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Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
07-18-2012, 05:38 PM
Post: #1
Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
Just curious as to what members here think of the Ann Rutledge story?

1. I think it's a nice story, but no real proof so I think it's spurious.
2. I think it likely happened the way it's been reported.
3. I'm not sure.
4. No one will ever know.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell
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07-18-2012, 06:24 PM
Post: #2
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I am not sure whether it happened or not.
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07-18-2012, 06:48 PM
Post: #3
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I hope it happened the way it has been reported. I love a good love story, and I think the probability of Lincoln losing one love but finding another makes him more human.

And yes, I do think he loved Mary and respected the traits that she brought to the marriage until her problems entered the picture.
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07-18-2012, 09:31 PM
Post: #4
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I always believed the story, but if all the evidence was presented in a court of law I would have say that it might be spurious.

Craig
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07-18-2012, 09:31 PM
Post: #5
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I think it happened pretty much the way is was reported.
Much of Lincoln's life was dealing with adversity and tragedy. His coping and overcoming these things are what built and formed his charachter and made him capable of dealing with the challenges he faced later in life. That's just part of the legend. Compassionate strength.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-18-2012, 09:39 PM
Post: #6
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
Sounds good, Gene. I can't imagine having to face the heartache's Lincoln faced and then have to bind up the nation's wounds afterwards. To me he is strength and character personified.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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07-19-2012, 08:33 AM
Post: #7
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I have been watching the Open Championship this morning from the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course, and just as Tiger was lining up a putt, a telegram arrived. It was from a non-member named Wilma Minor. She wanted her opinion known, so I am taking a brief break from the golf. All she said was, "Yes, indeed, this was a powerful and truthful romance. No doubt whatsoever."
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07-19-2012, 08:52 AM
Post: #8
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
Roger, a telegram? Really?
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07-19-2012, 10:01 AM
Post: #9
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
Last Friday, I spent an hour or so walking through the Old Concord Cemetery outside of Petersburg, IL, where Ann was originally buried before some greedy undertaker (to promote Oakland Cemetery in Petersburg) dug up a few "remains" and moved them to the new cemetery. It is a lonely and remote spot in the middle of a farm field and, stifling hot as it was that day, I felt it was the type of place that Lincoln visited to grieve over the loss of Ann. Each time I have visited Old Concord I have been moved by Lincoln's loss. Although Herndon may have once used the story of Lincoln's romance with Ann to, perhaps, get a dig in at Mary Lincoln, I believe on testimony from Herdon's "informants" that the romance took place. There is a great monograph by, I believe, John Y. Simon that is a good summary of the Ann Rutledge story. I am still on the road so I can't give you the full source right now. Later, after I get back home, I will post a picture of Ann's original gravesite--although one already appears in Roger's superb Lincoln research site.
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07-19-2012, 11:37 AM
Post: #10
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
(07-19-2012 08:33 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  I have been watching the Open Championship this morning from the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course, and just as Tiger was lining up a putt, a telegram arrived. It was from a non-member named Wilma Minor. She wanted her opinion known, so I am taking a brief break from the golf. All she said was, "Yes, indeed, this was a powerful and truthful romance. No doubt whatsoever."

Roger,
Are you sure she didn't have another "Angle." (OK, bad joke, I know). Big Grin

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Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell
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07-19-2012, 11:43 AM
Post: #11
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I am in the "not sure" category. Like Laurie, I also hope it was true as was reported. Was she, as Edgar Lee Masters wrote: "Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln, wedded to him, not through union, but through separation...?" Perhaps we will never know, but it's fun to speculate!

Bill Nash
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07-19-2012, 12:10 PM (This post was last modified: 07-19-2012 12:21 PM by RJNorton.)
Post: #12
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
HA! Rob, I don't know about the other members, but I thought your "bad joke" (your words, definitely not mine!) was too cool for words. Maybe you'd rather meet Wilma at Connemara rather than the other lady we were thinking about (already forgot her name).
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07-19-2012, 01:15 PM
Post: #13
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
Thanks Roger, sometimes I have a good day.

As to my own question, I believe it. It's been hard for me to understand why many historians have done their level best to prove it false, especially Ruth Randall, who wrote the chapter on Rutledge in James G. Randall's Lincoln the President.

I think it's silly to think that Lincoln didn't have other relationships before Mary Todd, although I imagine you could count on one hand the number of women he was seriously interested in.

What clinched it for me was the story which appeared in the Menard Axis four years before Herndon gave his lecture. The article says:

He now became an actor in a new scene. He chanced to meet a lady who to him seemed lovely, angelic, and the height of perfection. Forgetful of all things else, he could think or dream of naught but her. His feelings he soon made her acquainted with, and was delighted with a reciprocation. This to him was perfect happiness, and with uneasy anxiety he awaited the arrival of the day when the twain should be one flesh. But that day was doomed never to arrive. Disease came upon this lovely beauty, and she sickened and died. The youth had wrapped his heart with hers, and this was more than he could bear. He saw her to her grave, and as the cold clods fell upon the coffin, he sincerely wished that he too had been enclosed within it. Melancholy came upon him; he was changed and sad. His friends detected strange conduct and a flighty imagination. New circumstances changed his thoughts, and at length he partially forgot that which for a time had consumed his mind.

What else could this be but the Ann Rutledge story, told in a Democratic paper in 1862.

Here is an article by Barry Schwartz on Ann Rutledge in American memory from the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. It's a little dry, but still interesting.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell
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07-19-2012, 01:56 PM
Post: #14
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
I might add that those of you who are thinking Rob and I are just a little bit crazy with our Wilma Minor talk, and you don't know who Wilma is, you will indeed find out if you go to the link Rob posted above.
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07-19-2012, 02:54 PM
Post: #15
RE: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge
(07-19-2012 01:15 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Thanks Roger, sometimes I have a good day.

As to my own question, I believe it. It's been hard for me to understand why many historians have done their level best to prove it false, especially Ruth Randall, who wrote the chapter on Rutledge in James G. Randall's Lincoln the President.

I think it's silly to think that Lincoln didn't have other relationships before Mary Todd, although I imagine you could count on one hand the number of women he was seriously interested in.

What clinched it for me was the story which appeared in the Menard Axis four years before Herndon gave his lecture. The article says:

He now became an actor in a new scene. He chanced to meet a lady who to him seemed lovely, angelic, and the height of perfection. Forgetful of all things else, he could think or dream of naught but her. His feelings he soon made her acquainted with, and was delighted with a reciprocation. This to him was perfect happiness, and with uneasy anxiety he awaited the arrival of the day when the twain should be one flesh. But that day was doomed never to arrive. Disease came upon this lovely beauty, and she sickened and died. The youth had wrapped his heart with hers, and this was more than he could bear. He saw her to her grave, and as the cold clods fell upon the coffin, he sincerely wished that he too had been enclosed within it. Melancholy came upon him; he was changed and sad. His friends detected strange conduct and a flighty imagination. New circumstances changed his thoughts, and at length he partially forgot that which for a time had consumed his mind.

What else could this be but the Ann Rutledge story, told in a Democratic paper in 1862.

Here is an article by Barry Schwartz on Ann Rutledge in American memory from the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. It's a little dry, but still interesting.

Best
Rob

Rob and Roger both!
Thanks for the Barry Schwartz reference and also for mentioning Wima Minor. I now can search for copies of her articles on Lincoln and Ann in The Atlantic. I love this networking!
Joe[/i]
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