Who Could Have Been The First Black President?

Victoria Claflin Woodhull (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American suffragist who was described by Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American woman’s suffrage movement in the 19th century.

Woodhull was nominated for President of the United States by the newly formed Equal Rights Party on May 10, 1872, at Apollo Hall, New York City. A year earlier, she had announced her intention to run. Her nomination was ratified at convention on June 6, 1872. A former slave was nominated to run alongside her as Vice President. However, this ex-slave declined to acknowledge this nomination. Instead, he served as a presidential elector in the United States Electoral College for the State of New York.

This was not the first time, this ex-slave had the opportunity to run for President of the United States.

Q: Who was he?

Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895)

The details:

June 23, 1888 is hailed as the day that Frederick Douglass received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago, making him the first African American nominated to be a U.S. presidential candidate.

This was actually the second time that Frederick Douglass had received a single vote to be a U.S. presidential candidate; his first vote came during the National Liberty Party Convention, June 14-15, 1848 in Buffalo, NY

[source: The African American Electorate, by H. Walton, Jr. et al; see chapter 10: “The first African American nominees and public office holders, 1776-1870,” pp. 179-190; and African Americans and the Presidency, edited by B. A. Glasrud and C. D. Wintz; see chapter 1: “Beginning the Trek,” pp. 17-30].

Also, Douglass was nominated as a vice president of the United States candidate during the Equal Rights Party Convention in June of 1872; he was to run with Victoria Woodhull, who was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party; Frederick Douglass declined the nomination.

[source: The Woman Who Ran for President; the many lives of Victoria Woodhull, by L. B. Underhill]. However, more attention is given to the fact that Frederick Douglass received one presidential nomination vote at the 1848 convention and one at the 1888 convention.

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