Victoria Woodhull Clock
Located on the west exterior wall of the Robbins Hunter Museum, the only monument dedicated to the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872, the Victoria California Claflin Woodhull Clock can be found. This monument is located less than 15 miles from her hometown, Homer, Ohio, and stands as a clock and bell tower engraved with her name. A carved wooden statue of Woodhull slides out of the clock at each hour while campaign music periodically plays. More information about Victoria Woodhull's campaign and other life accomplishments can also be found inside the Robbins Hunter Museum. There are specific hours that can be found below for when the museum is open, but the Victoria Woodhull clock can be seen at all hours, as it is located outside of the building.
Backstory and Context
Victoria Claflin, later known as Victoria Woodhull, was born on September 23, 1838, in Homer, Ohio. Woodhull was not born into a wealthy or educated family and did not even start elementary school until she was eight years old. She then attended school periodically for three years until she got married at fifteen to Canning Woodhull. Victoria Woodhull and Canning Woodhull divorced in 1864, and Victoria Woodhull later married Colonial James H. Blood. In 1867, Woodhull divorced Blood and married a wealthy banker from England named John Biddulph Martin in 1883.
In 1868, Victoria Woodhull and her sister, Tennessee Claflin, traveled to New York City, where they met Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt helped the sisters set up a business, allowing them to become the first women-run stock brokerage company. The sisters then created a publication called Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, where they expressed their thoughts on women’s rights, birth control, and free love. The paper gave the sisters much more publicity as they would express unpopular opinions on such controversial topics, especially for their time. The journal also published the first English translation of Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto.
To gain a larger political audience on women’s rights, she created the Equal Rights Party and ran for president in 1872. In her campaign platform, Woodhull included regulation of monopolies, nationalization of railroads, an eight-hour workday, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty, and welfare for the poor, along with the issue of women’s rights. Her campaign was quickly ruined due to her reputation for having multiple relationships and other personal details about her private life. Many states did not put her name on the ballot, and the states that did, did not count the votes, so there is no official count of how many US citizens voted for Woodhull.
In 1877, Woodhull and her sister moved to England and spent the rest of her life standing up for her beliefs through writing. Victoria Claflin Woodhull Martin died on June 9, 1927, in Bredon's Norton, Worcestershire, England. The clock dedicated to Victoria Woodhull is located above the side entrance facing the Granville Library of the Robbins-Hunter Museum. By parking in front of the library and taking the sidewalk that leads between the two buildings, the bell and clock cannot be missed. Inside the Robbins-Hunter Museum, the newspaper articles and her campaign platform is on display. In Woodhull’s hometown in Homer, Ohio, there is also a state-issued brass sign honoring her.
Chmara-Huff, Fletcher. Granville, Ohio: Victoria Woodhull Clock. RoadsideAmerica.com. December 07, 2009. Accessed September 28, 2018. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/21143.
Frolking, Evelyn. Victoria Woodhull: The Very First Woman to Run for President. Robbins Hunter Museum. March 08, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2018. http://www.robbinshunter.org/news/2016/3/7/victoria-woodhull-the-very-first-woman-to-run-for-president.
Greenspan, Jesse. 9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull. HISTORY. September 23, 2013. Accessed September 28, 2018. https://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-should-know-about-victoria-woodhull.
Victoria Woodhull Biography. Biography.com. April 02, 2014. Accessed September 23, 2018. https://www.biography.com/people/victoria-woodhull-9536447.