“The latter part of the nineteenth century brought forth letters and memoirs from which historians…”

“The latter part of the nineteenth century brought forth letters and memoirs from which historians could form an accurate picture of homosexual life in that period. For an earlier history – the colonial period and before so admirably addressed in Gay American History – authors have had to rely on criminal proceedings and tabloid news stories, which told only the most sensational tales of extreme behavior and so presented a distorted picture. We see nothing of the countless men and women who, throughout the nation’s first century, quietly enjoyed same-sex relations. We know they existed because occasionally one of these,relationships erupted into a suicide or scandal that propelled it into the public record. It would be a mistake to assume that every gay relationship ended up in the pillory or the newspapers.”

William Wright (Harvard’s Secret Court)

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