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HISTORY OF WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE IN THE U.S.

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Author Topic: HISTORY OF WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE IN THE U.S.  (Read 5027 times)
Melissa MacQuarrie
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2008, 03:25:43 pm »

From my thread here two months ago:



Born Victoria California Claflin
September 23, 1838
Homer, Licking County, Ohio
Died June 9, 1927
Bredon
Known for Free love
Parents Reuben Buckman Claflin
Relatives Tennessee Claflin, sister


Victoria Claflin Woodhull (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American suffragist who was publicized in Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American woman's suffrage movement in the 19th century. She became a colorful and notorious symbol for women's rights, free love, and labor reforms. The authorship of her speeches and articles is disputed. Some contend that many of her speeches on these subjects were not written by Woodhull herself, but her role as a representative of these movements was nonetheless powerful and controversial. She is probably most famous for her declaration to run for the United States Presidency in 1872.
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Melissa MacQuarrie
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2008, 03:28:49 pm »

Woodhull was born Victoria California Allen to a poor family in Homer, Licking County, Ohio. Her father, Reuben Buckman Claflin [1] was a lawyer and her brothers, Hebern and Maldon, printers. [2] Victoria was closely associated during most of her life with her sister Tennessee Celeste (a.k.a. "Tennie C.") Claflin, who was seven years younger than she. Victoria went from rags to riches twice, her first fortune being made on the road as a highly successful magnetic healer before she joined the spiritualist movement in the 1870s.

When she was just 15, Victoria became engaged to a 28-year old Canning (Channing, in some records) Woodhull from a town outside of Rochester, New York. Dr. Woodhull was an Ohio medical doctor at a time when formal medical education and licensing was not required to practice medicine in that state. He met Victoria in 1853 when her family called him to treat her for an illness. According to some accounts, Canning Woodhull claimed he was the nephew of a New York City mayor, who was actually a distant cousin. Victoria married Canning Woodhull in November 1853, just a few short months after they met. Victoria soon learned that her new husband was an alcoholic and a womanizer, and that her own work would often be required to support the family financially. She and Canning had two children: Byron and Zulu (later Zula). According to one account, Byron was born with an intellectual disability in 1854, a condition Victoria believed was caused by her husband's alcoholism. Another story says his disability resulted from a fall from a window.

Woodhull’s support of free love probably originated with her first marriage. Even in loveless marriages, women in United States in the 19th century were bound into unions with few options to escape. Any woman who divorced was stigmatized and often ostracized by society. Victoria believed women should have the choice to leave unbearable marriages, and she rallied against the hypocrisy of married men having mistresses and other sexual dalliances. When she became a prominent national figure, her enemies falsely characterized Victoria’s views on free love as advocating the immoral sexual libertinism being experimented with in such utopian communities as Oneida and Modern Times. Victoria in fact believed in monogamous relationships, although she did state she had the right to also love someone else "exclusively" if she desired.

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation & Federation [1], which works through research, advocacy, and public education to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right, is a global sexual freedom advocacy organization named in honor of Victoria Woodhull.
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Melissa MacQuarrie
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2008, 03:30:02 pm »

Female broker

She made another fortune on the New York Stock Exchange with Tennessee, as the first female Wall Street brokers. Woodhull, Claflin & Company opened in 1870 with the assistance of a wealthy benefactor, her admirer, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Newspapers like the New York Herald hailed Woodhull & Claflin as "the Queens of Finance" and "the Bewitching Brokers." Many contemporary men's journals (e.g., The Day's Doings) published sexualised images of the pair running their firm (although they did not participate in the day-to-day business of the firm themselves), linking the concept of publicly-minded, un-chaperoned women with ideas of "sexual immorality" and prostitution.

Newspaper editor

On May 14, 1870, she and Tennessee established a paper, (with money made from her brokerage days), Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, which stayed in publication for the next six years, and became notorious for publishing controversial opinions on taboo topics (especially with regard to sex education and free love). The paper advocated, among other things, women's suffrage, short skirts, spiritualism, free love, vegetarianism, and licensed prostitution. It's commonly stated that the paper also advocated birth control, but some historians disagree. The paper is now known primarily for printing the first English version of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto in its December 30, 1871 edition.

