Joseph Lobdell

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Joseph Lobdell
Lucy Ann Lobdell in braids, beads, and feathers, ca. 1853.jpg
Lobdell in braids, beads, and feathers, ca. 1853
Born
Lucy Ann Lobdell

(1829-12-02)December 2, 1829
DiedMay 28, 1912(1912-05-28) (aged 82)
Binghamton State Hospital, New York
NationalityAmerican
Other namesJoe Lobdell, Lucy Ann Slater
Spouse(s)George Washington Slater
Marie Louise Perry

Joseph Israel Lobdell (born in 1829) was a 19th-century person who was assigned female at birth and lived as a man for sixty years,[1] and is usually regarded today as a transgender man.[2] An 1877 New York Times article referred to Lobdell's life as "one of the most singular family histories ever recorded."[3] Writer William Klaber wrote an historical novel, The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell,[4] which was based on Lobdell's life. An 1883 account by P. M. Wise, which cast Lobdell as a "lesbian", was the first use of that word in an American publication.[5][2]

Life[edit]

Joseph Lobdell in later years

Lobdell was born December 2, 1829 (as Lucy Ann Lobdell), to a working-class family living in Westerlo,[6] Albany County, New York. Lobdell married George Washington Slater, who was reportedly mentally abusive and abandoned Lobdell shortly after the birth of their daughter, Helen.[1] Lobdell was known for marksmanship and nicknamed "The Female Hunter of Delaware County."[7] He wrote a memoir about his hunting adventures, his disastrous marriage and his feelings about God, ending with a plea for equal employment for women.[1] He was also known to be an accomplished fiddle player and opened a singing school for a time.[8] While working at the singing school, he became engaged to a young woman. A rival for her affection learned Lobdell was assigned female at birth and threatened to tar and feather him. Lobdell's fiancé warned him and he escaped.[1]Lobdell received a Civil War pension[9] when Slater was killed in the war.[8] Lobdell entered the County Poor House in Delhi, N.Y., in 1860, where he met Marie Louise Perry.[8] Perry was a poor but well educated woman, whose husband left her shortly after they eloped.[1]He later married Perry in 1861[10] in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. They spent years roaming the woods together with their pet bear, living in nomadic poverty, surviving off hunting, gathering and charity.[11] Then they were arrested for vagrancy and sent to Stroudsburg jail where “discovery that the supposed man was a woman was made."[11] Joseph was later arrested again for wearing male clothes. Marie wrote a letter using a stick and pokeberry ink begging the jail to free her husband.[1]

In 1879, Lobdell was taken away to the Willard Insane Asylum in Ovid, New York.[8] While in the asylum, Lobdell became a patient of Dr. P.M. Wise, who published a brief article "A Case of Sexual Perversion," in which the doctor noted Lobdell said "she considered herself a man in all that the name implies."[12] Newspapers published two premature obituaries for him, first in 1879, then in 1885. His wife had no reason to doubt the later ones, though he was presumed to have died on May 28th, 1912, and is buried in the Binghamton State Hospital Cemetery.[13][1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lobdell, Bambi L. (2011-12-12). "A Strange Sort of Being": The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann / Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912. McFarland. ISBN 9780786488452.
  2. ^ a b Sarah Boslaugh, Transgender Health Issues (2018, ISBN 1440858888), page 166
  3. ^ "A MOUNTAIN ROMANCE.; STRANGE LIFE OF UNHAPPY WOMEN A SINGULAR FAMILY HISTORY THE FEMALE HUNTRESS OF LONG EDDY STRANGE LOVE OF TWO WOMEN AN ACCOMPLISHED BOSTON GIRL A VOLUNTARY OUTCAST AN UNFORTUNATE DAUGHTER" (PDF). query.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  4. ^ Klaber, William (2015-01-01). The rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: a novel. ISBN 9781250087201. OCLC 946486576.
  5. ^ Emily Skidmore, True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (2017, ISBN 147989799X), page 27
  6. ^ "Lucy Ann Lobdell". www.oneonta.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  7. ^ "The Real Story of the Female Hunter of Delaware County". www.advocate.com. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  8. ^ a b c d Simon, Ray (October 22, 2015). "Joe Lobdell: tragedy and triumph of a 19th-century transition". Philadelphia Gay News. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  9. ^ "Approved Pension File for Lucy A. L. Slater, Widow of Private George Slater, Company G, 128th New York Infantry Regiment (WC-259782)". National Archives Catalog. June 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "LucyJoe | Living in the Woods". www.lucyjoe.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  11. ^ a b "A Curious Career". National Police Gazette (35). 25 October 1879.
  12. ^ "Lucy Ann Lobdell: P.M. Wise, "Case of Sexual Perversion," January 1883 · Gender-Crossing Women, 1782-1920 · outhistory.org". outhistory.org. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  13. ^ "Lucy Ann Lobdell Slater". www.findagrave.com. Find A Grave. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2019.

External links[edit]