America’s first same sex marriage?

From the Syracuse Standard of May, 1856 we get the story of Albert Guelph, formerly of England. Aged 30, Guelph rented a room from a local Syracuse family named Lewis. When Guelph arrived at the Lewis’ house, he was attired in a dress, but a few days after renting the room changed clothes into blue coat, blue shirt, dark vest and buff colored pantaloons. According to the Standard, the probability is that the family supposed…the’ dress was a disguise, and that [Guelph] was resuming the proper habiliments of her sex.”

Guelph and the Lewis daughter fell in love, engaged in a brief courtship, and were married in the town’s Episcopal Church by the family minister, Rev. Mr. Gregor. It was not until after the marriage that the bride’s father began to suspect that his new son-in-law was really a daughter-in-law; the dress having not quite have done the trick. Mr. Lewis, pere, complained to the police and Guelph was arrested, upon what charge it is not known. As the Standard tells us,  “the bride still clings to her woman husband, and claims that the arrest is a conspiracy against them. They were allowed to meet in one of the ante-rooms of the police office, and embraced each other with the greatest marks of affection.

One wonders what happened to couple.

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  1. Ralph Kerwineo, One of Milwaukee’s Most Charming Women | Forgotten Stories

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