American, Gay Founding Fathers..San francisco-1850 "sodom by the sea"

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    Aug 31, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    ..... i recently came upon an article by the Huff Post after doing some research on vintage gay men.... ( gay men living in the 1920s and earlier on)...somehow i found this article about the founding fathers. The article basically presents the argument that the American founding fathers..had homosexual tendencies and secret lives. Gay men were the founding fathers of America. Now i am never one to quickly sip the cool-aide. But after reading personal letters of some of these men..i beg to differ. It surely is a interesting read. ill post the links..and hopefully ill see some replies when i log back in int he morning. What do you guys think of this..if your a history geek like me....then im sure your excited reading this. One of the letters between George Washignton and his .."friend" Marquis de Lafayette was very revealing and somewhat shocking. The Marquis was basically writing him a love letter..begging him to send him more affection via words...

    "
    "My dear general -- From those happy ties of friendship by which you were pleased to unite yourself with me, from the promises you so tenderly made me when we parted at Fishkill, gave me such expectations of hearing often from you, that complaints ought to be permitted to my affectionate heart. Not a line from you, my dear general, has arrived into my hands... I remember that in those little separations where I was but some days from you, the most friendly letters, the most minute account of your circumstances, were kindly written to me... Let me beseech you, my dear general, by that mutual, tender, and experienced friendship in which, I have put an immense portion of my happiness, to be very exact in inquiring for occasions and never to miss those which may convey to me letters that I shall be so much pleased to receive."...

    (wishing i met a guy who could send me a text message or email worded just like this). Anyways more can be found at the link below.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/gay-american-history_n_1648083.html?fb_action_ids=4301565542425%2C4236817679126&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline#slide=1181154
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 31, 2012 4:14 AM GMT
    Oh yes, absolutely true of some of them. For instance Benjamin Franklin was good buds with Sir Walter Sandwich. Everytime they'd get together they would have wild orgies .... now you know where 3-way term sandwich originated. You also recall that all those guys had young male apprentices. In those days it was a hushed norm, nobody spoke of those things though.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Aug 31, 2012 11:00 AM GMT
    Maybe. But gushy male-to-male correspondence was pretty commonplace back then, and was part of upper-class convention. Perhaps some of the time physical love was part of it, but I would say that expressions of tenderness or passionate letters from that period don't necessarily mean they were having sex.
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    Aug 31, 2012 12:01 PM GMT
    DanOmatic saidMaybe. But gushy male-to-male correspondence was pretty commonplace back then, and was part of upper-class convention. Perhaps some of the time physical love was part of it, but I would say that expressions of tenderness or passionate letters from that period don't necessarily mean they were having sex.

    Agreed, the writing style within refined social circles was very florid. And don't forget the Marquis was French aristocracy, with their own courtly conventions that seem laughable today.

    I even think some of that spills over into our modern world. I've never liked using the term "dear" in a letter salutation. I may not even know this person, but they're "dear" to me? So to distinguish the real dears in my life, like when writing a note inside a birthday card to my partner, for instance, I'll write "dearest".

    Another antique practice that strikes us today as a possible homosexual indicator is when men share the same bed. This is sometimes cited as a proof that Abraham Lincoln was living as a gay or a bi, when he was a young lawyer.

    But the truth is that the economics of the time encouraged same-sex doubling-up in bed, even in commercial inns & hotels. Such a scene occurs in the novel Moby Dick from the same time period as Lincoln, where the men sharing a bed are complete strangers. Even in more modern times there are Laurel & Hardy comedy films from the 1930s where the team is shown sharing a bed (to comic effect, naturally, but without sexual overtones, like it's a completely normal thing to do).

    So that to me this Washington-Lafayette letter is not very compelling evidence by itself. But certainly interesting for its antiquated style.
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    Sep 01, 2012 1:12 AM GMT
    god ...i see now most people dont appreciate history on here..thanks for the replies..especially from Art_Deco. Yes their form of writing was of a aristocratic era. But sometimes the truth can be found within the simple lines. Keep in mind..homosexuality was not a threat to American democracy back then. So one would assume that it might have been acceptable.