The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

By Myra MacPherson

A clean examine the existence and instances of Victoria Woodhull and Tennie Claflin, sisters whose radical perspectives on intercourse, love, politics, and company threatened the white male strength constitution of the 19th century and stunned the area. the following award-winning writer Myra MacPherson deconstructs and lays naked the manners and mores of Victorian the US, remarkably illuminating the fight for equality that ladies are nonetheless scuffling with today.

Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee "Tennie" Claflin-the so much attention-grabbing and scandalous sisters in American history-were unequaled for his or her tremendously avant-garde campaign for women's economic, political, and sexual independence. They escaped a tawdry early life to develop into wealthy and well-known, reaching a gorgeous checklist of firsts. In 1870 they grew to become the 1st girls to open a brokerage enterprise, to not be repeated for almost a century. Amid excessive gossip that he was once Tennie's lover, the richest guy in the United States, fabled wealthy person Cornelius Vanderbilt, bankrolled the sisters. As attractive as they have been audacious, the sisters drew a crowd of greater than thousand Wall road bankers on commencing day. A part century prior to ladies may perhaps vote, Victoria used her Wall road popularity to turn into the 1st lady to run for president, deciding upon former slave Frederick Douglass as her operating mate. She was once additionally the 1st girl to handle a usa congressional committee. Tennie ran for Congress and surprised the area by means of changing into the honorary colonel of a black regiment.

They have been the 1st lady publishers of an intensive weekly, and the 1st to print Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto in the US. As unfastened fanatics they railed opposed to Victorian hypocrisy and uncovered the alleged adultery of Henry Ward Beecher, the main recognized preacher in the United States, igniting the "Trial of the Century" that rivaled the Civil struggle for media assurance. finally banished from the women's circulate whereas imprisoned for allegedly sending "obscenity" throughout the mail, the sisters sashayed to London and married of the richest males in England, eating with royalty whereas pushing for women's rights good into the 20th century. Vividly telling their tale, Myra MacPherson brings those inspiring and outrageous sisters brilliantly to existence.

Show description

Quick preview of The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age PDF

Similar American History books

Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family

At the final scorching day of summer time in 1992, gunfire cracked over a rocky knob in northern Idaho, simply south of the Canadian border. through the next day to come 3 humans have been lifeless, and a small struggle used to be joined, pitting the total may well of federal legislations enforcement opposed to one well-armed relations. Drawing on vast interviews with Randy Weaver's kinfolk, executive insiders, and others, Jess Walter strains the trails that led the Weavers to their disagreement with federal brokers and led the govt. to regard a family members like a gang of criminals.

The Birth of America: From Before Columbus to the Revolution

During this provocative account of colonial the US, William R. Polk explores the major occasions, members, and issues of this severe interval. With brilliant descriptions of the societies that individuals from Europe got here from and with an emphasis on what they believed they have been going to, Polk introduces the local Indians encountered within the New global and the black Africans who have been introduced around the Atlantic.

The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

From the writer of Argo comes an unforgettable behind-the-scenes tale of espionage in motion. within the first ever memoir by way of a top-level operative to be approved by way of the CIA, Antonio J. Mendez finds the crafty methods and insights that helped retailer hundreds and hundreds from lethal occasions. Adept at growing new identities for a person, at any place, Mendez was once enthusiastic about operations around the world, from “Wild West” adventures in East Asia to chilly conflict intrigue in Moscow.

One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism

One in every of America's Most worthy Buddhist lecturers distills a life of perform and educating during this groundbreaking exploration of the hot Buddhist culture taking root on American soil.

Extra info for The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

Show sample text content

Woodhull’s visible risk used to be publicly to accuse Beecher of an adulterous affair with Theodore Tilton’s spouse if not anything have been performed to forestall the blasts from the Beechers or if the reverend didn't brazenly condone Victoria’s loose love place, which she stated he practiced in mystery. The letter immediately hit its goal. The Tiltons and Beecher had no longer figured on Stanton spilling the beans to Woodhull. Tilton rushed into motion. “The day that the letter seemed within the World,” Victoria acknowledged later, “Mr. Tilton got here to my place of work, and displaying me the letter, requested ‘whom do you suggest by means of that? ’ ‘Mr. Tilton,’ I stated, ‘I suggest you and Mr. Beecher. ’ ” Victoria acknowledged that it used to be her “mission to deliver it to the data of the area. ” Tilton begged her to not take any steps now opposed to Beecher—despite the truth that each “impulse suggested me to throttle and strangle him,” Victoria quoted Tilton as asserting. Tilton didn't wish his spouse “dragged ahead of the general public. ” After assembly Tilton’s spouse, Elizabeth, Victoria agreed to the “propriety of hold up. ” Woodhull made no such promise for the long run, even if. It was once her avenging angel “mission” to assist “destroy the heap of rottenness which, within the identify of faith, marital sanctity, and social purity, now passes because the social approach. ” She knew of alternative adulterous hypocrites, clerical and another way, yet had picked Beecher simply because “he is a most outstanding guy” and has a “great congregation. ” Woodhull proclaimed, “I am a savior, in case you may yet see it! ” As in a Greek tragedy, Tilton’s ruination used to be set in movement the day he walked into Woodhull’s place of work at the errand to quell this tale of adultery among his pastor and his personal spouse. the connection that among Tilton and Victoria has been characterised as a steamy love affair. Tilton finally acknowledged that they have been by no means fanatics and that he have been driven by way of Beecher to make a pal of this “dangerous lady” in order that she wouldn't publicly divulge their lurid story. That job incorporated writing and publishing the fulsome “Victoria C. Woodhull: A Biographical Sketch,” revealed by means of his Golden Age journal. Woodhull alternately vowed and denied that theirs used to be an exceptional romance. it kind of feels possible that those attractive humans had sufficient chemistry to the touch off the “amative” impulse that Woodhull frequently addressed. Even males who disliked Tilton well-known his amazing appears. He had a charismatic, impossible to resist “presence,” wrote one male dinner spouse. “I don't ask yourself that female hearts… holiday underneath his beaming countenance. His smile is as witching as a woman’s, and his snigger hearty and sympathetic. ” His blond locks hung “in clustery great quantity over his shoulders. ” With all that, Tilton used to be additionally a appropriate spouse. stated an analogous dinner mate, “I was once charmed with glowing dialog among the Scotch and the oysters. ” The sheer audacity by myself of taking up the exalted Beechers speaks to the sisters’ fearless defiance. Abraham Lincoln legendarily praised Harriet, whose immensely well known Uncle Tom’s Cabin dramatized the horrors of slavery greater than any abolitionist tract: “So you’re the little woman who begun the conflict.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.05 of 5 – based on 12 votes