Annie Hindle: ca. 1847-19??

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Annie Hindle was, according to theater historian Gillian Rodger, "the first woman to gain significant attention as a male impersonator in the United States, and most likely introduced this performance style to the American variety stage."[1]


Research by OutHistory in online newspapers and other sources is adding important new details to her life story.[2] Hindle's life is notable for allegedly marrying, while impersonating a man, a first wife, Annie Ryan, and after Ryan's decease, a second wife, Louise Spangehl (or Spangehel).


OPEN ENTRY: This entry is open to collaborative creation by anyone with evidence, citations, and analysis to share, so no particular, named creator is responsible for the accuracy and cogency of its content. Please use this entry's Comment section at the bottom of the page to suggest improvements about which you are unsure. Thanks.

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A story about Hindle in The Sun, New York City, on July 5, 1892, sums up her life until that time and is reprinted here in full. It is headed

ANNIE HINDLE WEDS ANEW. ONCE A WIDOW, ONCE A WIDOWER, NOW A HUSBAND AGAIN.

The subhead reads:

The Rev Mr. Baldwin , a Baptist Clergyman of Troy, United Her in Marriage to Louise Spangehl of That City on the Last Sunday in June--A Romantic Story.[3]
All the variety actors on tho Rialto had something to talk about yesterday. They had heard that Annie Hindle. the "celebrated male impersonator," had married again, and that her marriage was as strange in Its main feature as If it had been tho plot of a weird novel of the latter day period. In fact Miss Hindle had supplied more than the usual basis for a unique story, because for the second time In her life, she had gone and married a woman. The affair has been kept quiet but tho details have leaked out, as theatrical stories generally do.


On Sunday, Juno 26, In Troy, Miss Annie Hindle became, not the wife, but the lawful husband of Miss Louise Spangehl, who lives In Troy, and is not on the stage. The ceremony was performed In the most good faith by the Rev. G. C. Baldwin, a Baptist minister of Troy, and there Is no reason to dispute his assertion that at the time of the wedding he believed Miss Hindle to be a man. She had boon performing at a Troy beer garden, and her nightly triumph was achieved In her "male Impersonations."


In this act she wears men's clothing, smokes cigars, and otherwise conducts herself in the manner of the sterner sex. No doubt the larger portion of her audience was deceived by her cleverness, and perhaps she assured the Troy clergyman that she was really deceiving the public: but it would be Impossible to convince the Rialto throngs that Annie Hindle Is other than a woman.


Tho oddity of her recent marriage Is increased by tho fact that Miss Hindle has three times been marriod. Once she was a bride; twice she has been a groom. Once she had a husband, twice she has had a wife. Once she was a widow, once she was a widower; now she has a husband [wife?] again. If there is anything In the most topsy-turvey chronicles to equal this in its fantasticality, who can toll about it?


Only last December Annie Hindle burled her first wife. The Sun told all about the strange ceremony at the tlme. [Research Request: GET DOCUMENT.] Only last December Annie Hindle burled her first wife. The Sun told all about the strange ceremony at the time. [Research Request: GET DOCUMENT.] It told how, on the Jersey City Heights, on a cold December day there was held a funeral which, in one respect, presented as strange a spectacle as is often witnessed. In describing Annie Hindle, just as she is to-day--a woman between 45 and 50 yours of age, who In her prime was doubtless an excellent type of what is called the "dashingly handsome" girl, with a face that is masculine in all its lines, eyes that are gray, but lit with a kindly expression, a firmly cut month, and a resolute chin. At that time she was the chief mourner at the funeral of her first wife, Annie Ryan. She had married Annie Ryan In the summer of 1886 and, as in tho Troy affair, the strange wedding was sanctioned by the blessing of a minister of the Gospel. When Annie Ryan died, and her husband, Annie Handle, buried her, the funeral was the oddest thing that had ever been noted on the Jersey City Heights. Miss Hindle was apparently bowed in grief, and her declaration that she had lost her best friend on earth, was in good faith accepted by the few friends assembled around the dead woman's bier. They will be amazed to hear that within six months Annie Hindle has found a new wife.


Miss Hindle in a measure deceived the Troy minister who made her the wife of Louis[e] Spangehel[sic?]. She told him that this was her second marriage, and that her name was Charles Edward Hindle. She did not tell him that she had never before assumed a male prefix, nor did she reveal to him that long ago in the sixties she was the wife of Charles Vivian.


