|Born||Victoria California Claflin
September 23, 1838
Homer, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||June 9, 1927
Bredon, Worcestershire, U.K.
|Resting place||Bredon's Norton, Worcestershire, England|
|Nationality||US citizen, native born|
|Education||no formal education|
|Occupation||suffragist, politician, feminist, writer.|
|Spouse(s)||Canning Woodhull (m.1853–?)
Colonel James Blood (m. c. 1865–1876)
John Biddulph Martin (m. 1883–1901)
|Children||Byron and Zula Maude Woodhull|
|Parent(s)||Reuben Buckman Claflin, Roxanna Hummel Claflin|
|Relatives||Tennessee Claflin, sister
Caleb Smith Woodhull, cousin
Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American leader of the woman's suffrage movement.
In 1872, Woodhull was the first female to run for President of the United States. An activist for women's rights and labor reforms, Woodhull was also an advocate of free love, by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference.
Woodhull twice went from rags to riches, her first fortune being made on the road as a highly successful magnetic healer before she joined the spiritualist movement in the 1870s. While authorship of many of her articles is disputed (many of her speeches on these topics were collaborations between Woodhull, her backers, and her second husband, Colonel James Blood), her role as a representative of these movements was powerful. Together with her sister, Tennessee Claflin, she was the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street; they were among the first women to found a newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, which began publication in 1870.
Woodhull was politically active in the early 1870s, when she was nominated as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency, for which she is best known. Woodhull was the candidate in 1872 from the Equal Rights Party, supporting women's suffrage and equal rights. Her arrest on obscenity charges a few days before the election, for publishing an account of the alleged adulterous affair between the prominent minister Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton, added to the sensational coverage of her candidacy. She did not receive any electoral votes, and there is conflicting evidence about popular votes.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Marriages
- 3 Careers
- 4 Life in England and third marriage
- 5 Views on abortion and eugenics
- 6 Legacy and honors
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Own publications
- 10 External links
Early life and education
She was born Victoria California Claflin, the seventh of ten children (six of whom survived to maturity), in the rural frontier town of Homer, Licking County, Ohio. Her mother, Roxanna "Roxy" Hummel Claflin, was illegitimate and illiterate. She had become a follower of the Austrian mystic Franz Mesmer and the new spiritualist movement. Her father, Reuben "Old Buck" Buckman Claflin, was a con man and snake oil salesman. He came from an impoverished branch of the Massachusetts-based Scots-American Claflin family, semi-distant cousins to Governor William Claflin.
When seven years old, Victoria was accused of burning down a cupola. She was beaten, starved and sexually abused by her father when still very young. She believed in spiritualism - she referred to "Banquo's Ghost" from Shakespeare's Macbeth - because it gave her belief in a better life. She said that she was guided in 1868 by Demosthenes to what symbolism to use supporting her theories of Free Love.
As they grew older, Victoria became close to her sister, Tennessee Celeste Claflin (called Tennie), seven years her junior and the last child born to the family. As adults they collaborated in founding a stock brokerage and newspaper in New York City.
By age 11, Woodhull had only three years of formal education, but her teachers found her to be extremely intelligent. She was forced to leave school and home with her family when her father, after having "insured it heavily," burned the family's rotting gristmill. When he tried to get compensated by insurance, his arson and fraud were discovered; he was run off by a group of town vigilantes. The town held a "benefit" to raise funds to pay for the rest of the family's departure from Ohio.
First marriage and family
When she was 14, Victoria met 28-year-old Canning Woodhull (listed as "Channing" in some records), a doctor from a town outside Rochester, New York. Her family had consulted him to treat the girl for a chronic illness. Woodhull practiced medicine in Ohio at a time when the state did not require formal medical education and licensing. By some accounts, Woodhull claimed to be the nephew of Caleb Smith Woodhull, mayor of New York City from 1849 to 1851; he was a distant cousin.
