In the late nineteenth century, it was common for two unmarried women to share a home. Many women, particularly those who were college educated, lived in long-term unions with other women. These relationships became known as "Boston Marriages." These relationships offered women of a certain class a socially acceptable alternative to a traditional marriage. Certainly some of these relationships had a sexual component, but it cannot be known how many. Today these women would have been called Lesbians, but the term was not coined until 1890.
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