Ellen Tremaye was not like most of the other passengers aboard the Ocean Monarch, a ship sailing from Ireland to Victoria, Australia in 1856. Though the 26-year-old, Irish domestic servant was traveling alone, she brought along a trunk full of men’s clothes labeled “Edward de Lacy Evans,” fueling speculation that she had been abandoned by a suitor after being tricked into bringing his belongings aboard. Then there was her unusual behavior: She wore the same green dress every day, but with trousers and a man’s shirt underneath. She told her fellow passengers that she was going to marry her ship-mate, Mary Delahunty, as soon as they reached Australia, and she reportedly had “intimate friendships” with two other women who shared her bunk at various points in the voyage.
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