They were married on November 20, 1853. Their marriage certificate was recorded in Cleveland on November 23, 1853, when Victoria was two months past her 15th birthday. She soon learned that her new husband was an alcoholic and a womanizer. She often had to work outside the home to support the family. She and Canning had two children, Byron and Zulu (later called Zula) Maude Woodhull. According to one account,[which?] Byron was born with an intellectual disability in 1854, a condition Victoria believed was caused by her husband's alcoholism. Another version recounted that her son's disability was caused by a fall from a window. After their children were born, Victoria divorced her husband and kept his surname.
After the Civil War there were 10 million spiritualists in the "the bosom of the lord". About 1866 Woodhull married Colonel James Harvey Blood, who also was marrying for a second time. He had served in the Union Army in Missouri during the American Civil War, and had been elected as city auditor of Saint Louis, Missouri.
Woodhull's support of free love likely started after she discovered the infidelity of her first husband Canning. Women who married in the United States during the 19th century were bound into the unions, even if loveless, with few options to escape. Divorce was limited by law and considered socially scandalous. Women who divorced were stigmatized and often ostracized by society. Victoria Woodhull concluded that women should have the choice to leave unbearable marriages.
Woodhull believed in monogamous relationships, although she also said she had the right to change her mind: the choice to make love or not was in every case the woman's choice (since this would place her in an equal status to the man, who had the capacity to rape and physically overcome a woman, whereas a woman did not have that capacity with respect to a man). Woodhull said:
To woman, by nature, belongs the right of sexual determination. When the instinct is aroused in her, then and then only should commerce follow. When woman rises from sexual slavery to sexual freedom, into the ownership and control of her sexual organs, and man is obliged to respect this freedom, then will this instinct become pure and holy; then will woman be raised from the iniquity and morbidness in which she now wallows for existence, and the intensity and glory of her creative functions be increased a hundred-fold . . .
In this same speech, which became known as the "Steinway speech," delivered on Monday, November 20, 1871 in Steinway Hall, New York City, Woodhull said of free love:
"Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere."
Woodhull railed against the hypocrisy of society's tolerating married men who had mistresses and engaged in other sexual dalliances. In 1872, Woodhull publicly criticized well-known clergyman Henry Ward Beecher for adultery. Beecher was known to have had an affair with his parishioner, Elizabeth Tilton, who had confessed to it, and the scandal was covered nationally. Woodhull was prosecuted on obscenity charges for sending accounts of the affair through the federal mails, and was briefly jailed. This added to sensational coverage during her campaign that fall for the United States presidency.
Prostitution rumors and stance
Woodhull and her sister Tennessee Claflin traveled to New York City by railroad, entering a burgeoning city of exploding population and gangsterism on Stoop Hill. On the streets the open sewers competed with horse manure for the stench. The rich intermingled with poor on Broadway in Manhattan; prostitutes rubbing shoulders with the 'haves,' who included the richest American citizen, Commodore Vanderbilt, railroad proprietor and millionaire.
Victoria took laudanum while visiting the brothels on 5th Avenue. She lived on Great Jones Street. Most of the 20,000 prostitutes in New York lived on Green Street. She circulated, managing to pick up an income of $20,000 from her liaisons with Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt proposed marriage to her sister Tennessee Claflin, but his family was utterly opposed to it. These rumors were said to have come from articles reported by the Chicago Mail, but Shearer says that no such articles have been found. She spoke out in person against prostitution, and considered marriage for material gain a form of it. But in her journal, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, Woodhull expressed support for the legalization of sex work. A personal account from one of Colonel Blood's friends suggests that Woodhull's sister Tennie was held against her will in a brothel until Woodhull rescued her; but this story remains unconfirmed.
Woodhull, with sister Tennessee (Tennie) Claflin, became the first women stockbrokers and in 1870 they opened a brokerage firm on Wall Street. Woodhull, Claflin & Company opened in 1870, with the assistance of the wealthy Cornelius Vanderbilt, an admirer of Woodhull's skills as a medium; he is rumoured to have been her sister Tennie's lover, and to have seriously considered marrying her. Woodhull made a fortune on the New York Stock Exchange by advising clients like Vanderbilt. On one occasion she told him to sell his shares short for 150 cents per stock, which he duly followed, and earned millions on the deal. Newspapers such as the New York Herald hailed Woodhull and Claflin as "the Queens of Finance" and "the Bewitching Brokers." Many contemporary men's journals (e.g., The Days' Doings) published sexualized images of the pair running their firm (although they did not participate in the day-to-day business of the firm), linking the concept of publicly minded, un-chaperoned women with ideas of "sexual immorality" and prostitution.
