Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 51

Price Realized: $ 1,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
Woodhull, Victoria (1838-1927) & Tennessee Claflin (1844-1923)
Five Cartes-de-visite, circa 1870. Three cards of Woodhull, two images of the same pose, one printed by Geo. Stinson & Co., in Portland, Maine, one unmarked, the third New York: G.W. Thorne; and two images of Claflin in which she is identified as "Broker" on both; some toning, other slight defects, each 4 x 2 1/2 in. (5)

In 1870, Woodhull and Claflin were the first women to open a Wall Street stock brokerage. Their father was a snake oil salesman and occasional sham attorney or physician. The two girls were exploited for profit by their father who promoted them as psychic mediums in their early years, a career they continued to cultivate in young adulthood.

The brokerage was very successful, and the profits enabled Woodhull and Claflin to publish their own eponymous weekly radical newspaper. Advocates of the Free Love movement (which pushed for women's right to marry, divorce, and have children without social or state restrictions), their paper was also the first in the U.S. to publish Marx's Communist Manifesto in English. Woodhull and Claflin ran for President and Vice President of the United States in the 1872 election, nominated by the Equal Rights Party. They faced stiff disapproval and opposition and were often simply ignored. Anthony Comstock jailed both sisters for publishing an obscene newspaper at the time of the 1872 election, making it impossible for them to attempt to vote or promote their feminist and suffragist causes. Both women left New York for Great Britain in 1877.