Cover image for A woman for president : the story of Victoria Woodhull
A woman for president : the story of Victoria Woodhull
Publication Information:
New York : Walker & Co., 2004.
Physical Description:
[32] p. : col. ill. ; 31 cm.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades K-4 5.8 0.5 Quiz 82296 English non-fiction, vocabulary quiz available.
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In 1872, American women couldn't vote, but they could run for president.

Can you name the first woman to run for president, or the first woman
to have a seat on the stock exchange? Do you know the first woman
to own a newspaper or to speak before Congress?

Amazingly, one woman achieved each of these feats, and her name has been all but erased from history. Born in complete poverty, the seventh
of ten children, Victoria Woodhull was supporting her family by the
age of eight as a child preacher. Seeking a better life, she married, divorced, moved to New York City, and became a millionaire by offering Cornelius Vanderbilt financial advice from the spirit world.

Victoria did not stop there. Now that she had money and power, she was ready to challenge society's harsh limitations on women. Her boldest act was announcing herself as the first female candidate for the presidency
of the United States. She founded her own newspaper to publicize this groundbreaking campaign, which took her from the chambers of Congress to the glorious moment when she was nominated by the Equal Rights Party at a convention that she, a woman, had organized and funded.

In the first book about Victoria Woodhull for young readers, Kathleen Krull and Jane Dyer team up to bring one of the most fascinating personalities in U.S. history to life.

- The perfect book to explore the electoral process during the upcoming presidential election.
- One of the most revolutionary American women has been
forgotten by history-until now.
- Walker & Company is proud to welcome acclaimed biographer Kathleen Krull and talented illustrator Jane Dyer to our list.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Despite her impressive number of achievements-first woman to sit on the Stock Exchange, first woman to own a newspaper or speak before Congress, first woman to run for the presidency of the United States-Woodhull is little known by elementary-grade students. This book, though soft-pedaling the more scandalous aspects of her life, rectifies that omission. Born into an impoverished family, Woodhull was supporting her clan by the time she was eight as a gospel preacher. Married at 14 to her alcoholic doctor, she and her sister became well known as fortune-tellers. By the time they became spiritual and financial advisors to Cornelius Vanderbilt, Woodhull had divorced, remarried, and moved her entire family, including her ailing ex-husband, into a large house in New York City where she took an active role in the women's suffrage movement. It was this involvement that led her to declare herself a candidate for president in 1872. Although the campaign was a failure, it did serve to raise the issue of women's rights in an obvious and unforgettable manner. Krull's writing style is lively and engaging and Dyer's large, photo-realist watercolors capture the sense of the age and involve both eye and imagination. Use this lovely book with Jean Fritz's You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? (Putnam, 1995) for an expanded look at the birth of the movement for women's rights.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Krull (Lives of the Presidents) presents a passionate biography of an oft-overlooked figure in the history of women's rights and presidential politics ("It is time when the odds against a woman for president are still so high that few have tried to bring her story to young readers," says the author's note). The introduction paints a bleak portrait of women's status in mid-19th century America. The author then chronicles the major events in the life of Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927), born into a poor Ohio family with an abusive father. Woodhull raised money as a child preacher and conductor of s?ances, and later became wealthy as a spiritual and financial adviser to Cornelius Vanderbilt in New York City which gave her the means to pursue her dream of aiding women. With her sister, she founded the first female-owned American company to buy and sell stocks. In 1870, when women could not legally vote, Woodhull announced her candidacy for president (" the wildest, most outrageous act she could dream up to prove women's equality"). Realizing her campaign's success rested on the ability of women to vote, she became the first woman ever to address Congress, quoting statements in the Constitution that "she argued already gave women the right to vote." Engaging anecdotes and quotes keep this intriguing life story moving at a sprightly pace. Featuring golden tones, Dyer's (Time for Bed) softly focused watercolors ably capture period particulars as well as Woodhull's determination and grace. Ages 7-12. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

A picture book biography traces Woodhull's many careers (child preacher, stockbroker, newspaper owner) and accomplishments (which include being the first woman to ever address Congress). The emphasis is on her 1872 run for the presidency as a candidate of the Equal Rights Party. The economical prose and dignified watercolors do a good job capturing the spirit of this pioneering feminist. Bib. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Krull, whose many gifts include the ability to make a complicated life comprehensible, and Dyer, whose pictorial sweetness does not mask an iron vision, offer the life of the feminist, spiritualist, and activist Victoria Woodhull. In immediately accessible prose, Krull tells Woodhull's story, from the bitter childhood that she hid as far as possible, through two marriages, wealth, and poverty, championing what women could do--and doing it. She did indeed run for president in 1872, but she also was the first woman to hold a seat on the stock exchange, the first woman to speak before Congress, and the first woman to own a newspaper (she founded it herself). She was also, apparently, a mesmerizing speaker, an elegant dresser wearing her signature white rose, and indefatigable in her many endeavors. This is a gorgeous volume, with Dyer's full-page, full-bleed watercolors capturing the essentials of the time and place with fine color and detail. Krull, as always, gets it all and makes us want to know more. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-12) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Victoria Woodhull's life reads like a novel. A Dickensian childhood led to a teenage career as a spiritualist. Later, her perceived ability to talk to mediums influenced Cornelius Vanderbilt to take her stock-market advice--and give her millions of dollars. Rich enough to advance her political ideas about equality for women, she started her own newspaper and investment business and eventually ran for president against Grant. Woodhull is a fascinating figure, and Krull's lively and astute writing does her justice (though she leaves out that messy business of Woodhull's promotion of free love). Krull also gives kids a clear picture of the fettered life of most women of the time, clearly contrasting it with the stances taken by Woodhull and other suffragettes. Dyer tends toward portraiture here, and at times, Woodhull seems surprisingly placid in the art, but the watercolors, cast with a golden glow, are handsome and add a dignified note to the occasionally raucous events. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist