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29 September 2012

John (T)Weed (? - 1905) ship’s captain.

Magnus Hirschfeld  tells us:
'In 1904 a Captain Tweed, who had for many years commanded a trans-Atlantic ship, was accepted into the Sailors'  Home on Staten Island owing to illness.  He became worse and one day was found with his throat cut.  The doctor who undertook th epost mortem discovered that Tweed was a woman.  While he lived, nobody had doubted the captain's sex.'

Havelock Ellis tells us:
'In another case in New York in 1905 a retired sailor, "Captain John Weed," who had commanded transatlantic vessels for many years, was admitted to a Home for old sailors and shortly after became ill and despondent, and cut his throat. It was then found out that "Captain Weed" was really a woman. I am informed that the old sailor's despondency and suicide were due to enforced separation from a female companion.'
Jonathan Katz follows up on this:
'The New York Daily Tribune in three December issues of 1905 carries new items concerning the death of a textile merchant named John Weed, said to have been caused by "a broken heart" after a dispute with a brother and co-partner, H. Frank Weed, who had the month before committed suicide. There is absolutely no indication in any of these printed news reports that either of the Weed brothers might have been a woman in disguise, and the details of John Weed's life do not match the details of the life of the "Captain John Weed" cited by Ellis. It is possible that Ellis's informant had access to information about an individual whose name and history somehow became confused with that of the John Weed who died in December , 1905.'
  • Hirschfeld, Magnus edited by Norman Haire. Sexual Anomalies and Perversions Physical and Psychological Development, Diagnosis and Treatment : a Summary of the Works of the Late Professor Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. London: Encyclopaedic Press, 1952: 223.
  • Havelock Ellis. Sexual Inversion. In Studies In The Psychology Of Sex. Random House. 1936:202-3.
  • Jonathan Katz. Gay American History: Lesbians And Gay Men In The U.S.A. New York: Crowell 1976. New York: A Discus Book.1978: 913.

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