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The Shadows Rise
10-26-2012, 04:11 PM
Post: #1
The Shadows Rise
Has anyone read this book about Abraham Lincoln and Ann Rutledge?

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/cat...20117.html

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-26-2012, 04:16 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Shadows Rise
I have it, but haven't read it yet. It's one of the better books about the pair.

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

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-26-2012, 10:14 PM
Post: #3
RE: The Shadows Rise
(10-26-2012 04:16 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  I have it, but haven't read it yet. It's one of the better books about the pair.

Best
Rob

Rob,
I love the book.

It really shoots down the far too influential "Sifting the Ann Rutledge Evidence" in "Lincoln the President" by James Randall. Randall's wife actually wrote it. (I am aware of your expertise in Randall, so I will defer to you.) In a letter James Randall calls the piece Ruth's work.

She really made it seem like half the people in New Salem thought nothing of the kind of any romantic relationship occurring and the other half that did were senile. Her most flagerant violation was a very selective quote of Uncle Jimmy Short that changed the meaning of what he said.

If you read the book it was basically unanimous among the people of New Salem that Lincoln and Ann had some kind of romantic relationship. There was some disagreement about the engagement, etc. But less than you would think.

I have often thought "Sifting the Ann Rutledge Evidence" from "Lincoln the President" was one of the worst things to ever happen to Lincoln scholarship. Burlingame once said, that because of it for decades historians treated all the valuable Herndon/Weik material like "high level toxic waste." It seems to me Doug Wilson and others brought it back in the 1990s and really started the renisance in Lincoln literature we have seen since then.

It still kind of irks me when I read facile generalizations of some in the media when they mention it as saying "There is no evidence" of this occurring.

Also, the late Dr. Tripp wrote an awful piece being critical of Ike Cogdal and using a statistical model to show Lincoln never remembered Ann Rutledge to him in 1860. Michael Burlingame took this apart pretty convincingly. You can't use a statistical model to show word correlation in someone giving a rememberace of a conversation 6 years earlier. They are of course not going to remember the exact wording. Of course Tripp had a strong motive to discredit Cogdal because his book argued Lincoln was a homosexual.

Also, Cogdal talked about religion with Lincoln about the same time. Herndon wrote in his notes. People have cast doubt on that because Lincoln would supposedly never open himself up on the subject. What is so silly about this is if you look at the interview. Herndon writes on it he was in the room at the time and the conversation was correct. I don't see what more you could ask for.

Okay...sorry for being very long winded...read the book and tell us what you think!
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10-26-2012, 10:43 PM
Post: #4
RE: The Shadows Rise
Mike,

Of course you're right about Ruth Randall's influence on the story, and that she was the true author of the appendix in Randall's book. Both she and James were even able to convince Carl Sandburg to distrust the story, which he changed in his single-volume history of Lincoln. Randall had a strong dislike of reminisce and wanted history to be written only with documentation, which as I explained to Lewis Gannett, who completed Tripp's book, would have been unlikely to exist given that 1) Ann and Abraham both lived in the same town making letter writing superfluous; 2) that it would be conceivable that if letters did exist, Lincoln could have destroyed them after Ann's death as they were a painful reminder of yet another woman's death which affected him; and 3) if the first two were wrong, it's conceivable that Robert Todd Lincoln could have destroyed any incriminating evidence.

I will have to read the book (and I would urge anyone else interested in the story to do so as well) as both Tarbell and Sandburg wrote a great deal about Ann.

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

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-27-2012, 04:51 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Shadows Rise
I agree with both Mike and Rob. For me this relationship has almost become a no-brainer. If one looks at all the Lincoln stories and legends there are not too many that have this sort of evidence.

Example: the first chapter of Honor's Voice describes a tremendous variance in the details of the Lincoln-Armstrong wrestling match.

Another example: did Nancy Hanks Lincoln die of milk sickness? We're not so sure when we read Ed Steers' two posts here.

In another thread we discussed the wife-beating incident in which Lincoln was allegedly part of a group who dragged a guy to a pole to be beaten by his wife. We are going by one man's word on that one.

However, regarding Ann/Abraham, John Evangelist Walsh cites Douglas Wilson's research among 24 New Salem residents who were contacted by Herndon. Although memories were obviously wavering after the passage of time, 22 of the 24 according to Wilson were favorable to the question, "Did Lincoln love or court Ann Rutledge?"

