What if Anne Rutledge was Lincoln's wife during the war?

shermans_march

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#1
Ann Rutledge was Abe Lincoln's first love. They cared about each other so much and planned on getting married. Unfortunately she died of typhoid fever in 1835. If she had lived and married him what effect would that have had on Lincoln? Would it have possibly changed his life long depression or have effected the course of the Civil War in an major way. Mary Lincoln wasn't the ideal companion during this rough and trying period, more worried about her White House parties, her appearance, and her husbands reelection that anything else. This woman evidently affected Lincoln a lot, from reading certain portions of his early life in a biography a couple years back. Apparently Lincoln visited her on her death bed and they talked for awhile. Upon exiting the room he looked back and Ann and him were in tears. That really effect me and shows how much this loss would effect both of them.

This is a quote by Lincoln while president talking about his first love, "It is true—true indeed I did. I loved the woman dearly and soundly: She was a handsome girl—would have made a good, loving wife… I did honestly and truly love the girl and think often, often of her now."
 

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#2
Interesting question, @shermans_march. I don't know how much of an impact Ann may have had on how Lincoln conducted the War. I can say that depression, especially of long duration, isn't easily influenced by the people around you. Personally, I think Mary Lincoln gets a bad, unfair rap in this regard; she endured so much loss during the war years that many of her reactions are understandable. I would never suggest that she caused or exacerbated Lincoln's sadness, but it is possible that he might have felt easier unburdening himself to an easier going partner (as Grant was fortunate enough to find).
 
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#3
From my understanding their 'love affair' isn't historically proven, just from the words of residents of New Salem after-the-fact. I don't think it's out of the question he liked her quite a bit, but the tale seems to flip back and forth as whether it was real or not.

But onto the premise of the thread, who knows. If they would have had kids, would one of them die early on? Would they have to bury another while in Washington? I don't think any of that can be discounted in terms of Lincoln's depression at times. And the war took its toll and that would have been the same regardless of his spouse. Of course Mary caused some more grief but who knows what life would have been like with Ann or how she would have coped with the pressure they were both under.
 

shermans_march

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#4
From my understanding their 'love affair' isn't historically proven, just from the words of residents of New Salem after-the-fact. I don't think it's out of the question he liked her quite a bit, but the tale seems to flip back and forth as whether it was real or not.

But onto the premise of the thread, who knows. If they would have had kids, would one of them die early on? Would they have to bury another while in Washington? I don't think any of that can be discounted in terms of Lincoln's depression at times. And the war took its toll and that would have been the same regardless of his spouse. Of course Mary caused some more grief but who knows what life would have been like with Ann or how she would have coped with the pressure they were both under.
There is some doubt about whether or their relationship happened or not. Sources of Herndon are something that should be taken with a grain of salt since he was pretty biased. Lincoln allegedly made that quote.
 

shermans_march

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#5
Interesting question, @shermans_march. I don't know how much of an impact Ann may have had on how Lincoln conducted the War. I can say that depression, especially of long duration, isn't easily influenced by the people around you. Personally, I think Mary Lincoln gets a bad, unfair rap in this regard; she endured so much loss during the war years that many of her reactions are understandable. I would never suggest that she caused or exacerbated Lincoln's sadness, but it is possible that he might have felt easier unburdening himself to an easier going partner (as Grant was fortunate enough to find).
Apparently Ann's death was one of the episodes that plunged Lincoln into intense despair and had people worrying about his sanity and attempts on his life.
 
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#6
There is some doubt about whether or their relationship happened or not. Sources of Herndon are something that should be taken with a grain of salt since he was pretty biased. Lincoln allegedly made that quote.
Yeah, I familiar with the quote. Either his boyhood home or the Lincoln Homestead makes mention of the possible relationship. That and another woman, Mary Owens I think it was?
 



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