The Weekly broke an important story in 1872 that set off a national scandal that preoccupied much of the public for months. One of the most renowned ministers of the day, Henry Ward Beecher, had condemned Woodhull's free love philosophy in his sermons. But a member of his church, Theodore Tilton, disclosed to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a colleague of Woodhull, that his wife confessed to him that Beecher was committing adultery with her, and this hypocrisy provoked Woodhull to expose Beecher. Ultimately Beecher stood trial for adultery in an 1875 legal proceeding that equalled, if not exceeded, the sensationalism of the O.J. Simpson trial a century later, holding the attention of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

George Francis Train once defended her. Other feminists of her time, including Susan B. Anthony, disagreed with her tactics in pushing for women's equality. Some characterized her as opportunisitic and unpredictable: in one notable incident, she had a run in with Anthony during a meeting of the NWSA. (The radical NWSA later merged with the conservative AWSA to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association).

Women's rights advocate

Woodhull's experience as a lobbyist and businesswoman taught her how to penetrate the all-male domain of national politics. A year after she set up shop in Wall Street, she preempted the opening of the 1871 National Woman Suffrage Association's third annual convention in Washington. Suffrage leaders postponed their meeting to listen to the female broker address the House Judiciary Committee. Woodhull argued that women already had the right to vote - all they had to do was use it - since the 14th and 15th Amendments granted that right to all citizens. [Constitutional equality. To the Hon. the Judiciary committee of the Senate and the House of representatives of the Congress of the United States ... Most respectfully submitted. Victoria C. Woodhull. Dated New York, January 2, 1871] The simple but powerful logic of her argument impressed some committee members. Suffragists, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Isabella Beecher ****, saw her as their newest champion. They applauded her statement: "women are the equals of men before the law, and are equal in all their rights."

Woodhull catapulted to the leadership circle of the suffrage movement with her first public appearance as a woman's rights advocate. Although her Constitutional argument was not original, she focused unprecedented public attention on suffrage. Following Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Woodhull was the second woman to petition Congress in person. Newspapers reported her appearance before Congress. The Time magazine of its day, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, printed a full-page engraving of Woodhull, surrounded by prominent suffragists, as she delivered her argument. Legal Contender...
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Melissa MacQuarrie
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2008, 03:31:19 pm »


Presidential candidate

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. Her nomination was ratified at convention on June 6, 1872. Former slave Frederick Douglass was nominated for Vice President. Douglass never acknowledged this nomination. Instead, he served as a presidential elector in the United States Electoral College for the State of New York.

While many historians and authors agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, some people have questioned the legality of her run, usually citing one of the following reasons:

The government declined to print her name on the ballot.
This criticism is not valid as the government wasn't responsible for printing ballots. In 1872, political parties were responsible. This practice changed in the United States between the years 1888-1892 with the adoption of the Australian ballot. The Washington Post, about fifty years after the election, claimed that the Equal Rights Party published ballots bearing her name and that they were handed out at the polls. Because no Equal Rights Party ballot for 1872 has been preserved, this claim can't be confirmed. The first woman to appear on a presidential ballot printed by the government was Charlene Mitchell in 1968.

She was under the constitutionally mandated age of 35.
This is the most cited criticism in the 20th and 21st centuries, but was hardly noticed in the 19th. The presidential inauguration was in March 1873. Woodhull's 35th birthday was in September 1873. Some contend attorney Belva Lockwood was the first woman to run for President, because she was over the age of 35 when she ran in 1884 and 1888. However, some of the other criticisms about the legality of Woodhull's run also apply to Lockwood. There also is no legal primary evidence that Woodhull was born in 1838. Ohio did not require the registration of births until 1867. The probate court in Licking County, Ohio, burned down in 1875, destroying all previously recorded records except land records.

She didn't receive any electoral and/or popular votes.
While it's true that Woodhull received no electoral votes, there's evidence that Woodhull did receive popular votes that weren't counted. Official election returns also show about 2,000 "scattering votes." It's unknown whether any of those scattering votes were cast for her. Supporters contend that her popular votes were not counted because of gender discrimination and prejudice against her views, while critics contend the votes were not counted because they had other legal defects besides gender. The first woman to receive an electoral vote was Libertarian Tonie Nathan, who received a vote for Vice President in 1972.

