Mysteries to Solve: Historical Detective Work You Can Do
Researchers have discovered fascinating documents of LGBTQ and heterosexual history about which many mysteries remain. Or perhaps you have some clues to wonderful LGBTQ history that you'd like to research. Please help OutHistory solve these mysteries, and present your new, original finds on the site.
OutHistory will be adding to this list of mysteries to solve, so check back here for further clues.
Last edited September 6, 2011, 9:52 am EST
Casal, Mary (pseudonym)
Who was "Mary Casal"? The author of one of the earliest American lesbian autobiographies, The Stone Wall, provides so many details of her life, it should be possible to discover who she actually was. And that would lead to further discoveries about her life. So far, no one has discovered Casal's identity. Discovering her identity should lead to lots of important new data on lesbian American history in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. There's information about her life in Jonathan Ned Katz's book Gay American History.
Legal Case Transcripts
Jonathan Ned Katz's Love Stories discusses many nineteenth-century sodomy, buggery, and crime against nature cases appealed to the highest state courts. His research showed that, in regard to the two earliest cases, the actual trial transcripts of these cases could be obtained from from state legal archives. The transcripts of these cases sometimes reveal more details than the brief, published accounts available on LEXUS or other legal databases. So researching these cases and writing for these transcripts should reveal important new details of of LGBTQ and heterosexual history. OutHistory would like to reproduce or transcribe all the court transcripts that can be found. See Legal Cases Appealed: January 1, 1800-December 31, 1899 and Timeline: Published U.S. State Appeals Case Reports, 1800-1899
Lind, Earl (Ralph Werther/Jennie June) (pseudonyms)
Who was the man who called himself "Earl Lind," "Ralph Werther" and "Jennie June"? The author of two autobiographies provides so many details about his life, it should be possible to discover his true identity, and this should lead to many insights about transgender American history in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Search for the information about Lind/Werther/June on OutHistory.org
Read Sperry's love letters to Emma Goldman and see if you can find more biographical information about Sperry, her published writings, and especially a photo. See: Almeda Sperry to Emma Goldman: 1912
Stoddard, Charles Warren
Listing and studying all the social networking connections of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century journalist Charles Warren Stoddard should provide many leads to LGBTQ history in his time.
Create Local LGBTQ History Chronologies
OutHistory.org contains lots of previously uncollected information about the history of villages, towns, cities, counties, and states. Research and add your community's local LGBTQ history to the site. See what others have done and follow their example.
Search OutHistory Research Requests
Search OutHistory Stub Categories
Search OutHistory Stub Entries
Collaborative Open Entries in Progress
You may also be interested in helping with the open, collaborative entries in progress. Among these are:
- Walt Whitman, Sexuality, and Intimacy: 1819-1892
- (this, the first active collaboration, began on July 3, 2008);