The first female presidential candidate was Victoria Woodhull of the Equal Rights Party in the 1872 — before women had the right to vote in the US. Woodhull was an outspoken advocate for women’s equality and was highly criticized for her openness about her sexual views and behaviors. As owner of the politically liberal magazine Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, she published an expose’ detailing the extramarital affairs of one of her most vocal critics, preacher Henry Ward Beecher. Woodhull was then arrested on charges of sending pornographic material in the mail and was in jail on Election Day in 1872, when the election was won by Ulysses S. Grant.
More about Victoria Woodhull:
- Woodhull traveled the country as a child and performed as a fortune teller.
- In 1869, Woodhull and her sister became the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street.
- Woodhull left the US in 1877 and spent the last half of her life living in England, until her death in 1927.