Woodhull was politically active in the early 1870s when she was nominated as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency. Woodhull was the candidate in 1872 from the Equal Rights Party, supporting women's suffrage and equal rights; her running mate (unbeknownst to him) was abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. A check on her activities occurred when she was arrested on obscenity charges a few days before the election. Her paper had published an account of the alleged adulterous affair between the prominent minister Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Richards Tilton which had rather more detail than was considered proper at the time. However, it all added to the sensational coverage of her candidacy.She was younger than the constitutionally mandated age of 35. Woodhull's 35th birthday was in September 1873, six months after the March inauguration.