Almeda Sperry

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Almeda Sperry
Born July 13, 1879

Almeda Sperry (born July 13, 1879) was an anarchist, political activist, and former prostitute. She was notably involved with fellow anarchist Emma Goldman, although the romantic aspects of that friendship are contested.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Sperry was born Almeda Sode (or Sodi) in Pennsylvania to Alsatian parents Christian Sode (or Sodi) and Barbara Treitz[2][3] and married on November 26, 1902[4] to an Ohio machinist Fred Sperry. Together, the couple lived for most of the duration of their marriage in Pittsburgh.[5] Her letters to Emma Goldman dating from 1912 reveal much about her personal life: her sexuality, contempt for men, occupation as a prostitute, and financial standing. On her sexuality, she says "I fear I never will love any man. I've seen too much and I am no fool."[6] By the same token, she was emotionally devoted to her husband Fred. In the same letter, she spoke about her prostitution: "I have absolutely no reciprocation as far as passion is concerned for a man who pays me for sex."

Sperry died September 10, 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[7]

Activism[edit]

Sperry first became an activist after hearing anarchist Emma Goldman give a speech on white slavery, at least by the year 1912.[8] She became active in union organizing, and also wrote for several radical newspapers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Katz, Jonathan Ned. "Almeda Sperry to Emma Goldman: 1912". OutHistory. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906–1964 for Almeda Sperry
  3. ^ "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3M9-S96 : accessed 19 April 2017), Almeda Sode in household of Christrian J. Sode, Baldwin Township, Precinct 4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 341, sheet 4B, family 82, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,365.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709–1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2D5-JZM : 6 December 2014), Fred D. Sherry and Almeda E. Sode, 26 Nov 1902; citing Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States; FHL microfilm 878,603.
  5. ^ "Almeda Sperry". Gay History Wiki. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  6. ^ Katz, Jonathan Ned. "Almeda Sperry to Emma Goldman: 1912". OutHistory. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  7. ^ Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906–1964 for Almeda Sperry
  8. ^ Garber, Marjorie (May 13, 2013). Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life. Routeledge. p. 75.