Women couldn't legally vote until August 1920.
Although it's true that most women couldn't legally vote until 1920, some women did legally vote and hold public office prior to 1920. Susanna M. Salter was elected Mayor of Argonia, Kansas, in 1887, and Jeannette Rankin of Montana was elected to Congress in 1916. In New York, Woodhull's state of residency, the state took away the right of propertied women to vote in 1777. In 1871, Woodhull went to the polls for a local election in New York and was allowed to register, but when she returned to vote, her ballot was refused by election officials. Some believe that when the 19th amendment passed giving women the right to vote, it implicitly gave women the right to run for President. For that reason, they contend Senator Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to run for President in 1964 when she was put forward as a possible nominee at the Republican Party San Francisco convention. Smith is often called the first woman to be nominated for President by a major party, but the July 6, 1920 issue of the Bridgeport Connecticut Telegram reported that Laura Play and Cora Wilson Stuart of Kentucky were put forward as possible Presidential nominees at the Democratic Party San Francisco convention and received "the first vote cast for a woman in the convention of either of the two great parties."

She was a woman.
This was the most cited legal impediment in the 19th century. Some of Woodhull's contemporaries believed that because she was a woman she was not a citizen and, therefore, not entitled to vote. Since the Constitution required that the President be a citizen, she would also be excluded from holding the office of President. Others believed women were citizens, but that the states had the right to limit the franchise to males only. Some Woodhull supporters believed that even if Woodhull couldn't vote legally, that wouldn't have excluded her from running for public office. United States law has its roots in English common law, and under English common law, there was an established precedence of women holding public office.

It wasn't just her gender that made Woodhull's campaign notable; her association with Frederick Douglass stirred up controversy about the mixing of whites and blacks and fears of miscegenation. The Equal Rights Party hoped to use these nominations to reunite suffragists with civil rights activists, as the exclusion of female suffrage from the Fifteenth Amendment two years earlier had caused a substantial rift. The circumstances leading up to Woodhull's nomination had also created a rift between Woodhull and her former supporter Susan B. Anthony, and almost ended the collaboration of Anthony with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton, who had unsuccessfully run for Congress in New York in 1868, was more sympathetic to Woodhull. When Anthony cast her vote in the presidential election, she voted for Grant.

Like many of Woodhull's protests, this was first and foremost a media performance, designed to shake up the prejudices of the day. Vilified in the media for her support of free love, Woodhull devoted an issue of Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly (November 2, 1872) to a rumored affair. She alleged an affair between Elizabeth Tilton and Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, a prominent Protestant figure (who incidentally was a supporter of female suffrage). She published this article in order to highlight what she saw as a sexual double-standard between men and women.

On Saturday, November 2, just days before the presidential election, U.S. Federal Marshals arrested Woodhull, her husband Colonel Blood, and her sister Tennie C. Claflin for sending obscene material through the mail. The sisters were held in the Ludlow Street Jail for the next month, a place normally reserved for civil offenses, but which contained more hardened criminals as well. The arrest was arranged by Anthony Comstock, the self-appointed moral defender of the nation at the time, and the event incited questions about censorship and government persecution. Woodhull, Claflin, and Blood were acquitted on a technicality six months later, but the arrest prevented Victoria from attempting to vote during the 1872 presidential election. The publication of the Beecher-Tilton scandal led Theodore Tilton, husband of Elizabeth Tilton, to sue Beecher for "alienation of affection" in 1875. The trial was sensationalized across the nation, eventually resulting in a hung jury.

Woodhull attempted to secure nominations for the presidency again in 1884 and 1892. The newspapers in 1892 reported that she was nominated by the "National Woman Suffragists' Nominating Convention" presided over by Anna M. Parker, President of the convention. Mary L. Stowe of California was nominated as the vice presidential candidate, but some woman's suffrage organizations repudiated the nominations, stating the nominating committee was not authorized. Her 1892 campaign was probably taken less seriously because newspapers quoted her as saying she was "destined" by "prophecy" to be elected President of the United States in 1892.

