Which American Woman did the British Suffragettes Follow?


Which American Woman did the British Suffragettes Follow?

Hint: 1st Female Candidate for U.S. President


Annie_Kenney_and_Christabel_Pankhurst-GuyFeministBlogWhen “Suffragette,” the movie, is released, few will know on which American woman the mother and daughter Pankhursts based the British Suffragette movement. The same woman in 1872 became the first female to run for president in the United States.

I have deliberately and of my own accord placed myself before the people as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, and having the means, courage, energy, and strength necessary for the race, intend to contest it to the close.

Her name was Victoria Claflin Woodhull and her most notable claim to fame is just the tip of the iceberg for a deeply rich and sometimes audacious life. Victoria and her sister, Tennessee Claflin, were the first women to own and operate a Wall Street brokerage firm, and the first American women to fully own and publish a regular newspaper.

Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter, Christabel, featured in the movie, “Suffragette,” modeled their philosophy on Woodhull’s writings. Thirty years prior to the movement that secured the vote for women in England, Victoria declared:

The Women’s Rights Movement, involving as it does the larger half of the human race is of profound significance. It agitates both hemispheres. It is pre-eminently a Radical movement: for it seeks to re-model the frame-work of society, so far as the relations of the sexes are concerned, and professes to place women on a footing never yet conceded to them in the history of mankind. Exceptional instances have occurred in our time, wherein, from extraordinary merit, or under peculiar circumstances, that precedence or equality has been granted to individuals as of special privilege, which is now demanded on behalf of the whole female sex, and as of indefensible right. There is a rapidly growing public opinion in favor of more extended female employment in all public and private capacities; of more liberal educational advantages; and of an equalization of wages between the sexes.

Woodhull & Claflin Weekly: Vol. 1 First Edition, May 14, 1870

Sadly, Victoria, her husband, the civil war hero, Colonel James Harvey Blood, and her sister, Tennessee, spent election day in prison, having wrongfully been arrested. They were held in the notorious Ludlow Street Jail in New York City.

Any form of discrimination or subjugation, whether on the basis of race, gender, religion or personal choice is abhorrent. The Suffragette movie will help provoke awareness. More people are grasping the importance of women empowerment. It is important to know our HERstory. Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin should be iconic symbols for all of us—women and men alike.


Neal Katz, the author of the new HERstorical novel, “Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume One: Rise to Riches” (thevictoriawoodhullsaga.com) has pledged 50 percent of his royalties and ancillary revenues to a foundation to advance woman rights, and improve the lives of single moms through a new form of charity – Credit Funding.

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