?-JANUARY 18, 1923 &
SEPTEMBER 23, 1838–JUNE 9, 1927
Tennessee Claflin and Victoria Woodhull were sisters, two of ten children born to a working-class family in Homer, Ohio. They were suffragists and social reformers. Their childhoods were unsettled, their family moving from state to state as both the young sisters and their parents worked as con artists, telling fortunes and selling fake healing potions.
As adults, Woodhull and Claflin moved to New York City, where they became the first female stockbrokers. They shocked the previously all-male industry by starting a firm together on Wall Street in 1870. Around the same time, the sisters both became involved in political and social work. They used the money from their brokerage firm to start their own radical newspaper, which advocated for women’s rights. In 1872, Woodhull became the first woman to run for president of the United States, though she was not taken seriously as a candidate and received no electoral votes.
The sisters moved to London, England, in 1877, married British men, and remained there for the rest of their lives. Woodhull became an education reformer while Claflin mostly retired from the public eye. Tennessee Claflin died in 1923 around age 78, and her sister Victoria Woodhull followed in 1927 at age 88.
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