On the date of May 14, 1870, Woodhull and Claflin used the money they had made from their brokerage to found a newspaper, the Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. Its primary purpose was to support Victoria Claflin Woodhull for President of the United States. Published for the next six years, feminism was the Weekly's primary interest, but it became notorious for publishing controversial opinions on taboo topics, advocating among other things sex education, free love, women's suffrage, short skirts, spiritualism, vegetarianism, and licensed prostitution. History often states the paper advocated birth control, but some historians disagree. The paper is now known for printing the first English version of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto in its December 30, 1871 edition, and the paper argued the cause of labor with eloquence and skill. James Blood and Stephen Pearl Andrews wrote the majority of the articles, as well as other able contributors.
In 1872, the Weekly published a story that set off a national scandal and preoccupied the public for months. Henry Ward Beecher, a renowned preacher of Brooklyn's Plymouth Church, had condemned Woodhull's free love philosophy in his sermons. But a member of his church, Theodore Tilton, disclosed to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a colleague of Woodhull, that his wife had confessed Beecher was committing adultery with her. Provoked by such hypocrisy, Woodhull decided to expose Beecher. He ended up standing trial in 1875, for adultery in a proceeding that proved to be one of the most sensational legal episodes of the era, gripping the attention of hundreds of thousands of Americans: the trial ended with a hung jury; but the church won the case hands down.
George Francis Train once defended her. Other feminists of her time, including Susan B. Anthony, disagreed with her tactics in pushing for women's equality. Some characterized her as opportunistic and unpredictable; in one notable incident, she had a run-in with Anthony during a meeting of the National Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA). (The radical NWSA later merged with the conservative American Women's Suffrage Association [AWSA] to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.)
Women's rights advocate
Woodhull learned how to infiltrate the all-male domain of national politics and arranged to testify on women's suffrage before the House Judiciary Committee. Woodhull argued that women already had the right to vote — all they had to do was use it — since the 14th and 15th Amendments guaranteed the protection of that right for all citizens. The simple but powerful logic of her argument impressed some committee members. Learning of Woodhull's planned address, suffrage leaders postponed the opening of the 1871 National Woman Suffrage Association's third annual convention in Washington in order to attend the committee hearing. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Isabella Beecher Hooker, saw Woodhull as the newest champion of their cause. They applauded her statement: "[W]omen are the equals of men before the law, and are equal in all their rights."
With the power of her first public appearance as a woman's rights advocate, Woodhull moved to the leadership circle of the suffrage movement. Although her Constitutional argument was not original, she focused unprecedented public attention on suffrage. Woodhull was the first woman ever to petition Congress in person. Numerous newspapers reported her appearance before Congress. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper printed a full-page engraving of Woodhull, surrounded by prominent suffragists, delivering her argument.
Woodhull joined the International Workingmen's Association, also known as the First International. She supported its goals by articles in her newspaper. In the United States, many Yankee radicals, former abolitionists and other progressive activists, became involved in the organization, which had been founded in England. German-American and ethnic Irish nearly lost control of the organization, and feared its goals were going to be lost in the broad-based, democratic egalitarianism promoted by the Americans. In 1871, the Germans expelled most of the English-speaking members of the First International's U.S. sections, leading to the quick decline of the organization, as it failed to attract the ethnic working class in America. Karl Marx commented disparagingly on Woodhull in 1872, and expressed approval of the expulsions.
