Two Georgia peaches forever Clinging

According to a post on the History of Sexuality listserv, Simon Stern of Harvard Law School has discovered a depiction of gay marriage in an 1840 book of dialect sketches, Augustus Longstreet’s Georgia Scenes. (Hat tip to Leaves of Grass.)

The telling is remarkably free of panic and judgment. Maybe that’s because it appears in a joke: Just before they turn in for the night, two humorous gentlemen tell three old gossips that “George Scott and David Snow: two most excellent men, . . . became so much attached to each other that they actually got married – . . . And they raised a lovely parcel of children.” The puzzle of two men engendering children keeps the gossips up late speculating. “I reckon that one of them men was a women dress’d in men’s clothes,” one of the women proposes, but it isn’t so. The solution, revealed the next morning, is that the men “were both widowers before they fell in love with each other and got married.” (The complete text is available at the University of North Carolina’s Documenting the American South.)