In the following guest post, Morbid Anatomy Artist and Scholar and Residence Shannon Taggart introduces us to the exceptional feminist figure Victoria Woodhull; dubbed “Mrs. Satan” by her vilifiers, she was not only a Spiritualist Medium but also the first woman to run for president (in 1872), a stockbroker, journalist, publisher, and free love advocate, all at a time when women were still denied many basic rights.
The life of Victoria Woodhull will be explored in an upcoming lecture Morbid Anatomy Museum lecture by Dr. Cristina Zaccarini on the afternoon of June 11. This is just one component of a five-day series exploring Spiritualism and its historical connections to feminism with talks, live demonstrations, and workshops that invite the audience to experiment with Spiritualist practice. The program is co-hosted by mediums Lauren Thibodeau and Susan Barnes from Lily Dale, NY, the world’s largest Spiritualist community. You can find out more about Saturday's talk here, and more about the series here.
“Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional, and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.” – Victoria Woodhull
Spiritualist Medium Victoria Woodhull was not only the first woman to run for president in 1872, but also a stockbroker, journalist, publisher, and free love advocate. Amidst a life of scandal and vilification, and even dubbed “Mrs. Satan” by the press, Woodhull was an accomplished woman even by contemporary standards: Woodhull did this all at a time when women were lacking in many basic rights to their children and property, protection from rape, and citizenship. In the upcoming lecture Free Love Advocate and Presidential Candidate: The Revolutionary Feminism of Victoria Woodhull, Cristina Zaccarini will illustrate the myriad ways that Woodhull’s achievements were inextricably linked to the spiritual and intuitive abilities she exercised throughout her lifetime.