Voice of the People: Daily Life in the Antebellum Rural Delaware
County New York Area
Family and Daily Life
Background: Lucy Ann Lobdell was born in Westerlo, Albany County, NY in 1829.
Lured by cheap land, Lucy's family moved to Delaware County when Lucy was young.
Her father was unable to do much work. Lucy took up hunting to provide
food for her family. She felt sorry for a man by the name of George Washington
Slater and married him. He mentally abused her and deserted her when their
infant child was a few weeks old. Lucy again took up hunting and spent
much of the rest of her life as a man.
William W Main sworn says:
I reside in the town of Hancock Del. Co. I am about fifty years old. I am
acquainted with Lucy Ann Slater and have known her for about twenty years. On
one subject her mind is not sound but on other matters have heard her talk quite
sensibly. I have never had an intimate acquaintance with her habits and customs.
I know that she sometimes dresses in mens clothes and it is on that subject that
I think her of unsound mind. I have lived in this vicinity about [ ] years and
during that time she has been away most [ ] except about one or two years.
WW Main Subscribed & sworn to before me on June 16 1880
Arthur More [ ]
1880 June 16: Excerpts from the Delaware County Court, Delhi, NY: In the
matter of Lucy Ann [Lobdell] Slater a Supposed Lunatic
Testimony of John Lobdell
Testimony of Ed. L. [Pettingill] M.D.
Testimony of William Main
Testimony of Edwin Stephens
Testimony of Harry Walsh
- History of Meeker
County, Minnesota. Chapter:
History--The Slayer of Hundreds of Bears and Wild-Cats, pp. 98 - 111. AC
- Lucy Ann migrated to Minnesota from Delaware County, teaching singing
school to pay her way. She spent several years there as a man, including some
months guarding a claim with a man who slept under the same blanket with her
and never realized her biological identity as a female. In 1858 her female sex
was accidentally discovered and she was sent back to Delaware County.
- A Modern Romance: Strange Life of Unhappy Women. New York Times,
April 8, 1877, p. 7
- Lucy assumed the name of Joseph Israel Lobdell and married Marie Wilson.
They lived in caves in the woods in Monroe, Co. Pennsylvania, subsisting on
berries, roots, and charity.
- Death of a Modern Diana: the Female Hunter of Long Eddy. New
York Times , October 7, 1879, p 2.
This obituary was premature. Lucy Ann Lobdell died in
Binghamton, NY in 1912.
Case of Sexual Perversion. Alienist
and neurologist: A quarterly journal of scientific, clinical and forensic
psychiatry and neurology 4, no.1 (1883): 87-91.
Testimony courtesy of the Delaware County Clerk's Office, Delhi,
Transcribed by Kay Benjamin.
Misspellings have carefully been preserved.
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