The Powell Liberty Historical Society’s meeting had a special guest at its meeting Monday night — the first woman who ever ran for president.
Actually, candidate Victoria Clafin Woodhull was portrayed by Rachel Edwards, who made an appearance to talk about Woodhull’s life as the first woman to run for president.
Edwards, dressed in traditional 19th-century fashion, channeled the spirit of Woodhull in a performance to give the audience a little insight as to what it was like being a woman struggling for rights in a world ruled by men.
Victoria Woodhull was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party for the 1872 election. With Frederick Douglas, an escaped slave and leader of the abolitionist movement, as her running mate, she ran against Ulysses S. Grant, but lost even before the vote, as she was vilified in the media for her progressive beliefs.
Woodhull was not only the first woman to run for president, but the first female broker on Wall Street, first woman to address Congress, and the first woman to own a weekly newspaper, which was also the first paper to publish an English version of the Communist Manifesto.
She also was an outspoken authority on free love, advocating for the ability of a woman to marry, divorce and have children with whomever without the interference of government.
As Woodhull, Rachel Edwards also delved into the more spiritual side of Victoria, speaking on her time as a traveling fortune teller and clairvoyant.
This event was held at the historic Martin-Perry House on East Olentangy Street in downtown Powell.
Morgyn Cooper is an intern for The Gazette.