New Book Provides the Real Story Behind “The Female Hunter of Delaware County”

New Book Provides the Real Story Behind “The Female Hunter of Delaware County”

Born in 1829 to a working-class family in upstate New York, Lucy Ann Lobdell quickly gained a reputation as a marksman, earning the nickname “The Female Hunter of Delaware County.” But after leaving home, Lobdell proved something different altogether: a transgender man. Now Lobdell’s distant relative, professor Bambi L. Lobdell, has written a fascinating account of Joseph Lobdell — who she calls Lucy-Joe — and what happened after he moved to the frontier, married a woman, and bucked 19th-century social restrictions and gender expectations. It’s a fascinating story of forced marriage, arrest, and incarceration in an insane asylum. Although 20th-century scholars have labeled Lobdell a lesbian, the author, while incorporating queer theory and Lobdell’s own writings, makes a fascinating argument in A Strange Sort of Being: The Transgender Life of Lucy Ann/Joseph Israel Lobdell, 1829-1912 that there never was a “female hunter” but really a transgender man.

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