The Origin, Tendencies, and Principles of Government: or, A Review of the Rise and Fall of Nations...
New York: Woodhull, Claflin &Co, 1871.
New York: Woodhull, Claflin &Co, 1871. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and front board. Brown coated endpapers. Spine gently rolled and front board slightly bowed; small scuffs to corners and front board but overall a pleasing copy. Bookseller's ticket to front pastedown. Light scattered foxing to preliminary and terminal leaves; else internally clean and unmarked. Collating , 247, [1, blank]: rear endpaper excised else complete, including the rare frontis. A scarce and groundbreaking work, it only occasionally appears in trade; and of the three copies to appear at auction in the last 47 years, the most recent was over two decades ago.
Among the most storied and controversial feminist figures of the 19th century, Victoria Claflin Woodhull is most often hailed as the first female presidential candidate of a recognized party and, along with her sister Tennessee Claflin, became the first woman to head a brokerage firm. Notably for Woodhull, making a name for herself simultaneously in politics and business were part of a larger and "farsighted strategy to 'secure the most...prominent notice to the world' and advance her reform ambitions" (ADNB). Success in the financial sector and support from the prominent Vanderbilt family gave her name credence; a public political presence could result from this, while driving people to recognize her business ventures and engage with her through them. She became a national sensation with a large platform and wide audience. "Foremost among Woodhull's reform ambitions were the rights of women. She saw herself as a 'representative women,' an example to men of women's capabilities and a reminder to women of their sex's potential" rather than an exception (ADNB). The present work is an example of her early efforts to capture America's political imagination, drawing together 13 position papers previously released in the New York Herald. In addition to addressing the history and Constitution of the U.S., The Origin, Principles, and Tendencies of Government also promoted Women's Idea of Government, and The Limits and Sphere of Government [Considered from a Female Point of View].
Though scandal led to Woodhull's eventual removal to England and a more private life, and her contributions were largely overlooked by early histories of American suffrage, her name has begun to regain traction. Her run for the nation's highest office -- at a time when women could not vote -- and her decision to do so under a party of her own co-founding highlighted the lesson she most wanted women to learn: "to divorce themselves from ineffective and indifferent [male centric] political parties in favor of their own leadership" (ADNB).
Not in Krichmar. Very Good + (Item #5342)