Waubonsee Community College

Charity and Sylvia, a same-sex marriage in early America, Rachel Hope Cleves

Charity and Sylvia, a same-sex marriage in early America, Rachel Hope Cleves
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-254) and index
index present
Literary Form
non fiction
Main title
Charity and Sylvia
Nature of contents
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
Rachel Hope Cleves
Sub title
a same-sex marriage in early America
Explores the lives of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, two ordinary middle-class women who serve as a window on historical constructs of marriage, gender, and sexuality in late 18th-century and early 19th-century America. Both were born in Massachusetts, but in different towns, 11 years apart. Charity's attachment to women was so blatant that after she turned 20, her father told her to leave the house. She worked as a schoolteacher, but was forced to leave jobs several times because of hurtful gossip about her relationships with other women. In early 1807, Charity moved to Vermont to stay with a friend, and there she met Sylvia. The two fell in love, set up housekeeping, and considered themselves married. Gradually, their family members and the residents of Weybridge did as well. Charity and Sylvia became integral to the community, attending church, running their tailor shop, and contributing to charitable endeavors. Most of all, Charity and Sylvia remained passionately committed to each other and refused to hide their relationship. An important work of history that resonates with one of today's most public debates
Mapped to