Life in England

In October 1876, Woodhull divorced her second husband, Colonel Blood. Less than a year later, exhausted and possibly depressed, she left for England to start a new life. She made her first public appearance as a lecturer at St. James's Hall in London on December 4, 1877. Her lecture was called "The Human Body, the Temple of God," a lecture that was previously presented in the United States. Present at one of her lectures was banker John Biddulph Martin, the man who would become her third and last husband on October 31, 1883. From then on, she was known as Victoria Woodhull Martin. Under that name, she published a magazine called the Humanitarian from 1892 to 1901. As a widow, Woodhull gave up the publication of her magazine and retired to the country, establishing residence at Bredon's Norton.



Death

She died in 1927 at Norton Park in Bredon's Norton, Worcestershire, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom.

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Bianca
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2008, 05:24:04 pm »







QUOTE:


"Bianca, women never had any such experience in Iraq either! 

Did you know that women were working and liberated in Iraq years before we were in the U.S.? 

It has only been since the U.S. occupation that things began to get worse."




Yes, Melissa, Iraqi women were probably the most emancipated of the Muslim, not just Arab, world.

They never even had to wear a head scarf, just like it was in secular Turkey (until lately......)
Per capita, I believe both countries' educated women rivaled in number any country in the West.

It makes one wonder about the wisdom of DICTATORS (Mussolini, Saddam) as opposed to that of
of those (supposedly 'enlightened') that run the FREE WORLD, doesn't it?
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Bianca
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2008, 05:24:58 pm »









Thank you for the Victoria Woodhall biography, Melissa!!!



I hope more will follow and we can turn this into a





                               UNITED STATES HISTORY OF FEMALE EMANCIPATION.

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Aphrodite
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2008, 11:38:52 pm »

Quote
It makes one wonder about the wisdom of DICTATORS (Mussolini, Saddam) as opposed to that of
of those (supposedly 'enlightened') that run the FREE WORLD, doesn't it?

I whole-heartedly agree, Bianca, and I would also like to add, that, wherever women are repressed, it is almost invariably the result of some backwards religious ideology - theocratic Iran, Islamic fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, and of course, the religious right zealot controlled United States of America (sadly enough).
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2008, 01:35:30 am »

I am in total agreement with you, Bianca, when it comes to Volitzer's attitudes about women!  I will now separate any denigrating comments he might make from this topic and stick them all in a separate topic.  This one will be devoted purely to research.

Hey, if it's any consolation, he used to be even worse!

Brooke

You know I probably have a bigger Joan Jett and Donnas collection then most forum members here.

I was also the one to introduce www.womenrockradio.com to both Atlantis Rising and Atlantis Online.

Also what was so bad about my niece and her friend having Wonder Woman sleep-overs.  Lynda Carter pioneered the role of the female-action hero.  Up until 1976 women roles were relegated to the wife or the secretary or the girlfriend.

That and when you look at the work against the NWO that Joan Jett and Aimee Allen have accomplished via their art.

  (Riddles)

  (Change the World)

  (Ron Paul Revolution )

 Wink
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Bianca
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2008, 05:09:46 pm »



FEMINIST SUFFRAGE PARADE - 1912

NEW YORK CITY
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Bianca
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2008, 05:14:42 pm »











                                            W O M E N ' S   S U F F R A G E





The term women's suffrage refers to the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women.

The movement's origins are usually traced to the United States in the 1820s although the Isle of Man, a dependency of the United Kingdom, was the first place in the world to give universal suffrage to woman in national elections.

New Zealand, however, was the first fully Independent country to give woman universal suffrage.

New Zealand's movement was lead by Kate Sheppard.


In the following century the movement spread throughout the European and European-colonized
world, being adopted in places which had undergone more recent colonization.

Today women's suffrage is considered a right (under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), although a few countries, mainly in the Middle East, continue to deny voting rights to women.


             
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Bianca
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2008, 05:22:17 pm »








                                                       H I S T O R Y





Women's suffrage has been granted at various times in various countries throughout the world. In many countries women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women (and men) from certain races and social classes were still unable to vote.

