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Murray H. Hall
(February 1840 - January 16, 1901) Scotland - U.S.A.

Murray H. Hall



Murray Hall (born Mary Anderson in Goven, Scotland) was a New York politician and employment agency proprietor. She immigrated to the United States when six years old in 1846. She lived for years dressed as a man nd had been married twice. She died of untreated breast cancer and her secret was discovered only after her death and the revelation of his birth sex, Hall's story garnered much coverage from local and national press.


Murray H. Hall was a transgender woman who lived as a man for more than a quarter of a century, and the secret of whose sex came out only after her death at 145 Sixth Avenue. He/she was known to hundreds of people in the Thirteenth Senatorial District, where she figured quite prominently as a politician. In a limited circle she even had a reputation as a "man about town," a bon vivant, and all-around "good fellow."

She was a member of the General Committee of Tammany Hall, a member of the Iroquois Club, a personal friend of State Senator "Barney" Martin and other officials, and one of the most active Tammany workers in the district.

She registered and voted at primaries and general elections for many years, and exercised considerable political influence with Tammany Hall, often securing appointments for friends who have proved their fealty to the organization - never exciting the remotest suspicion as to her real sex.

She played poker at the clubs with city and State officials and politicians who flatter themselves on their cleverness and perspicacity, drank whisky and wine and smoked the regulation "big black cigar" with the apparent relish and gusto of the real man-about-town.

Furthermore, according to the New York Times, Hall married twice; his first wife left him after complaining to neighbors that "he flirted with clients and paid altogether too much attention to other women", and his second wife predeceased him.

The discovery of "Murray Hall's" true sex was not made until she was cold in death and beyond the chance of suffering humiliation from exposure. She had been suffering from a cancer in the left breast for several years, as Dr. William C. Gallagher of 302 West Twelfth Street, who attended her in her final illness, discovered; but she abjured medical advice for fear of disclosing her sex, and treated herself.

When she felt that life was at a low ebb she sent for Dr. Gallagher, the awful fear of exposure being supplanted by the dread of death. He made an examination and found that the cancer had eaten its way almost to the heart, and that it was a matter of only a few days, when death must ensue. He kept this information from the patient, fearing the shock might hasten death. He deceived himself, for "Murray Hall" knew as well as Dr. Gallagher that the end was near. Hall likely had been suffering in excruciating pain for years.

When Murray Hall died, the New York Times ran an announcement of Hall's funeral on January 20 under the headline "Murray Hall's Funeral: The Man-Woman Was Dressed for Burial in Woman's Clothes."

Soon after Hall's death, several city politicians sought a law requiring all local elected officials wear facial hair in order to avoid "having Tammany bring in women on us."


Sources: excerpt from The New York Times, January 19, 1901 - http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/ - http://gayhistory.wikidot.com/

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