Woodhull was nominated for President of the United States by the newly formed Equal Rights Party on May 10, 1872, at Apollo Hall, New York City. A year earlier, she had announced her intention to run. Also in 1871, she spoke publicly against the government being composed only of men; she proposed developing a new constitution and a new government a year thence. Her nomination was ratified at the convention on June 6, 1872. They nominated the former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass for Vice President. He did not attend the convention and never acknowledged the nomination. He served as a presidential elector in the United States Electoral College for the State of New York. This made her the first woman candidate.
While many historians and authors agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, some have questioned that priority given issues with the legality of her run. They disagree with classifying it as a true candidacy because she was younger than the constitutionally mandated age of 35. However, election coverage by contemporary newspapers does not suggest age was a significant issue. The presidential inauguration was in March 1873. Woodhull's 35th birthday was in September 1873.
Woodhull's campaign was also notable for the nomination of Frederick Douglass, although he did not take part in it. His nomination stirred up controversy about the mixing of whites and blacks in public life and fears of miscegenation (especially as he had married a much younger white woman after his first wife died). The Equal Rights Party hoped to use the nominations to reunite suffragists with African-American civil rights activists, as the exclusion of female suffrage from the Fifteenth Amendment two years earlier had caused a substantial rift between the groups.
Having been vilified in the media for her support of free love, Woodhull devoted an issue of Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly (November 2, 1872) to an alleged adulterous affair between Elizabeth Tilton and Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, a prominent Protestant minister in New York (he supported female suffrage but had lectured against free love in his sermons). Woodhull published the article to highlight what she saw as a sexual double-standard between men and women.
That same day, a few days before the presidential election, U.S. Federal Marshals arrested Woodhull, her second husband Colonel James Blood, and her sister Tennie C. Claflin on charges of "publishing an obscene newspaper" because of the content of this issue. The sisters were held in the Ludlow Street Jail for the next month, a place normally reserved for civil offenses, but which contained more hardened criminals as well. The arrest was arranged by Anthony Comstock, the self-appointed moral defender of the nation at the time. Opponents raised questions about censorship and government persecution. The three were acquitted on a technicality six months later, but the arrest prevented Woodhull from attempting to vote during the 1872 presidential election. With the publication of the scandal, Theodore Tilton, the husband of Elizabeth, sued Beecher for "alienation of affection." The trial in 1875 was sensationalized across the nation, and eventually resulted in a hung jury.
Woodhull again tried to gain nominations for the presidency in 1884 and 1892. Newspapers reported that her 1892 attempt culminated in her nomination by the "National Woman Suffragists' Nominating Convention" on 21 September. Mary L. Stowe of California was nominated as the candidate for vice president. The convention was held at Willard's Hotel in Boonville, New York, and Anna M. Parker was its president. Some woman's suffrage organizations repudiated the nominations, however, claiming that the nominating committee was unauthorized. Woodhull was quoted as saying that she was "destined" by "prophecy" to be elected president of the United States in the upcoming election.
Life in England and third marriage
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In October 1876, Woodhull divorced her second husband, Colonel Blood. Less than a year later, exhausted and possibly depressed, she left to start a new life. When Commodore Vanderbilt died, his son William Henry Vanderbilt gave Victoria and Tennessee a large sum of money to leave the country and set up in England.
She made her first public appearance as a lecturer at St. James's Hall in London on December 4, 1877. Her lecture was called The Human Body, the Temple of God, a lecture which she had previously presented in the United States. Present at one of her lectures was the banker John Biddulph Martin. They began to see each other and married on October 31, 1883. His family disapproved of the union, but eventually gave in.
From then on, she was known as Victoria Woodhull Martin. Under that name, she published the magazine, The Humanitarian, from 1892 to 1901, with help from her daughter Zula Woodhull. After her husband died in 1901, Martin gave up publishing and retired to the country, establishing residence at Bredon's Norton.
Views on abortion and eugenics
- “Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.
One of her articles on abortion not often cited by opponents of abortion is from the September 23, 1871 issue of the Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. She wrote:
Abortion is only a symptom of a more deep-seated disorder of the social state. It cannot be put down by law.... Is there, then, no remedy for all this bad state of things? None, I solemnly believe; none, by means of repression and law. I believe there is no other remedy possible but freedom in the social sphere.
