It was also known as the People's Party, the Cosmo-Political Party and the National Radical Reformers. Frederick Douglass also actively supported women's suffrage, and held several public offices. Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, on the Equal Rights Party ticket. Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American leader of the woman's suffrage movement. 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.
Victoria 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. 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.
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. A strong supporter of women's rights, Woodhull often spoke publicly on behalf of women's suffrage, and even addressed Congress on the issue. Seeking to be more politically active, establishing the Equal Rights Party, and shortly thereafter, for the U.S. presidency on the political group's ticket in 1872.
No matter the case, the election turned sour, with Woodhull publicly fighting with her critics in her publication. Woodhull became a target for public scrutiny because of her many relationships and radical ideas. She was first married at 15 to Canning Woodhull with whom she had two children. The couple later divorced, and Woodhull married twice more and was reported to have numerous relationships. Her public remarks about sexuality and social reforms were also held against her. And her support of socialism—a political and economic philosophy that was considered radical at the time—may have alienated some, as well.
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