I believe one of the most interesting people ever is Victoria Woodhull. She was the first woman to run for president, before women were even allowed to vote, and tried to get Frederick Douglass to be VP, but he said she was to outlandish to support. She was born flat-ass broke, decided to be a traveling magnetic healer, rode on her sister's coattails for a bit (Tennessee, the sister, was sleeping with Vanderbilt) to become the first brokerage firm owned by women on Wall Stress, and was one of the first women to have a publishing company. The publishing company got her arrested though, because she decided to call out Henry Ward Beecher for preaching about virtue and monogamy while fucking half the congregation. She was a HUGE suffragist, but Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Staton thought she was too extreme for their friends list and exiled her from the cool women voting group. She believed in 'monogamy', but also believed that women should have the right to love whoever and however, just as men do. There's even more, she was a supporter of eugenics, one of her two children were disabled, and she was divorced, which is unheard of.
To woman, by nature, belongs the right of sexual determination. When the instinct is aroused in her, then and then only should commerce follow. 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
The other person I think is fascinating is from the same around the time frame, Maggie Fox. She was forced into being a medium and spiritual leader by her sister after playing a trick on their parents and ended up accidentally creating an entire 'religious' movement based on spiritualism and rejecting the common Calvinist viewpoints of the time. This went on for a long time, then she got married and her husband convinced her to give up doing seances and publicly show everyone how she was faking talking to spirits. A year later, she took it back and said the spirits made her do it. Mary Todd Lincoln built a seance room in the White House because she 'saw ghosts everywhere' and thought Maggie and Kate could help her with it. (Obviously we now know MTL probably suffered from vitamin deficiency and was batshit crazy)