Date of Award
Bachelor of arts (BA)
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Looking at a variety of newspaper articles published in Seattle, Tacoma, other Washington cities, and a few published sparsely across the rest of the country, I examined how these texts represented Harry Allen: his crimes, his character, and his gender expression and presentation. Reporters were fascinated with Allen’s deviancy from gender norms. Over years of culminated exaggerations and false details, they weaponized Allen’s life as a man against him. Contradictions and manipulations in reporting help to show how Allen’s dangerous persona was crafted over the course of his life. Harry Allen’s closeness, or perceived closeness, to the criminal underworld was used to make him seem more dangerous. When dubious reports blamed Allen for multiple suicides, they further emphasized his true sex and represented his daily life as abnormal and inherently dangerous. All this unwanted media attention not only added stress into his life but gave him a bolstered reputation—turning him into a Seattle character.
Widdowson, Oryan, "A Deep Voice: How Newspapers Talk About Harry Allen, 1900 - 1923." (2022). History Undergraduate Theses. 58.