Victoria Claffin Woodhull managed to make two fortunes. The first one she made touring as a magnetic healer, a venture that was highly successful. Her second fortune came with the help of her benefactor, Cornelius Vanderbilt. With Vanderbilt’s assistance, she opened the firm of Woodhull, Claffin & Company and became one of the first female brokers on the New York Stock Exchange. The brokerage was a family affair. She collaborated with her younger sister Tennessee Claffin. Do not even think about asking me about her first name. What do I know? I didn’t name her. On May 14, 1870, she took the money that she made in the stock exchange, and Victoria and her sister would start a newspaper, Woodhull & Claffin’s Weekly. The paper had a six-year run but is now notable primarily for the fact that in its December 30, 1871 issue it published the first English language version of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
Frederick Douglass was her running mate. Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, it was as Frederick Douglass that he would achieve fame. Douglass was born into to slavery in 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. In 1838, using documents borrowed from a sailor, a free black man, he made his way to New York City. Once there abolitionist sympathizers bought Douglass his freedom by paying off the man in Maryland who owned him.
The first time a women’s name appeared on a ballot was in the 1968 United States presidential elections when Charlene Mitchell’s name appeared on the ballot as the Communist party’s candidate for President. Mitchell was also the first black person nominated for the post. She didn’t win.