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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

“Washington, D.C. The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives receiving a deputation of female suffragists. . . ,” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, vol. 31, no. 801, February 4, 1871. Reproduction of wood engraving. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (028.00.00)

The Notorious Victoria Woodhull Addresses Congress

Before running for president of the United States in 1872, newspaper publisher and stockbroker Victoria Woodhull (1838–1927), proponent of free love, spiritualism, and other controversial doctrines, was the first woman to speak in Congress on the subject of suffrage. As reported in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Woodhull lobbied the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on January 11, 1871, making the argument that women’s right to vote was inherent in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.