[Paragraph added.] When, Annie Hindle was five years old the woman who adopted her and who gave her protege her own name put her on the stage in the pottery district of Hertfordshire, In England. The little girl sang well, even so early. There was a fearlessness in her manner that tickled her rough audiences, and they made a favorite of her from the very first. At the outset she sang tender songs, with love as their theme, but as she grew up and travelled to London she enlarged her "repertory." One day, half in jest, she put on a man's costume and sang a rollicking ditty about wine and women. A manager who listened to her saw a new field open to her. In a week Annie Hindle was a "male impersonator." And all London was talking about the wonderful and minute accuracy of her mimicry.


[Paragraph added/] About 1867 she came to New York, to triumph here as she had triumphed in London. She was a blonde, about five feet six, with a plump form, well-shaped hands, small feet, and closely cropped hair, which, on and off the stage, she parted on one side, brushing it away from tho temples just as men do. Her voice was deeper than an alto, yet It was sweet and it sang true and with great expression.


Wesner, Ella.ca.1880.jpeg

Photo (right): Ella Wesner, ca. 1880

Annle Hindle was the first out-and-out "male Impersonator" New York's stage had ever seen. Ella Wesner had not yet ceased to dance obscurely in the the ballet with her sister [Research Request: WESNER?]; Blanche Selwyn[Research Request: ] was unheard of; Maggie Weston[Research Request:] was yet to come along in the crowded ranks of Hindle's imitators. But In '67 all the glory was Hindle's, all the novelty was hers, and she got all tho money, too. It is a fact that this dashing singer was the recipient of as many "mash" notes as probably ever went to a stage in this country. Once she compared notes with H. J. Montague, that carelessly handsome actor at whose shrine so many silly women had worshiped, but Hindle's admirers far outnumbered his, and they were all women, strange as that may seem.


About this time Charley Vivian, the English comlque, was travelling through America. He was a clever fellow of the Llngard type[Research Request:]--a fine singer, a dashing dresser, and a general swell. He fell in love with Annie Hindle, who reciprocated his affection, and in the fall of 1868 they were married by a Philadelphia minister. They started at once for the Pacific coast as happy, apparently, an a pair of turtle doves. Yet at Denver a little later Vivian and his wife separated. They never met again. He told his friends that their honeymoon had lasted one night. Hindle has since said that he did not tell the truth.


"He lived with me," she declares, rather bitterly, "several months--long enough to black both eyes and otherwise mark me; yet I was a good and true wife to him."


Vivian did not get a divorce. He had no cause. Hindle did not seek one. She was free enough. So they travelled apart both In their own way, busy enough, yet unhappy; and in March, 1880, Vivian died In Leadville [Colorado].[Research Request:] He had not prospered In his latter days. He should have had thousands of friends, for it was he who founded the great Order of Elks. Yet he was practically penniless when ho died.


Hindle's next romance came six year's later. In all her travels she had carried a "dresser." In the summer of 1886 her dresser was a pretty little brunette of of 25--a quiet, demure girl, who made friends wherever she went. One night In June, 1886. Annlo Hindle and Annie Ryan left the Grand Rapids. Mich., Theatre, where Miss Hindle was then engaged, and drove to tho Barnard House.[Research Request:] In room 19 a minister of the gospel, the Rev. E. H. Brooks, awaited the couple. There was a best man, jolly Gilbert Naroney, a female impersonator, but there was no bridesmaid. At 10 o'clock Mr. Brooks performed the marriage ceremony. and solemnly pronounced Annie Hindle the husband of Annie Ryan. The female groom wore a dress suit: tho bride was in her travelling costume. The minister put a fat fee In his pocketbook, and Mr. Saroney, the female Impersonator, and Miss Hindle, the new husbnnd, opened a bottle of wlne and smoked a cigarette or two.


The couple lived together happily five years, occupying a pleasant home on the Jersey Heights. They were respected by their neighhors, it appears, and they were welcome at all tho social gatherings in the vicinity of their home.


Miss Hindle did not reappear on the stage until some months after her wife's death. Then she accepted several engagements, and it was during one of these engagements that she met Miss Spangehl, whom she has just marrled.


Timeline

PLEASE ADD TO THIS TIMELINE

1847, ca.

Hindle born.


1869, June 24

Advertisement for "Fox's American Walnut" theater. The Evening Telegraph. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. June 24, 1869, FIFTH EDITION, Page 3, Image 3

"Annie Hindle, female Lingardist", listed as one of the performers.


1869, June 26

Advertisement for "Fox's American Walnut" theater. The Evening Telegraph (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), June 26, 1869, FOURTH EDITION, Page 3, Image 3

"Annie Hindle, female Lingardist", listed as one of the performers.


