Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A Female Lothario.

   An Irish girl named McCormick, residing in Hamilton, Canada as a servant has been guilty of a series of very strange acts. In her capacity as servant she would with a very art-address ascertain the feelings of almost every lady relative to the tender passion, telling them that Mr. —, a dry goods clerk, or a lawyer, &c. was desperately in love with them, and that he would contrive to see them on a certain night. When the night appointed came, the young gentleman would come, in the shape of Miss McCormick in male apparel. In three different cases was the question popped, and accepted; in one the wedding garment made. This fun was tried once too often, and the gay creature was locked up in jail.

Scientific American: New York, January 9, 1847.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, there are a handful of online references to this story. The original appeared in the 26 December 1846 Hamilton Spectator. In January 1847, any number of other newspapers reprinted it, including, on January 11, the Hagerstown Torch Light and the Monday morning New York Herald.  Dan Akeson (who suggests that no copies of the original Hamilton Spectator story exist) published, in 1990, a book on Eliza McCormick making the outrageous claim that she transgendered herself into nineteenth-century Tory backbencher, John White.

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