Who Was the First Female Presidential Candidate?

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.
More Info: history.com

Discussion Comments


Has anyone seen the movie Iron Jawed Angels? I don't remember much of it, because it was a while ago, but it shows the oppressions that women had to go through in order to vote. The scene that sticks out to me the most is when the main character is being force fed raw eggs and milk through her nose. Definitely horrifying, but tastefully portrayed (no pun intended).


I'm really glad that women have the right to vote in the U.S. nowadays. It's funny how many people accomplished their goals through blood, sweat, and tears, and yet we sometimes forget that. I know plenty of my friends who take voting for granted, especially with the presidential elections. Whenever I ask who they're voting for, they tell me that they aren't voting, because they just don't care. Many people died so that we could have the right to vote, and that's something that needs to be remembered.

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