She spoke out in person against prostitution, and considered marriage for material gain a form of it.
Victoria took laudanum while visiting the brothels on 5th Avenue.A free thinker, Victoria Woodhull created Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly, a radical publication, in 1870 with her sister, Tennessee.The publication gave the sisters a place to express their ideas on social reforms, including women's suffrage, birth control and free love.Her arrest on obscenity charges a few days before the election, for publishing an account of the alleged adulterous affair between the prominent minister Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton, added to the sensational coverage of her candidacy.She based her incest claim on a quote from Theodore Tilton's biography, "But the parents, as if not unwilling to be rid of a daughter whose sorrow was ripening her into a woman before her time, were delighted at the unexpected offer." Biographer Myra Mac Pherson disputes Goldsmith's claim that "Vickie often intimated that he sexually abused her" as well as the accuracy of Goldsmith's quote, "Years later, Vickie would say that Buck made her 'a woman before my time.'" Woodhull believed in spiritualism – she referred to "Banquo's Ghost" from Shakespeare's Macbeth – because it gave her belief in a better life.She was forced to leave school and home with her family when her father, after having "insured it heavily," When she was 14, Victoria met 28-year-old Canning Woodhull (listed as "Channing" in some records), a doctor from a town outside Rochester, New York.Her family had consulted him to treat the girl for a chronic illness.When woman rises from sexual slavery to sexual freedom, into the ownership and control of her sexual organs, and man is obliged to respect this freedom, then will this instinct become pure and holy; then will woman be raised from the iniquity and morbidness in which she now wallows for existence, and the intensity and glory of her creative functions be increased a hundred-fold . Beecher was known to have had an affair with his parishioner, Elizabeth Tilton, who had confessed to it, and the scandal was covered nationally.Woodhull was prosecuted on obscenity charges for sending accounts of the affair through the federal mails, and was briefly jailed.Divorce was limited by law and considered socially scandalous.Women who divorced were stigmatized and often ostracized by society.