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.
[EdÖ] Stephens sworn says
I reside in the town of Hancock Delaware County. I am acquainted with Lucy Ann
Slater and have seen her more or less for the past nine years. I consider her
from what I have seen of her insane. I do not think she is capable of governing
herself or of taking care of herself. I donít know whether she has any property
It has been the general talk ever since I knew her that she was a crazy person
[Edwin] Stevens Subscribed & sworn to before me June 16 1880
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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