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andrew potter
Lucy Ann Lobdell was born on December 2, 1829 on a farm in upstate New York. The first child, Lucy was taught by her father to ride a horse, shoot a rifle, and hunt. In her teens Lucy went to live with her aunt in Coxsackie, NY to attend the academy there. Having received a better education than most rural girls, Lucy then joined her family on their new land along the upper Delaware River. There she accepted the bended knee proposal of George Slater, who, once married, abused her and then abandoned her, leaving her pregnant. Lucy gave birth to a daughter and then spent the next few years trying to find paying work. When those attempts failed, she settled upon another plan. Leaving her daughter with her parents, Lucy changed clothes, cut her hair, and went off to live her life as a man. (P: Lucy Ann Lobdell in braids, beads, and feathers, circa 1853. Photo courtesy of Crawson family of Basket Creek)

Lucy lived at a time when women did not commonly carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women. Lucy did these things in a personal quest—to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted and to love whomever she cared to. The New York Times thought her escapades worthy of a huge send off. “DEATH OF A MODERN DIANA” trumpeted the headline, “Dressed in Man’s Clothing She Win’s a Girl’s Love.” And the obituary would have been larger still if the Times had known of Lucy’s years disguised as man on the western frontier, her arrest and trial for the crime of wearing men’s clothes, or her jailbreak, engineered by her wife Marie Louise Perry, whom she met in 1868 and to whom she’d been married by an unsuspecting judge—the first same-sex marriage in America.

Lucy Ann Lobdell died in Binghamton, NY in 1912.


Further Readings:

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber
Hardcover: 292 pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (June 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608325628
ISBN-13: 978-1608325627
Amazon: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell
Amazon Kindle: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell

The memoir is fiction; the story is true.
One day in 1855 Lucy Lobdell cut her hair, changed clothes, and went off to live her life as a man. By the time it was over, she was notorious. The New York Times thought her worthy of a lengthy obituary that began ''Death of a Modern Diana...Dressed in Man's Clothing She Win's a Girl's Love.'' The obit detailed what the Times knew of Lucy's life, from her backwoods upbringing to the dance school she ran disguised as a man, ''where she won the love of a young lady scholar.'' But that was just the start of the trouble; the Times did not know about Lucy's arrest and trial for the crime of wearing men's clothes or her jailbreak engineered by her wife, Marie Perry, to whom she had been married by an unsuspecting judge.

Lucy lived at a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women. Lucy did these things in a personal quest--to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and to love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. Lucy promised to write a book about it all, and over the decades, people have searched for that account. Author William Klaber searched also until he decided that the finding would have to be by way of echoes and dreams. This book is Lucy's story, told in her words as heard and recorded by an upstream neighbor.

More Real Life Romances at my website:, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2013 07:58 am (UTC)
life writes the best stories....
Dec. 3rd, 2013 08:30 am (UTC)
It does, and you realize that nothing is new and that men and women already did it ;-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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