Victoria Woodhull


Victoria Woodhull


Women's rights


Female candidate for president of the United States in the 19th c. under the "Equal Rights" party.


Amy French


Image: Matthew Brady

Birth Date



Homer, Ohio, USA

Death Date



Newspaper editor, stockbroker, presidential candidate

Biographical Text

Victoria Claflin Woodhull dared to be the first female candidate for President of the United States and the first woman (with her sister) to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street. Woodhull was nominated for President of the United States of America by the Equal Rights Party in 1872. The Equal Rights Party was not one of the two dominant parties of the time though; a woman would not be nominated by a major political party until 2016 when the Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton. Because of her pro-labor and pro-suffrage stances, she earned support from many workers and suffragists. Some were turned off, however, by her radical political stances and her support of "free love." This movement stressed that women were treated, by law, as chattel when married. Free love proponents advocated that women should be free to leave unbearable marriages. Generally, free love advocates also supported the birth control movement so that women could enjoy sexual activity with their husbands without fear of large family sizes or complications of childbirth. Victoria Woodhull published a weekly newspaper that stressed her views that women should be enfranchised, that labor needed to unite to have some control over industrial relations, and other controversial matters. Her support of socialism also caused controversy, but the fact that she was a woman who dared to speak out on politics, marriage, economics, and women's issues was what made her truly unique.


Carpenter, Cari. Selected Writings of Victoria Woodhull. (University of Nebraska Press, 2010).

Frisken, Amanda. Victoria Woodhull's Sexual Revolution.  (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004)

Gabriel, Mary. Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull Uncensored.  (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1998).

Tried As By Fire; or, True and False Socially, an oration by Victoria Woodhull

Some writings by Victoria Woodhull


Date Added
June 17, 2014
Women's Rights
Item Type
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Amy French, “Victoria Woodhull,” Women Who Dared, accessed May 22, 2024,