Woodhull also promoted eugenics which was popular in the early 20th century prior to World War II. Her interest in eugenics might have been motivated by the profound intellectual impairment of her son. She advocated, among other things, sex education, "marrying well," and pre-natal care as a way to bear healthier children and to prevent mental and physical disease. Her writings demonstrate views closer to those of the anarchist eugenists, rather than the coercive eugenists like Sir Francis Galton. In 2006, publisher Michael W. Perry claimed in his book "Lady Eugenist" that Woodhull supported the forcible sterilization of those she considered unfit to breed. He based his claim on a New York Times article from 1927 in which she concurred with the ruling of the case Buck v. Bell. Whether the article accurately stated her views or not, it stands in stark contrast to her earlier works in which she advocated social freedom and opposed government interference in matters of love and marriage. Woodhull-Martin, died on June 10, 1927, at Norton Park in Bredon's Norton, Worcestershire.
Legacy and honors
The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is an American human rights/sexual freedom advocacy organization, founded in 2003, and named in honor of Victoria Woodhull.
- List of civil rights leaders
- List of suffragists and suffragettes
- List of women's rights activists
- Ezra Heywood
- Swami Laura Horos
- Onward Victoria
- Timeline of women's rights (other than voting)
- Timeline of women's suffrage
- International Workingmen's Association in America
- Kemp, Bill (2016-11-15). "‘Free love’ advocate Victoria Woodhull excited Bloomington". The Pantagraph. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- Johnson, 1956, p. 46
- Johnson, 1956, p. 46-47
- Johnson, 1956, p. 86, p. 87
- The Revolution, a weekly newspaper founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had begun publication two years earlier in 1868.
- Johnson, 1956, p. 45
- Goldsmith, Barbara (1998). Other Powers. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 20. ISBN 0394555368.
- 1850 federal census, Licking, Ohio; Series M432, Roll 703, Page 437; father listed as Buckman, brothers incorrectly transcribed as Hubern (Hubert) and Malven (Melvin).
- Wight, Charles Henry, Genealogy of the Claflin Family, 1661–1898. New York: Press of William Green. 1903. passim (use index)
- Gabriel, Mary (1998). Notorious Victoria. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 12. ISBN 1-56512-132-5.
- ""Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013, index and images, FamilySearch "Marriage records 1849-1854 vol 5 > image 273 of 334; county courthouses, Ohio". familysearch.org. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
- Underhill, Lois Beachy (1996). The Woman Who Ran for President: The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull. Penguin Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-14-025638-5.
- "Woodhull, Zula Maude". Who's Who 59: 1930. 1907.
- Johnson, 1956, p. 47
- Dubois and Dumenil, //Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents//. (Bedford; St. Martin's, 2012)
- Andrea Dworkin (1987). Intercourse,Chapter 7: "Occupation/Collaboration".
- "And the truth shall make you free." A speech on the principles of social freedom, delivered in Steinway hall, Nov. 20, 1871, by Victoria C. Woodhull, pub. Woodhull & Claflin, NY, NY 1871. 
- Speech is discussed and linked to also in Shearer, Mary L. "Abandoned Woman? A Review of the Evidence." http://www.victoria-woodhull.com/prostitute.htm
- DuBois and Dumenil. //Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents//. (Bedford; St Martin's, 2012)
- Shearer, Mary L. "Frequently Asked Questions about Victoria Woodhull." http://www.victoria-woodhull.com/faq.htm#who
- Johnson (1956), p.86
- "Please wait...". interactive.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- Johnson, 1956, p. 87
- Goldsmith, Other Powers
- Constitutional equality. To the Hon. the Judiciary committee of the Senate and the House of representatives of the Congress of the United States ... Most respectfully submitted. Victoria C. Woodhull. Dated New York, January 2, 1871
- Susan Kullmann, "Legal Contender... Victoria C. Woodhull, First Woman to Run for President". Accessed 2009.05.29.
- Messer-Kruse, Timothy (1998). The Yankee International: Marxism and the American Reform Tradition, 1848–1876. pp. 2–4.
