Tennessee Celeste Claflin

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Tennessee Celeste Claflin
Tennie Claflin - NARA - 526776.jpg
Born (1844-10-26)October 26, 1844
Homer, Ohio, United States
Died January 18, 1923(1923-01-18) (aged 78)
Other names Tennie
Title Lady Cook, Viscountess of Montserrat
Relatives Victoria Woodhull
Tennessee Celeste Claflin signature.svg

Tennessee Celeste Claflin (October 26, 1844 – January 18, 1923), also known as Tennie C., was an American suffragist best known as the first woman, along with her sister Victoria Woodhull, to open a Wall Street brokerage firm. [1][2]



Tennessee Celeste Claflin

On October 15, 1885, Claflin married Francis Cook, Viscount of Montserrat, Portugal. Within months of their marriage, Queen Victoria created a Cook Baronetcy. As the wife of an English Baronet, Claflin would thereafter have been correctly styled "Lady Cook, Viscountess of Montserrat."


With her sister she started the investment firm of Woodhull, Claflin, & Company. The firm was rumored to have been backed by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Claflin is believed to have been his mistress.[3]

During the 1870s she was a flamboyant proponent of women's rights, along with her sister. Tennessee ran for Congress in the state of New York. She held the controversial belief that women could serve in the military and was elected Colonel of a "colored" National Guard Regiment.

Death and legacy[edit]

She died on January 18, 1923 in England.[4]

Together with her sister, Victoria Woodhull, Claflin has been portrayed in two musicals, Winner Take All (1976) and Onward Victoria (1980) and in J.D. Christilian's novel "Scarlet Women" (1996).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenspan, Jesse (23 September 2013). "9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull". History.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Gabriel, Mary (1998). Notorious Victoria: the life of Victoria Woodhull, uncensored. New York, New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 1, 3. 
  3. ^ SILER, JULIA FLYNN (December 19, 2007). "The Tides of Fortune". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-12. Not surprisingly, [Vanderbilt] channeled only a small fraction of his wealth to philanthropy, focusing instead on racing horses and dabbling in the occult as he grew older. After his wife Sophia's death, he became entangled with a pair of sisters, the free-love advocate Victoria Woodhull and the spiritualist healer and sometime-prostitute Tennessee Claflin, who became a regular fixture at Washington Place.  Review of Commodore by Renehan
  4. ^ "Lady Cook Dies in London at 77. Former Tennie C. Claflin Was Spiritualist and Suffragist Here 50 Years Ago.". New York Times. January 20, 1923. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 

Further reading[edit]