1870, November 12=

Advertisement for "Tony Pastor's Opera House-Bowery", New York City. The Sun (New York City), November 12, 1870, Image 4.

Advertising "THE GREAT ANNIE HINDLE" playing matinee performances.


1872, January 6

Ed Stokes kills Jim Fiske over actress Josie Mansfield, and one account says "After the scandal, Josie decamped for the Continent and England. She was accompanied by another actress, the male impersonator Annie Hindle."[4]


1872, March 30

"Broom [opera house] gives a grand matinee at two o'clock this afternoon, for ladies and children, on which occasion Miss Annie Hindle, the London vocalist, will appear." Memphis Daily Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), March 30, 1872, Image 4

Advertising "The great original protean change vocalist, Miss Annie Hindle."


1872, November 12

Advertisement for "Tony Pastor's Opera House-Bowery", New York City. "Bowery, Opposite Spring St." [1] The Sun, November 12, 1872, Image 4]

Advertising "The great original protean change vocalist, Miss ANNIE HINDLE."


1872, November 16

Advertisement for "Tony Pastor's Opera House", New York City. The Sun, November 16, 1872, Image 4

Advertising "Annie Hindle's Songs and Changes."


1875, October 6

Anon. "GENERAL NEWS OF THE CITY . . . Annie Hindle and Harry Brooks". National Republican, Washington, D.C., October 06, 1875, Image 4

A story is headed: "ANNIE HINDLE CHALLENGE. The Champion of the World Accepts It.":
September 27 we published a card from Miss Annie Hindle, dated Cumberland, Md, September 24, challenging Harry Brooks, "champion pedestrian of the world," to walk a match or endurance for from $1,000 to (5,000 a side and the championship of the world, the match to take place in Washington. Miss Hindle requested Mr. Brooks to reply through the Clipper. Whether he has or not we have no means or knowing, but ha sends us the following letter and his form or acceptance. If Miss Hindle desires, the courtesy of replying through The Republican is extended to her:
270 Pennsylvania Avenue
Baltimore, October 6 1875
To the Editor of the National Rebublicanl:
Sir: A friend or mine has just handed me a copy or your valuable paper of September 27, containing a copy of Miss Annie Hindle's challenge to me. In reply, will you kindly insert the inclosed from me to Miss Hindle? And allow me to state that I do not like the Idea of a lady challenging me, but claiming the championship or the world, which I think I have honestly and fairly won, I am in duy:: bound to answer the same. Yet I wish Miss Hindle to know that I claim to be a gentleman, and am willing she shall win the championship of the world If she is able so to do, I therefore offer her the following: reply.
Your Inserting the inclosed will greatly oblige yours, respectfully, Harry Brooks,
Champion pedestrian ot tho world.
HARRY BROOKS' REPLY TO MISS ANNIE HINDLE.
BALTIMORE, MD., 270 PENNSYLVANIA AVE.
In reply to Miss Annie Hindle's challenge of September 27, to walk me a match of endurance, end bearing In mind that a lady has challenged me, I hereby agree to walk Miss Hindle for any amount, from $1,000 to $5,0O0 a side, to suit her. I will also give her five hours, or, in other words, I will start five hours In advance of her, and give her every fair chance to bear off the honors consistent with a fair match. If Miss H. means business, let her address me as above.
Yours, very respectfully, Harry Brooks, Champion of the World.
P. S. 1 will either walk her distance or endurance, giving her five miles In fifty or one mile in ten. H. B.


1873, April 13

Anon. "Theatre Comique." National Republican. (Washington City (D.C.), April 13, 1878, Image 4

"Jake Hudd, Robert V. Ferguson, Annie HIndle, Quilter and Goldrich, and the efficient combination of variety stars now engaged at the Comique wlll apear at the matinee this afternoon and the seance to-night.

National Republican, April 13, 1873, Image 4


1882, June 7

Advertisment: "Theatre Comique. Thursday June 8. First Appearance of the Great and Only ANNIE HINDLE." [http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014424/1882-06-07/ed-1/seq-3/ The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.), June 07, 1882, Image 3


1882, June 9

Advertisment: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.), June 09, 1882, Image 3


1882, June 10

Advertisement: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.), June 10, 1882, Image 3


1882, June 12

Advertisement: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.)


1882, June 13

Advertisement: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.)


1882, June 14

Advertisement: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.)


1882, June 15

Advertisement: The Evening critic. (Washington, D.C.)


1886, June 7

"Man or Woman?" Grand Rapids Evening Leader (June 7, 1886): 4.


