Col James Harvey Blood

Col James Harvey Blood

Dudley, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 29 Dec 1885 (aged 52)
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section 193, Lot 25770 at Grape & Border
Memorial ID 12648922 · View Source
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James Harvey Blood was Colonel of the 6th Missouri Infantry (Union) during the Civil War and was once a friend of President Grant, a fellow St. Louisian. The bravery of Blood's regiment in the Vicksburg campaign was immortalized in the American Winston Churchill's 1901 novel, "The Crisis." A memorial for Col. Blood and the 6th Missouri is located at the Vicksburg National Military Park on Union Avenue, 300 feet south of Park Tour Stop #5.

Colonel Blood was a noted Spiritualist, Suffragist, Greenbacker, and labor reformer, but his greatest claim to fame was his marriage to Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872. Blood's name was even suggested for the Vice Presidency, but the Equal Rights Party nomination went to former slave, Frederick Douglass, who neither accepted nor declined the nomination.

Blood and Woodhull's home life was fodder for the American press in the 1870's. The country was scandalized when it learned that Victoria Woodhull and Colonel Blood shared their home with Woodhull's ex-husband, Dr. C.H. Woodhull. Dr. Woodhull's presence in Blood's home was a violation of Victorian social mores, but Blood and Mrs. Woodhull considered it an act of charity. Dr. Woodhull was an alcoholic, financially unable to care for himself. They provided him shelter. In return, Dr. Woodhull provided medical care to the family when he was sober, and was able to spend time with his two children by Victoria Woodhull.

Woodhull, Blood, and Woodhull's sister, Tennie C. Claflin, were all jailed in 1872 as the result of the prosecution of moralist crusader, Anthony Comstock. Woodhull, Blood, and Claflin were publishers of Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, which exposed the Beecher-Tilton scandal. They revealed that the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was having an affair with one of his married parishioners, Elizabeth Tilton. As a result of their publication of the alleged affair, they were jailed for obscenity. A few years later, Theodore Tilton, husband of Elizabeth, sued Henry Ward Beecher for alienation of affection. The 1875 Beecher-Tilton trial was called "the trial of the century."

In 1876, Victoria Woodhull divorced Colonel Blood in New York on what was probably a trumped up charge of adultery as that was the only cause for divorce at that time and moved to England. Colonel Blood continued his interest in reform, politics, and journalism. After marrying his third wife in 1885, he left for the Gold Coast of Africa (present day Ghana) to superintend a gold mine. Shortly after striking gold, he died in the village of Akantin (also spelled Akanten) in the Axim region under mysterious circumstances of heart disease or "jungle fever," according to various accounts. In 1887, his body was returned to the United States for burial along.

He's buried next to his third wife, Isabell Morrill Fogg Blood. In death, as in life, he's sharing a home with Dr. Woodhull, who is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. His former sisters-in-law Margaret Ann Claflin Miles O'Halloran and Utica Vantitia Claflin Brooker, as well as a former brother-in-law Benjamin F. Sparr are also buried in Green-Wood.

He had two children by his first wife Mary Ann Clapp Harrington. He had no children by his second wife Victoria Woodhull or by his third wife Isabell Fogg. Col. Blood's "son" mentioned in letters by anarchist Benjamin Ricketson Tucker was actually his step-son, Frank Fogg. Despite what the newspapers reported in the 1880's, Col. Blood and Victoria Woodhull weren't the parents of Gertrude Blood who married Lord Colin Campbell. Her parents were Edmund Maghlin Blood and Mary Fergusson of Ireland.

Colonel Blood is also not to be confused with his second cousin, Colonel James Clinton Blood, first Mayor of Lawrence, Kansas.

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  • Created by: MShearer
  • Added: 10 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12648922
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col James Harvey Blood (29 Dec 1833–29 Dec 1885), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12648922, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by MShearer (contributor 46815954) .