- "Notes on the "American split"". May 28, 1872. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Please wait...". interactive.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- A Lecture on Constitutional Equality, also known as The Great Secession Speech, speech to Woman's Suffrage Convention, New York, May 11, 1871, excerpt quoted in Gabriel, Mary, Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored (Chapel Hill, N.Car.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1st ed. 1998 (ISBN 1-56512-132-5)), pp. 86–87 & n.  (author Mary Gabriel journalist, Reuters News Service). Also excerpted, differently, in Underhill, Lois Beachy, The Woman Who Ran for President: The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull (Bridgehampton, N.Y.: Bridge Works, 1st ed. 1995 (ISBN 1-882593-10-3)), pp. 125–126 & unnumbered n.
- "Arrest of Victoria Woodhull, Tennie C. Claflin and Col. Blood. They are Charged with Publishing an Obscene Newspaper.". New York Times. November 3, 1872. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
The agent of the Society for the Suppression of Obscene Literature, yesterday morning, appeared before United States Commissioner Osborn and asked for a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull and Miss Tennie ...
- Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly (1870)
- Wheeling, West Virginia Evening Standard (1875)
- "Victoria Martin, Suffragist, Dies. Nominated for President of the United States as Mrs. Woodhull in 1872. Leader of Many Causes. Had Fostered Anglo-American Friendship Since She Became Wife of a Britisher ...". New York Times. June 11, 1927. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- Photo taken by RobertFrost1960 on September 21, 2010, accessed June 9, 2011.
- The Performing Arts: A Guide to the Reference Literature. Libraries Unlimited.
- Woodhull Institute; Retrieved 3 April 2013
- "National Women's Hall of Fame". Greatwomen.org. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- "Women's Rights, Historic Sites Location List". Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.
- Dunham, Mike. "ANCHORAGE: Review: Opera about first woman to run for president debuts in Anchorage | Arts and Culture". ADN.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Brough, James (1980). The Vixens. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22688-6.
- Caplan, Sheri J. (2013). Petticoats and Pinstripes: Portraits of Women in Wall Street's History. Praeger. ISBN 978-1-4408-0265-2.
- Carpenter, Cari M. (2010). Selected Writings of Victoria Woodhull: Suffrage, Free Love, and Eugenics. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
- Davis, Paulina W., ed. (1871). A history of the national woman's rights movement for twenty years. New York: Journeymen Printers' Cooperative Association.
- Fitzpatrick, Ellen (2016). The Highest Glass Ceiling : Women's Quest for the American Presidency. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674088931. LCCN 2015045620.
- Frisken, Amanda (2004). Victoria Woodhull's Sexual Revolution. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3798-6.
- Gabriel, Mary (1998). Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull Uncensored. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books. ISBN 1-56512-132-5.
- Goldsmith, Barbara (1998). Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-095332-2.
- Johnson, Gerald W. (June 1956). "Dynamic Victoria Woodhull". American Heritage 7 (4).
- MacPherson, Myra (2014). The scarlet sisters : sex, suffrage, and scandal in the Gilded Age. New York, NY: Twelve. ISBN 9780446570237. LCCN 2013027618. biography of Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Celeste Claflin
- Marberry, M.M. (1967). Vicky. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
- Meade, Marion (1976). Free Woman. Alfred A. Knopf, Harper & Brothers.
- Riddle, A.G. (1871). The Right of women to exercise the elective franchise under the Fourteenth Article of the Constitution: speech of A.G. Riddle in the Suffrage Convention at Washington, January 11, 1871: the argument was made in support of the Woodhull memorial, before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, and reproduced in the Convention. Washington.
- Sachs, Emanie (1928). The Terrible Siren. Harper & Brothers.
- Schrupp, Antje (2002). Das Aufsehen erregende Leben der Victoria Woodhull (in German). Helmer.
- The Staff of the Historian's Office and National Portrait Gallery (1972). If Elected...' Unsuccessful candidates for the presidency 1796–1968. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Offices.
