The book Gay American History by Jonathan Katz contains old newspaper clippings that made reference to homosexuality, with commentary. This article from East Hampton Star, 1897, found on pages 64–65, didn’t specifically contain lesbianism but the author felt it was “lesbian-related” and also contained “charm” and “historical interest.”
It’s fucking hilarious and awesome!
“She Dislikes Men and Dogs.”
“A woman who loathes the sight of men and dogs, and hates them both cordially, is Miss Augusta Main, a spinster farmer near Berlin, N.Y. As she told a Justice, who held her to the grand jury in $1,000 bail for committing an assault on a male neighbor with intent to kill, she never sees men or dogs but what she aches to kill them.
When she discovers a man on her premises, she drops all work and makes them skedaddle. If, when ordered away, the man or men do not hurry, she pushes them along with a pitchfork or any other implement that happens to be handy. As a consequence, the men folks give her plenty of room.
Myron Beebe is the neighbor, whom she attempted to slay, and who swore out the warrant for her arrest. For a long time he has dared to cross her premises to get water from a well. It saved him a long walk, and he took the chances.
A few days ago, while Beebe was making the usual short cut to the well, Miss Main came out of her house with a big revolver, and without any parleying opened fire on the man. He ran for dear life, while the bullets whistled about his ears.
When he got home he found that out of the six shots fired two had perforated the overalls which he wore, while another had torn the rim of his hat. The other three bullets came within such close proximity that their whistle still rings in his ears.
Miss Main has, since she took the farm, performed all the work on the place without any male assistance, and does it well. She goes to the market with a load of vegetables every week, and sells them herself. Every day she cleans out the stables, feeds the live stock and rubs down the horses. Only in harvest time does she seek outside help, and then she hires strapping young women.
All the tramps who came in the county know of her and give her a wide berth.”