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June 1, 1872


[From the N.Y. Times]

The Ninth Regiment is in search of a Colonel. As will be remembered, its last Colonel was the eminent soldier, the hero of the Orange riot, James Fisk Jr. Under the care of Col. Fisk the regiment prospered in various ways. It was admitted to the Grand Opera House; it was led on pleasant excursions to Long Branch and Boston; it was gorgeously clothed and sumptuously fed. And then Col. Fisk gave it a superb band, and lent to its parade the majesty of his own presence, resplendent in gold lace and lacquered belts. To be sure, with these delights came certain unavoidable inconveniences. There were those who asserted that the regiment had not peculiarly honored itself in selecting Fisk as its commander; and wicked persons, clearly envious of the good things enjoyed by the Ninth Regiment, coarsely called it the opera bouffe regimentómerely because it had chosen an eminent patron of opera bouffe to lead it to picnics and provincial parades. The regiment, like the legendary person who sells himself to Satan, enjoyed unusual worldly blessings, at the cost of secret uneasiness. Fisk, however, finally fell, if not precisely in front of the battle, at all events beneath a pistol bullet, and the Colonelcy being thus vacant, it is necessary that a successor should be chosen.

And now comes Miss Tennie C. Claflin, and applies for the vacant Colonelcy of the Ninth. She is quite in earnest, and insists that she will make a fit successor to the lamented Fisk. Moreover, she uses the same argument that was employed by Fisk when he first asked the regiment to elect him; the promise that her assumption of command will be the signal for large numbers of volunteers to enter the regiment. The application and the arguments that support it ought to be quite sufficient to satisfy the regiment that selected Fisk to be its Colonel, and there is really no reason why she should not be his successor.

Miss Claflin is at heart as expert a soldier as was Fisk at the time of his election. Her appearance in uniform at the head of her regiment would be quite as martial and rather less ridiculous than was that of the fat person whose vanity was the laughingstock of the city on the occasion of the reception of the Grand Duke.


Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial
New York, May 11, 1872

Last night I stepped into Apollo Hall, one of the noblest and most picturesque halls in the city, where the National Convention of the Woodhull and Claflin, Male and Female Labor Party are holding a two daysí session. As I approached the place, I heard the voice of Mrs. Woodhull resounding through the hall, and when I entered I found her standing in front of the platform, which was filled with people of both sexes, and declaiming in the most impassioned style, before a crowded audience of men and women who had been wrought up to a very high state of excitement. The scene was really dramatic, and to those who were in sympathy with it, it was, doubtless "thrilling," "glorious," "sublime." Somehow or other, Mrs. Woodhull, as she stood there, dressed in plain black, with flushed face, gleaming eye, locks partly disheveled, upraised arm and quivering under the fire of her own rhapsody, reminded me of the great Rachel in some of those tragic or fervid passages in which the dominating powers of her nature and genius were displayed in their highest effect. She seemed at moments like one possessed, and the eloquence which poured from her lips in reckless torrents swept through the souls of the multitude in a way which caused them to burst, every now and then, with uproarious enthusiasm. A moment after I entered there was one of these spiritual explosions, which brought her to a brief pause, and the first sentence I heard was her exclamation, in loud, clear tone: "Who will dare to attempt to unlock the luminous portals of the future with the rusty key of the past?" Age, indeed who will? was the thought which involuntary came to oneís mind while looking at the extraordinary spectacle displayed in Apollo Hall.

When her declamation ended, the audience, masculine and feminine, sprang to their feet and cheered till their wind was exhausted, cheered with a frenzy and force that must have startled the multitudinous promenaders who swept along Broadway. The heroine of the moment disappeared from the platform, but the multitude encored till she returned, stepped to the front, and bowed once and again her acknowledgments for the applause.

Then a stout and hearty personage, who was recognized by the Chair as Judge Carter of Cincinnati, stepped quickly to the front, and in stentorian tones nominated Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. "All who are in favor of the nomination, say aye" were the words from the Chair, and instantly the shouts of the Convention, delegates and outsiders, burst forth in a roar, thunderous and continuous, which might have blown the roof of the building to the skies. Again Mrs. Woodhull appeared on the platform, and accepted the nomination in a few words.

Then followed an hourís wrangle, with countless speeches as to the candidate for the Vice Presidency. The first nomination made was that of Frederick Douglass, who was eulogized by half a dozen speakers in succession, and opposed by two or three, on various grounds. We had the oppressed sex represented by Woodhull; we must have the oppressed race represented by Douglass. Other names followed: Ben. Wade, Theodore Tilton, Spotted Tail, Ben. Butler, Henry Ward Beecher, Robert Dale Owen, Governor Campbell, Wendell Phillips, Richard Trevellick, and others. Frederick Douglass, however, at last got the vote of the Convention. And was thus nominated for the second place on the Woodhull Presidential ticketóthe Executive Committee being empowered to substitute another name in case of his refusal to accept.

The platform of the party, which demands a new National Constitution, and numerous other things in the revolutionary line, was subsequently adopted.

I forgot to say that throughout the entertainment, the audience were excessively merry and were as wildly enthusiastic. She left the place pretty well exhausted with cheering and cachinnation. The audience were highly respectable, as well as large and strikingly American in physiognomy and appearance. There were large numbers of fashionable dressed ladies, and most of the gentlemen evidently belonged to the business and professional classes. There were also plenty of "Reformers," and in fact, it was they who contributed the real genius of the assemblage.

At the close of the session, Mrs. Woodhull, the nominee for the Presidency, passed into an ante-room, where her friends crowded to congratulate her. She was in ecstasy, and so was her sister, Miss Claflin. Her face beamed under her high-crowned Neapolitan black hat. She shook hands with the gentlemen enthusiastically. The ladies kissed her and embraced her, kissed each other, and kissed her again. I never before saw so much kissing and hugging in public, nor, for that matter, in private either. Men were not afraid to pass hands round women who were not their wives, and women indulged in political osculation till they were tired.

BROADWAY (A nom de plume that biographer Barbara Goldsmith claims is Isabella Beecher Hooker.)



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Webmaster's Note: Except for some headings, these are actual extracts from the Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. Some spelling and punctuation has been changed. If an article was too long, some sentences were removed. Sentences or paragraphs that have been removed are indicated with the ellipsis (....)