Based on the rhetoric surrounding her historic candidacy in 2008 and, in more recent months, leading up to the 2016 campaign, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Clinton was the first woman ever to run for the nation’s highest office. Far from it. (Politico)
In April 1870, just two months after opening her brokerage firm, Woodhull, an unsung socialist feminist heroine, announced her candidacy for president of the United States. She campaigned on a platform of women’s suffrage, regulation of monopolies, nationalization of railroads, an eight-hour workday, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty and welfare for the poor, among other things. In addition to promoting herself in her weekly newspaper, Woodhull organized an Equal Rights Party, which nominated her at its May 1872 convention. Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass was selected as her running mate. He never acknowledged it, however, and in fact campaigned for Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Woodhull was furthermore hurt by embarrassing details about her private life, which came to light during a lawsuit that her mother brought against her second husband. In the end, Woodhull’s name appeared on ballots in at least some states. No one knows how many votes she received because they apparently weren’t counted.