TABLE OF CONTENTS
Primary Sources"Womans Rights" Sheet Music (1853) Loom and Spindle or Life Among the Early Mill Girls (1898) "Why Sit Here and Die?" Speech (1832)
Equal Rights Party Platform (1872)
Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism (1842)
Women's Reform Movement
Equal Rights Party Platform (1872)
Victoria Woodhull led an extraordinary life during the course of which she enraged her staid contemporaries with her unorthodox views on sex, marriage, and other incendiary topics. She was also a firm believer in spiritualism and a colleague of American Marxists. The Equal Rights Party platform upon which she ran does not encompass all her beliefs, but continues an abolitionist journey of broadening the idea of human rights to include racial and gender equality.
June 8, 1872 OUR NOMINEES. These are Victoria C. Woodhull, the woman; and Frederick Douglass, the Negro. In the ninety-sixth year of the republic of the United States, they represent classes, who may justly be termed, even yet, the pariahs of our modern system of civilization. In the nomination of Victoria C. Woodhull for the office of President, the Equal Rights Party virtually arraigns the despotism over woman as exercised in this Republic, as being, in this particular, more intolerant than that of the monarchies of Europe, and points those who dispute this statement to the long and beneficent rule of another Victoria cheerfully submitted to by the people of Great Britain. In the nomination of Frederick Douglass for the office of Vice President, the Equal Rights Party proposes to set the seal of the nation on the issues of the war of the rebellion; to exhibit to the world that our people are a unit in the defense of the rights of all mankind; and to reset the Government on the right track, which has heretofore been traversing the tortuous windings of the slavery compromises of the first Constitution. In order to effect these our purposes it has been found necessary to take our stand on the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which declare the rights of all human beings, and rest all governments on the consent of the governed. The Equal Rights Party has selected Victoria C. Woodhull for the office of President, because it deems that the demand for the personal, social, legal, and political liberties of woman have been better advocated by her actions and in her speeches and writings than by any other woman. Religious liberty is not mentioned above, because it is held that, in the case of woman, it has not been specially infringed. It is claimed as a right pertaining to all the people; one which the Equal Rights Party hold itself pledged to maintain against any national or State interference with (or infringement of) in any way whatever. The Equal Rights Party has selected Frederick Douglass for the office of Vice President, because though born a slave, he has himself achieved both his education and his liberty; because he has waged a life-long, manful battle for the rights of his race, in which those of mankind were included; because he has proved that he knows how to assert the liberties of the people, and consequently it is assumed that he knows how to maintain them. In conclusion, the Equal Rights party has nominated Victoria C. Woodhull for President, and Frederick Douglass for Vice President, because, by so doing, it hurls a gage of defiance to the despots and aristocrats of Europe, who have long pointed the finger of scorn at our Republic in the matter of slavery, and condemned it as lacking the will to carry out fully the principles of true democracy contained in the Declaration of Independence; and it calls upon all the citizens of our Republic, irrespective of sex or race, to unite with it in reasserting the truth of the doctrines laid down by our fathers in 1776, and sealed with their blood in the war of the Revolution. CAMPAIGN DOCUMENT 1 PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. VIEWED FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE NEW EQUAL RIGHTS PARTY. BY J.Q. SANDS In the past, the instinct of man was for blood. War was the business of his life. Labor might do for a hind or a woman, but man was dishonored by any occupation less noble than cutting his neighbor's throat. . . . The kings and nobles owned everything in fee simple and by divine right; but they allowed the priests to take their share of the spoils, in consideration of their assistance in imbuing the minds of men with the idea that eternal torments awaited all who raised their voices against the kingly power. In the intervals of war, when blood did not flow in rivers, it gently trickled from the writhing forms of myriads of martyrs for the amusement of priests and kings. That day is past; martyrdom has gone out of fashion; and war, while it is to a limited extent the pastime of crowned heads, as a game more exciting than the chase, it is beginning to be regarded as—well, as having some drawbacks. Our own sins are certainly not on so grand a scale as our fathers; but then they are meaner, which goes a great way toward making up the difference. . . . The great object of life is nothing nobler than the possession of a large house, filled with ignorant servants. Finding one house no satisfaction, people who can, usually try two or three, thus seeking relief in the multiplication of their follies. Women have a noble ambition to excel each other in the length of their mirrors, the number of their dresses or the amount of false hair or tow which they can pile on the top of their heads. To accomplish these most notable results, men delve, lie and cheat from cradle to the grave, and so unaccustomed are their faculties to any rational employment, that when they are deprived of their habitual occupation, life becomes a burden, and they not infrequently go hang themselves. Woman usually has one master, who, possessing her person and owning her children, holds absolute power over her, and not infrequently renders her life one of absolute torment by abuses of various kinds. Careless of his own vows, he punishes a suspected breach on her part with death to the offender, and instead of being punished is usually applauded. . . . Children come into this world undesired and unprovided for, and having no one to speak a word for them, are abused without stint; and it is only when some helpless innocent is beaten to death for refusing to say its prayers that any attention is paid to their cries. . . . What may the future have in store for us? Let us hope that in the good time coming, the great object of life will be not the acquisition of wealth and power for base and selfish ends, but rather that each shall make it the business of his life to see that happiness shall be the assured portion of all. The question trembling upon every lip will be: Brother, what lackest thou? Is it the opportunity to use thy talents; is it sympathy with thy aims; is it companionship; is it social life, or is it present need of food, clothing, or shelter? In a word, let us hope that Altruism will succeed Egoism, and we shall witness the dawn of the Religion of Humanity.
Victoria Woodhull & Company. "Upward & Onward." Victoria Woodhull, The Spirit to Run the White House. Accessed July 23, 2010.