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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unusual 19th century women dept.

UPDATE: My Jan. 3 interview with Gabe Wisdom is available as a podcast here.

UPDATE: I'll be on the Gabe Wisdom Show to discuss this article on Mon., Jan. 3 at 7pm ET.

My article in the January issue of Research magazine is now online: "Wall Street's First Woman," about Victoria Woodhull, stockbroker, suffragist, paranormalist and presidential candidate. Excerpt:
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927) led a weird, tumultuous life, marked by wild ups and downs, scandal and acclaim and the distinction of being, among other firsts, the first woman to run for president of the United States and co-founder (with her sister Tennessee Claflin) of the first female-run brokerage firm.

The latter role is what first brought her to wide public attention. When Woodhull, Claflin & Co. opened its doors in 1870, the press took excited notice, providing the sisters with such labels as “Queens of Finance” and “Bewitching Brokers.” A New York Sun headline put Wall Street bulls and bears on notice that there were now “Petticoats Among the Bovine and Ursine Animals.”
The firm had financial backing from shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men in America, who had taken to receiving investment tips from Woodhull while she was in a seeming trance communing with the spirit world.

Victoria had dabbled in such mysterious matters since she was a girl in Ohio. Her father, Buck Claflin, was a huckster who promoted his children’s purported paranormal powers. Victoria’s specialty was channeling the ancient Greek statesman Demosthenes.
Whole thing here.

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