I mean what more is needed for a Lincoln story to be true? How many Lincoln stories do we have 22 of 24 interviewees agreeing on something?

I am a believer.
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10-28-2012, 07:39 AM
Post: #6
RE: The Shadows Rise
I agree--"The Shadows Rise" is a must read for anyone interested in the Lincoln/Rutledge romance.
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02-03-2013, 03:55 PM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2013 04:07 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #7
RE: The Shadows Rise
Just finished reading this book. It's pretty good. It's not a retelling of the story of Lincoln in New Salem and his relationship with Ann. It is an examination of letters and interviews , mostly letters to Herndon and notes from interviews by Herndon compared and commented on. There is more substance and documentation to the story of their relationship than I thought. I found the letters from the Rutlidge family compelling.

I just found where many of these letters have been collected into a book "Herndon's Informants -
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/herndons...0252023286

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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02-03-2013, 04:06 PM
Post: #8
RE: The Shadows Rise
I agree with you, Joe and Gene. I do not know what others think, but my personal favorite book about Lincoln in New Salem is the one by Benjamin P. Thomas.
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02-04-2013, 05:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: The Shadows Rise
(02-03-2013 04:06 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  I agree with you, Joe and Gene. I do not know what others think, but my personal favorite book about Lincoln in New Salem is the one by Benjamin P. Thomas.

It is also my favorite--to me Benjamin Thomas also wrote the best one-volume of Lincoln ever produced.
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11-10-2015, 03:22 AM
Post: #10
RE: The Shadows Rise
There's a mystery to me about the Lincoln-Rutledge affair. I can't figure out the dynamics of John McNamar. I have not seen the 2009 book by John Evanglist Walsh, The Shadows Rise, maybe it clears up all the mysteries? It looks to me that John McNamar had many irons-in-the-fire, and was little concerned much about either Ann Mayes Rutledge or Abraham Lincoln. It appears John McNamar was born 1801 in Lamoille County, Vermont. His parents moved to Colesville, Broome County NY by 1820. They were John McNamarah and Lydia Welch. I'm guessing John Sr or both were born in Scotland or Ireland. By 1829, John McNamar was in New Salem Illinois and built a store jointly owned with Sam Hill. And
calling himself (many folks say) John McNeil he became engaged to the very young Ann Rutledge. Then (some stories go) John revealed his actual name was John McNamar and he would return to New York to tend to his ailing father. He had called himself McNeil because that was a family name, back in New York. Next, John McNamar left and didn't return for more than a year, just after Ann Rutledge died, possibly of
typhoid fever, Aug 1835. But John McNamar's father died April 1833
in Broome NY. So, John's story was bogus. And his mother's name was Welch not McNeil, so that was a fake too. I see some researchers claimed that 'John McNamar never returned, was never heard from again'. But the folks in New Salem certainly remember John returning. And soon, he lived over in Menard County, Petersburg, Illinois. John McNamar lived there until long after the War, just before the 1880 census. Lincoln had been listed as a witness or legal on several John McNamar deeds, over the coming years. John McNamar had first married Deborah Latimer 1814-1846. I suppose John was not married to Deborah when he 'became engaged to Ann Rutledge'? The story then goes that 'John McNamar married the widow of John McNeil'. There we have that name McNeil suddenly come up again. But that was the same name John McNamar had been supposedly using, too. In taking a brief look at the residents, I really don't see another John McNeil (who married Eliza Jane Short). Is it possible that Eliza Short married first John McNamar (AS John McNeil) , then he merely legally extinguished that name with the purported death of John McNeil? And remarried to Eliza Jane Short this time as John McNamar? If there really was a John McNeil who had first married Eliza Short (McNamar future wife, later as a widow), what are odds that McNamar would first have appeared in New Salem and
calling himself McNeil, and then later married 'the widow of that John McNeil'?

Then there's the odd arrangement of young Ann Rutledge and McNamar. On the face of it, the girl was so proper and duty-bound, that she would refuse all marriage proposals from Lincoln for a couple years, on the lofty notion that a shady character John McNamar was going to return someday and marry her? It would seem more likely that Ann Rutledge was using the nebulous marriage engagement with McNamar, to keep putting off Lincoln --perhaps stringing along Abraham Lincoln. But for what reasons, juvenile or adult, might Ann have done that? But, in that strained process, and with her sad early death, Rutledge put in motion into the mind of Lincoln a very powerful sorrow which nearly verged into his own suicide? It's like a long running soap-opera that we have missed several installments of, and the actions and motives don't seem to add up.
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11-10-2015, 05:30 AM
Post: #11
RE: The Shadows Rise
(11-10-2015 03:22 AM)maharba Wrote:  I have not seen the 2009 book by John Evanglist Walsh, The Shadows Rise, maybe it clears up all the mysteries?

