I’m excited to announce the forthcoming publication of MARIE EQUI Radical Politics & Outlaw Passions. Researching and writing this biography has been my own particular passion for a great many years. The research found me poring through musty boxes pulled out of storage at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts to discover the wedding date of Equi’s parents and the birth and baptisms of Equi and her siblings.
Those finds led me to the county courthouse to determine the relocations of Equi’s family from her childhood home near the New Bedford waterfront to the outer neighborhood just beyond the grand whaling-era mansions. I located assessments by her grade school and high school teachers.
“I became deeply interested in her for she was an excellent scholar. In those days she lacked self-control and we had many long earnest talks out of school hours.” Marie E. Austin, teacher, New Bedford High School, 1889.”
- Mary E. Austin to Evelyn S. Wall, September 6, 1889, Archives/Dolben Library, Northfield/Mount Hermon School
By then there was no turning back: I was committed to writing Equi’s full life story. Mostly I was curious to discover how she fashioned a life for herself on the edges of social acceptance and how she risked becoming an outcast for her lesbianism and her radical politics.
Like most biographers, I unearthed a number of episodes in Equi’s life and facets of her many relationships that I could not include in her biography for lack of space. I look forward to sharing these additional stories in future posts here.