ALTON — Though most credible historians consider the marriage of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln a strong one, their courtship was rocky. An area woman may have had something to do with that.
Matilda Edwards, who grew up in Edwardsville and Alton, was the heartthrob of Springfield societyand received a number of marriage proposals from suitors. One of them may have been Lincoln, whose attraction may have led to a temporary breakup with Mary Todd in early 1841.
Dr. Samuel Wheeler, State Historian of Illinois and Director of Research and Collections at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, said Lincoln scholars “are quite divided on the issue of whether or not Matilda was the cause” of Abraham and Mary’s breakup.
“But if you focus on the recollections of those who knew Lincoln best, I think there is some truth in it,” said Wheeler. “It seems they had an...
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