"Married Her Maid: The Strange Story of Charles and Annie Hindle, a Man Masquerading as a Woman." Grand Rapids Telegram-Herald (June 7, 1886): 4.


1886, June 8

"Married as a Man." Grand Rapids Daily Democrat (June 8, 1886): 5.


1886, June 10

"A Curious Marriage." St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, June 10, 1886, Page 3, Image 3

[Full story:] A Curious Marriage. Special to tho Globe. Grand Rapids, June 9.— Annie Hindle, well known in vaudeville circles as a male impersonator, was married last night by Rev. Mr. Brooks under the name of Charles A. Hindle to Annie Shan of Cleveland, 0. [Ohio], a comely woman of 30, who has been traveling with Hindle as maid. In 1860 Hindle became the wife of Charles Vivian, an English comedian, and they lived together one day. Hindle now claims to be a man. He has always dressed as a woman.


1886, July 6

The Salt Lake Herald., July 06, 1892, Page 2, Image 2


1891, December 27

"Stranger than Fiction: The True Story of Annie Hindle's Two Marriages." New York Sun (December 27, 1891): 13


1892, July 5

"WEDDED TO A WOMAN. Annie Hindle Gives the Idle Variety Actors on the Rialto SOMETHING NEW TO TALK ABOUT. She Becomes a Bridegroom for the Second Time in Her Life. ONCE HAVING BEEN A FAIR BRIDE. Special Telegram to The Dispatch. New York, July 4." [http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90059522/1886-06-10/ed-1/seq-3/ Pittsburg Dispatch. (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.) July 05, 1892.[5] See version of this story detailed above in the introduction to this entry on Hindle.


"ANNIE HINDLE'S NEW WIFE. Married in a Dress Suit at Troy to a Young Woman of That Town." The evening world. (New York, N.Y.), July 05, 1892, EXTRA 2 O'CLOCK, Image 1


"ANNIE HINDLE'S NEW WIFE. Married in a Dress Suit at Troy to a Young Woman of That Town." The evening world. (New York, N.Y.), July 05, 1892, LAST EDITION, Page 2, Image 2

[This version of the above story is clearer so it is reproduced here:
ANNIE HINDLE'S HEW WIFE. Married In u Dress Suit at Troy to a Young Woman of That Town.
Annie Hindle, the female impersonator of music hall fame, who has been once a wife, once a husband, once a widow, and once a widower, has added another chapter to her romantic life by wedding another wife.
This new wife was Miss Louise Spangehl, a young woman of Troy, and the marriage took place in that city on June 26, the Rev. G. C. Baldwin performing the ceremony which made one woman the husband of another. The Rev. Mr. Baldwin is a Baptist minister, and performed the ceremony in perfect good faith, believing Miss Hindle to be a man, for she came to him with her bride on her arm fresh from a beer garden and In the dress suit which she baa worn in her male Impersonatlon there. Annie is now forty-five years of age.

"ANNIE HINDLE'S NEW WIFE." Same story in a later edition of the same paper: The evening world. (New York, N.Y.), July 05, 1892, SPORTING EXTRA, Page 2, Image 2


"ANNIE HINDLE WEDS ANEW. ONCE A WIDOW, ONCE A WIDOWER, NOW A HUSBAND AGAIN. The Rev Mr. Baldwin , a Baptist Clergyman of Troy, United Her in Marriage to Louise Spangehl of That City on the Last Sunday in June--A Romantic Story." The Sun. (New York [N.Y.), July 05, 1892, Image 1]


1892, July 6

"MARRIED A WOMAN. Annie Hindle's Eccentric Experiences. Twice Married to HER OWN SEX. Was a 'Male Impersonator'and Has Twice Been a Husband and Twice a Wife. Special to The Herald-Examiner Dispatch. New York, July 5." The Salt Lake Herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah), July 06, 1892, Page 2, Image 2


Bibliography

PLEASE ADD TO THIS BIBLIOGRAPHY AND GROUP SOURCES UNDER NAMES OF NEWSPAPERS, AND CHRONOLOGICALLY, FROM EARLIEST TO LATEST

Primary Sources

GRAND RAPIDS TELEGRAM-HERALD

"Man or Woman?" Grand Rapids Evening Leader (June 7, 1886): 4.
"Married Her Maid: The Strange Story of Charles and Annie Hindle, a Man Masquerading as a Woman." Grand Rapids Telegram-Herald (June 7, 1886): 4.
"Married as a Man." Grand Rapids Daily Democrat (June 8, 1886): 5.


