Tennessee Claflin (1845-1923)

Tennessee Celeste Claflin was a provocative and unorthodox feminist as well as the sister of Victoria Claflin Woodhull. Tennessee's adolescence, during which she practiced magnetic healing and clairvoyance, was filled with scandal and kept her family on the move from the law. In 1868 Tennessee became Cornelius Vanderbilt's magnetic healer, but she declined his marriage proposals. In 1870 the sisters started their own newspaper, "Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly," a radical enterprise advocating free love and Victoria Woodhull's decision to run for president. Claflin began to defer to her sister's sensational career, but she too gave speeches, wrote a book, and took honorary command of two black regiments. In 1872 the sisters accused Henry Ward Beecher of adultery, sparking a fiery scandal. Astonishingly, Claflin and Woodhull restyled their lives in 1877 when they traveled to England and became proper ladies. Each married a wealthy Englishman. When Tennessee's husband was made a baronet in 1886, she became Lady Cook, marchioness of Montserrat, replete with a castle. However the sisters' cutting-edge feminism made them popular after their deaths, in the 1960s.

Date:
1868 circa 5 years
Original Format:
Carte de Visite
Item#:
MES23219
Photographer:
William R. Howell (New York)
Height:
1238px
Width:
745px
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