through the center of town.  The many organizations that conducted these parades were called "Belva Lockwood Clubs," and they could be found throughout the country.

Marchers in the Lockwood "Mother Hubbard" parades often wore mocking ribbons, as indicated by the two pictured here, all with a rebus design. Such ribbons were featured in both her campaigns.

Two more satirical Belva Lockwood ribbons. No positive ribbon for her has as yet been uncovered.

Belva Lockwood Stock Certificate
Belva Lockwood teamed up with noted homeopathic physician E. B. Rankin in 1886 to form the Lockwood Improvement Syndicate. One of their joint proposals was that of developing a health tonic. Despite the fact that Lockwood was a diligent supporter of Temperance, the product was to have alcohol as its base. So far no bottles of the tonic have been uncovered and the product may never have been manufactured..

Lockwood supplemented her income by being a paid lecturer as this brochure indicates.

A program issued for a testimonial dinner for Lockwood.

Marietta Stow, editor of "The Woman's Herald," convinced Lockwood to run for President in 1884, Lockwood later became joint editor of the paper with Stow, and it was renamed "National Equal Rights."

Credits: Story

Exhibit and text created by Kenneth Florey, author of "Women's Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study" (2013) and "American Woman Suffrage Postcards" (2015).

Photographs by Kenneth Florey and Emilia Dina van Beugen. All items from the collection of Kenneth Florey.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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