Victoria Woodhull is one of the most notable women’s rights activists of the 19th century. This is part four in a series about her life. Read about Victoria Woodhull’s childhood and early life. Or, read about Victoria Woodhull as the first female stock broker. You can read about her campaign for president, too.
A staunch women’s rights activist, Victoria Woodhull also was a freethinker and a free lover. Because of her ability to push the limits and refusal to accept a world she felt was dominated by men, Victoria was able to accomplish much more than the average 19th century woman. Before Victoria became the first woman to run for president of the United States, she also became the first female stock broker and the first woman to own and run a newspaper.
Considered a very persuasive and powerful speaker, Victoria often won crowds with both her beauty and her skilled orations. She lectured in many, many places, including the floor of the House Judiciary Committee, numerous women’s rights conventions and in Europe, always espousing the virtues of freethinking and free love while campaigning for greater rights for women.
Here are a few of the words she used throughout her career as an activist and a lecturer.
I am a free lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or 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.
After Accepting the Nomination to Run for President:
I now announce myself as candidate for the Presidency. I anticipate criticism; but however unfavorable I trust that my sincerity will not be called into question.
Lincoln Hall, Washington D.C., 1871
If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask, there is but one course left then to pursue. What is there left for women to do but to become the mothers of the future government?
I and others of my sex find ourselves controlled by a form of government in the inauguration of which we had no voice.