Hindle, Annie. Annie Hindle Songster. 18mo. pap., 10cts. N.Y. F. A. Brady, 1870. The American Catalogue of Books: 1866-1871 .... J. Wiley & Son, 1871, page 18.


NEW YORK SUN

"Stranger than Fiction: The True Story of Annie Hindle's Two Marriages." New York Sun (December 27, 1891): 13

Secondary Sources

Donoghue, Emma. Ladies and Gentlemen [play about Hindle].

Macklin, Karen. "It's a Shee Thing. A play about a drag king who legally married her female stage dresser -- in the 1890s". San Francisco Weekly, February 19, 2003.


Duggan, Lisa. Saphic Slashers: .........


[http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Fulton History.com. Historical New York State newspapers online. Search for "Annie Hindle" (exact phrase) on January 9, 2012, gives 207 results. Please help OutHistory.org list detail and list these items here.


Graham, Franklin. Histrionic Montreal: Annals of the Montreal stage, with Biographical and ...

Hindle performed in Montreal. Details?


Harbin, Billy J. and Kim Marra, Robert A. Schanke, eds. The gay & lesbian theatrical legacy: a biographical dictionary of ... Publisher? 2005

Data: "It is not known when Annie Hindle died."


Rodger, Gillian. "Annie Hindle". GLBTQ.com. Date Last Updated: August 5, 2004.


Rodger, Gillian M. Champagne Charlie and Pretty Jemima: Variety Theater in the Nineteenth Century. University of Illinois Press, 2010. Cloth: 978-0-252-03539-5. Paper: 978-0-252-07734-0

This is a major sources on Hindle, pages 127-130, 223, etc.
Page 128: “variously billed as ‘character change singers or ‘protean’ singers because of the quick costume changes”. It “is certain she was born around 1847 in England.” Adopted as child by Mrs. Ann Hindle, who traveled with her to the United States and settled in Jersey City. Mrs. Hindle died in 1884.
Page 130: In August 1869, an ad in the Clipper announced Hindle's impending arrival and performances. She began to perform at the end of that month.
Page 128: In mid-September 1868, Hindle married Charles Vivian while they were performing together in Philadelphia. References to Hindle and Vivian performing together after they separated.
Page 223: Vivian and Hindle married on September 16, 1868, in Phila ("Music Halls", Clipper, September 16, 1868, and this marriage never formally ended.
Page 128: In 1870 she employed Col. T. Allston Brown as her agent. :By 1872 she was no longer the only male impersonator active in variety.
Page 129: Ella Wesner copied Hindle in late August and early Sept 1869, before she went to Galveston, TX. No evidence that she had been Hindle’s dresser. In 1870, Wesner started career as male impersonator. W became a leading performer in this style. Page 223: Wesner debuted n 1871 as a male impersonator.
Page 129: Augusta Lamoureaux was the third male impersonator to begin late in 1871. By 1872 Blanche Selwyn started male impersonation. INTEGRATE ALL THIS INTO CHRONOLOGY


Rodger, Gillian. Male Impersonation on the North American Variety and Vaudeville Stage, 1868-1930. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI, 1998.


Senelick, Laurence. The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre. Gender in performance. London, New York: Routledge, xvi, 540pp. 2000: 329-331 on Hindle.


Senelick, Laurence. "Male Impersonation." The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Martin Banham, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 674-675.


Zagria.Blogspot.com on Annie Hindle.

Notes

  1. Rodger's entry about Hindle appears in GLBTQ.com, An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture, General Editor: Claude J. Summers.
  2. A search of the newspapers on the Chronicling American website on January 8, 2012, provided "24 results containing “the phrase "Annie Hindle"” and “Annie Hindle”"”. The reference to Hindle on some pages was not highlighted in red so it was not found: see (1) Memphis daily appeal., May 16, 1873, Image 4. (2) National Republican. (Washington City (D.C.)), February 24, 1875, Image 4.
  3. The Sun. (New York [N.Y.), July 05, 1892, Image 1]. This story in The Sun was reprinted almost verbatim in the Pittsburg Dispatch on July 5, 1892. "WEDDED TO A WOMAN. Annie Hindle Gives the Idle Variety Actors on the Rialto SOMETHING NEW TO TALK ABODT. She Becomes a Bridegroom for the Second Time in Her Life. ONCE HAVING BEEN A FAIR BRIDE. Special Telegram to The Dispatch. New York, July 4." Pittsburg Dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.] July 05, 1892. Image 9. Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University
  4. Is this true?This online account seems to be based on an article in American Heritage Magazine. Accessed January 12, 2012.
  5. Image 9. Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA. Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024546/1892-07-05/ed-1/seq-9/


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