- Stern, Madeleine B., ed. (1974). The Victoria Woodhull Reader. Weston, Mass.: M&S Press.
- Underhill, Lois Beachy (1995). The Woman Who Ran for President: The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull. Bridgehampton, N.Y.: Bridge Works. ISBN 1-882593-10-3.
- Woodhull, Victoria C. (2005) . Free Lover: Sex, Marriage and Eugenics in the Early Speeches of Victoria Woodhull. Seattle. ISBN 1-58742-050-3.. Four of her most important early and radical speeches on sexuality as facsimiles of the original published versions. Includes: "The Principle of Social Freedom" (1872), "The Scare-crows of Sexual Slavery" (1873), "The Elixir of Life" (1873), and "Tried as by Fire" (1873–74).
- Woodhull, Victoria C. (2005) . Lady Eugenist: Feminist Eugenics in the Speeches and Writings of Victoria Woodhull. Seattle. ISBN 1-58742-040-6.. Seven of her most important speeches and writings on eugenics. Five are facsimiles of the original, published versions. Includes: "Children—Their Rights and Privileges" (1871), "The Garden of Eden" (1875, publ. 1890), "Stirpiculture" (1888), "Humanitarian Government" (1890), "The Rapid Multiplication of the Unfit" (1891), and "The Scientific Propagation of the Human Race" (1893)
- Woodhull, Victoria C. (1870). Constitutional equality the logical result of the XIV and XV Amendments, which not only declare who are citizens, but also define their rights, one of which is the right to vote without regard to sex. New York.
- Woodhull, Victoria C. (1871). The Origin, Tendencies and Principles of Government, or, A Review of the Rise and Fall of Nations from Early Historic Time to the Present. New York: Woodhull, Claflin & Company.
- Woodhull, Victoria C. (1871). Speech of Victoria C. Woodhull on the great political issue of constitutional equality, delivered in Lincoln Hall, Washington, Cooper Institute, New York Academy of Music, Brooklyn, Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Opera House, Syracuse: together with her secession speech delivered at Apollo Hall.
- Woodhull, Victoria C. Martin (1891). The Rapid Multiplication of the Unfit. New York.
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- Weston, Victoria. America's Victoria, Remembering Victoria Woodhull features Gloria Steinem and actress Kate Capshaw. Zoie Films Productions (1998). PBS and Canadian Broadcasts.
- Woodhull on harvard.edu
- Biographical timeline
- Horowitz, "Victoria Woodhull, Anthony Comstock, and Conflict over Sex in the United States in the 1870s", The Journal of American History, February 1987
- STEPHANIE ATHEY, "Eugenic Feminisms in Late Nineteenth-Century America: Reading Race in Victoria Woodhull, Frances Willard, Anna Julia Cooper and Ida B. Wells", Genders Journal, 2000
- "Legal Contender... Victoria C. Woodhull: First Woman to Run for President", The Women's Quarterly (Fall 1988)
- Victoria Woodhull, Topics in Chronicling America, Library of Congress
- "A lecture on constitutional equality," delivered at Lincoln hall, Washington, D.C., Thursday, February 16, 1871, by Victoria C. Woodhul, American Memory, Library of Congress
- A history of the national woman's rights movement, for twenty years, with the proceedings of the decade meeting held at Apollo hall, October 20, 1870, from 1850 to 1870, with an appendix containing the history of the movement during the winter of 1871, in the national capitol, comp. by Paulina W. Davis., American Memory, Library of Congress
- "And the truth shall make you free." A speech on the principles of social freedom, delivered in Steinway hall, Nov. 20, 1871, by Victoria C. Woodhull, American Memory, Library of Congress
- "Tried as by Fire" at the University of South Carolina Library's Digital Collections Page
- "Victoria Claflin Woodhull". Suffragist, Social Reformer. Find a Grave. Apr 9, 2004. Retrieved Aug 17, 2011.
- Movie review: "America's Victoria, Remembering Victoria Woodhull", The American Journal of History
- America's Victoria: Remembering Victoria Woodhull (1998) (TV) at the Internet Movie Database