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Tennessee Celeste Claflin

Tennessee Celeste Claflin (October 26, 1844 – January 18, 1923), also known as Tennie C., was an American suffragette best known as one of the first women to open a Wall Street brokerage firm. She was additionally a rumored prostitute and advocated legalized prostitution.[1]



On October 15, 1885, Claflin married Francis Cook, Viscount of Montserrat, Portugal. Within months of their marriage, Queen Victoria created a Cook Baronetcy. As the wife of an English Baronet, Claflin would thereafter have been correctly styled "Lady Cook, Viscountess of Montserrat."

She died on January 18, 1923 in England.[2]


With her sister she started the investment firm of Woodhull, Claflin, & Company. The firm was rumored to have been backed by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Claflin is believed to have been his mistress.[1]


During the 1870s she was a flamboyant proponent of women's rights with her sister Victoria Woodhull. Tennessee ran for Congress in the state of New York. She held the controversial belief that women could serve in the military and was elected Colonel of a "colored" National Guard Regiment.


Together with her sister, Victoria Woodhull, Claflin has been portrayed in two musicals, Winner Take All (1976) and Onward Victoria (1980).


  1. ^ a b "The Tides of Fortune". Wall Street Journal. December 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-27. "Not surprisingly, [Vanderbilt] channeled only a small fraction of his wealth to philanthropy, focusing instead on racing horses and dabbling in the occult as he grew older. After his wife Sophia's death, he became entangled with a pair of sisters, the free-love advocate Victoria Woodhull and the spiritualist healer and sometime-prostitute Tennessee Claflin, who became a regular fixture at Washington Place."  
  2. ^ "Lady Cook Dies in London at 77. Former Tennie C. Claflin Was Spiritualist and Suffragist Here 50 Years Ago.". New York Times. January 20, 1923. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  


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