In medieval France and several other European countries, voting for city and town assemblies and meetings was open to the heads of households, regardless of sex.



Women's suffrage was granted by the Corsican Republic of 1755 whose Constitution stipulated a

national representative assembly elected by all inhabitants over the age of 25, both women (if

unmarried or widowed) and men.



Suffrage was ended when France annexed the island in 1769.




In 1756, Lydia Chapin Taft, also known as Lydia Taft, became the first legal woman voter in America.



[1] She voted on at least three occasions in an open New England Town Meeting, at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, with the consent of the electorate. This was between 1756 and 1768, during
America's colonial period.

[2] New Jersey granted women the vote (with the same property qualifications as for men, although, since married women did not own property in their own right, only unmarried women and widows qualified) under the state constitution of 1776, where the word "inhabitants" was used without qualification of sex or race.

New Jersey women, along with "aliens...persons of color, or negroes," lost the vote in 1807, when the franchise was restricted to white males, partly in order, ostensibly at least, to combat electoral fraud by simplifying the conditions for eligibility.

The effort to obtain women's suffrage in the United States was a primary effort of those involved in the greater women's rights movement of the 19th century. Women's suffrage was permanently granted in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2008, 05:29:50 pm »









                                                       B E G I N N I N G S





Colonial America had a forerunner of women's suffrage, Lydia Chapin (Taft) (February 2, 1712 –November 9, 1778).

She was the first legal woman voter in colonial America.

She was granted this right by the town meeting of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, in 1756.




Women were guaranteed the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.

Prior to the passage of this amendment women's suffrage was only guaranteed in some of the states.

During the early part of the century, agitation for equal suffrage was carried on by only a few individuals.

The first of these was Frances Wright, a Scottish woman who came to the country in 1826 and advocated women's suffrage in an extensive series of lectures.

In 1836 Ernestine Rose, a Polish woman, came to this country and carried on a similar campaign, so effectively that she obtained a personal hearing before the New York Legislature, though her petition bore only five signatures.

At about the same time, in 1840, Lucretia Mott and Margaret Fuller became active in Boston, the latter being the author of the book The Great Lawsuit; Man vs. Woman.

Efforts to gain various women's rights were subsequently led by women such as Susan B. Anthony, Virginia Minor, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis.
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Bianca
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2008, 05:34:10 pm »







                                                        C I V I L   W A R





During the Civil War and immediately after little was heard of the movement, but in 1869 the

                                          National Woman Suffrage Association

was formed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with the object of securing an amendment to the Constitution in favor of woman suffrage, thus opposing passage of the Fifteenth Amendment without it being changed to include female suffrage.

Another more conservative suffrage organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Lucy Stone, was also formed at this time by those who believed that suffrage should be brought about by amendments to the various state constitutions.

They supported the proposed 15th amendment as written.

In 1890, these two bodies united into one national organization, led by Susan B. Anthony and known as the







                                     
                  N A T I O N A L   A M E R I C A N   W O M A N   S U F F R A G E   A S S O C I A T I O N





In 1900, regular national headquarters were established in New York City, under the direction of the new president Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, who was endorsed by Susan B. Anthony after her retirement as first president.

Three years later headquarters were moved to Warren, Ohio, but were then brought back to New York again shortly afterward, and re-opened there on a much bigger scale.

The organization obtained a hearing before every Congress, from 1869 to 1919.


                                                 
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2008, 05:40:43 pm »



Women's suffragists parade down Fifth Avenue,

New York City, October 1917,

carrying the signatures of a million women
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2008, 05:46:02 pm »











                          W O M E N ' S   S U F F R A G E   I N   I N D I V I D U A L   S T A T E S





New Jersey



New Jersey, on confederation of the United States following American War for Independence, placed only one restriction on the general suffrage — the possession of at least £50 (~USD250) worth of cash or property.

The election laws referred to voters as "he or she."

In 1790, the law was revised to include women specifically.

Female voters became so objectionable to professional politicians, that in 1807 the law was revised to exclude them.

Later, the 1844 constitution banned women voting, the 1847 one then allowed it - but, by 1847, all state constitutional provisions that barred women from voting had been rendered ineffective by amendment of the United States Constitution in 1919.
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