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Bostonian Marriage

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Was Ottawa's former mayor in a 'Bostonian marriage' - or lesbian relationship?


In January, the National Archives Of Canada opened the last and most eagerly awaited of Charlotte Whitton's 134 boxes of personal papers. The discovery of its contents made the outspoken former mayor of Ottawa and child welfare advocate once again the subject of controversy.


Whitton - who was elected mayor in 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1964 and who later served as an alderman until 1972 - wished the box to remain closed until 1999. It contains hundreds of letters written by Whitton over the course of two years to her housemate and companion Margaret Grier. Grier died in 1947.


The box contains a file folder filled with correspondence between the two women, and letters to Grier that appear to be Whitton's attempt to purge the guilt she felt for being absent on business when Grier died.


It is the nature of these letters which has sparked the controversy, for they reveal an intimate and loving relationship between the two women which spanned the course of 30 years. Charlotte Whitton was a feminist to be sure, but was she also a lesbian?

taken from a story by reporter Derek Meade, 1999


I have heard the term "Bostonian Marriage" before and wondered if it was simply a cover for lesbian relationships. But recently I've wondered if it would be possible have a long term relationship without sex or sexual attraction?? (Yes, I’m a little down on men right now)


I'm not just talking room-mates here. I mean a full out, committed relationship and agreement to "set up house" together. Pay the bills jointly, take care of the choirs, have joint ownership, etc.

Could two straight women do it and actually thrive? I would think all that estrogen in one home wouldn't be a good thing. Imagine living with someone who PMSed at the same time you did!


All jokes aside, I would think you would have to feel very strongly about the other woman. Like a sister or a soul mate.



Any thoughts??

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