I can only speak for myself. For me this book cleared away any lingering doubts I may have had on the Lincoln-Rutledge romance. I came away from this book convinced the romance was very real. However, for those folks who have doubted the romance, I do not think this book changed their minds. The debate goes on...

(11-10-2015 03:22 AM)maharba Wrote:  But, in that strained process, and with her sad early death, Rutledge put in motion into the mind of Lincoln a very powerful sorrow which nearly verged into his own suicide?

I may be in the minority, I think, but I feel the degree and length of Lincoln's melancholy may have been overrated. I have read where his depression lasted into the next year, and that he had a nervous breakdown. I have not seen any evidence that this really occurred in 1836. Certainly Lincoln experienced periods of depression (or "the hypo" as he put it), but IMO some authors over-emphasize this.
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11-10-2015, 05:46 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2015 05:58 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #12
RE: The Shadows Rise
I feel the same. I think the romance was real, but the melancholy respective it's length and the affair's "prevailing over Mary" overrated. I believe it could well have been that if she had not died the affair would still have come to an end like it happens to "first romances" (with the same kind of temporary sadness and heartache).

(02-04-2013 05:10 PM)Joe Di Cola Wrote:  
(02-03-2013 04:06 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  I agree with you, Joe and Gene. I do not know what others think, but my personal favorite book about Lincoln in New Salem is the one by Benjamin P. Thomas.

It is also my favorite--to me Benjamin Thomas also wrote the best one-volume of Lincoln ever produced.
I agree with Roger, and with Joe, too, just that both, Thomas and Donald share my #1 position
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11-10-2015, 06:57 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2015 06:58 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #13
RE: The Shadows Rise
Speaking of McNamar, didn't the Rutledge's rent some of his farm property before he left, and not long after Ann and her father died, he returned to shortly evict her mother and family from the premises?

If you are looking for a romance story of Ann and Abraham try these...
"The Soul of Ann Rutledge" by Bernie Babcock
http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussio...hlight=Ann

or, a little shorter "Lincoln's First Love"
http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussio...-1785.html

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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11-11-2015, 04:56 AM
Post: #14
RE: The Shadows Rise
Yes, I see old papers quoting Ann's sister Sarah Rutledge Saunders with harsh words for John McNamar, that he bought their property and threw her mother out. That her mother then had to make the move out to Iowa because of McNamar. It seems hard for me to believe that, after all the research of William Herndon and others, that no one seems to have noticed the marriage(s) of Eliza Jane Short to first a John McNeil and then later to John McNamar --who appears to be one and the same man. Surely, Herndon must have heard and commented on that, somewhere in his writings? And doesn't the SHADOWS book say that John McNamar claimed that he wrote Lincoln's very first speech for him, or collaborated in writing it? Lincoln when writing to him apparently called him 'Mack' at times, in their business dealings. And when John McNamar went back to NY for a time, didn't he complain that Abraham Lincoln had broken into a locked trunk that McNamar had left, and Lincoln had stolen items from it? McNamer and Lincoln remained on friendly and good business terms. I would have thought that, if anything, Lincoln would be outraged if McNamar had thrown the Rutledge family out of their home.
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11-11-2015, 07:24 AM
Post: #15
RE: The Shadows Rise
(11-11-2015 04:56 AM)maharba Wrote:  Lincoln when writing to him apparently called him 'Mack' at times

Yes. Here is a letter Lincoln wrote to him:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

DEAR MACK: Vandalia, Dec. 24, 1836.

I write this to notify you that I have received the petition for the change of the state road, so as to make it run by Tilman Hornsecker's and Bowman's, and that unless you, who are opposed to the change, get up a remonstrance and send it on, I shall be forced to have a bill passed upon the petition. I might write you a long letter of political news but you will see that as soon in the newspapers, which will save me the trouble.

If you feel any particular interest in this affair don't fail to bestir yourself.

Your friend, A. LINCOLN.
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