Notorious Victoria: The Uncensored Life of Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull was a spiritualist, activist, politician and author who was the first woman to run for the presidency of the United States.

Born Victoria Claflin on September 23, 1838, in Homer, Ohio, Victoria Woodhull was a radical in many ways during her lifetime, and made history in 1872 as the first woman to run for the presidency of the United States. She and her sister, Tennessee Celeste Claflin, became involved in the spiritualist movement of the 1800s. Woodhull became a popular medium, traveling around with her sister to entertain audiences.

At the age of 15, Victoria married Canning Woodhull. The couple divorced in 1864, and Woodhull later reportedly wed Colonel James H. Blood, who introduced her to several reform movements.

In 1868, Woodhull and her sister, Tennessee, traveled to New York City, where they met Cornelius Vanderbilt. The wealthy Vanderbilt had recently become a widower, and he appreciated the psychological solace that Victoria Woodhull was able to provide him so much that he set the sisters up in business. The sisters started the first woman-run stock brokerage company.


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