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Ann Mayes Rutledge
Birth: Jan. 7, 1813
Death: Aug. 25, 1835

She was Abraham Lincoln’s First Love. Her death at the age of 22 led to Lincoln’s first known severe depression. Born Ann Mayes Rutledge near Henderson, Kentucky, she was the third of ten children born to Mary and James Rutledge. In 1829, her father, along with John M. Cameron, founded New Salem, Illinois, building a dam, sawmill and gristmill. As their business expanded, James Rutledge decided to lay out a town and sell lots of land. After the town started becoming populated, James Rutledge constructed a tavern and inn for arriving settlers. Ann grew up, helping her parents in the tavern, eventually taking over the family business. In an age where frontier girls were often only home taught in sewing, cooking, and other housewife type skills, she became the first girl to attend Mentor Graham’s New Salem School. She was described as bright and beautiful, with auburn hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion, height 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and 120 pounds. She had a positive character, and many people described her as sweet and angelic, beloved by nearly all who knew her. Her schoolteacher, Mentor Graham, described her as beautiful, amiable, kind, and an exceptionally good scholar. In 1832, young Abraham Lincoln boarded at the inn, where he got to meet her. She was then engaged to John MacNamar, who had started a General Store in town, and in the summer of 1832, he left to see his parents in New York, promising to marry Ann upon his return within a year. After leaving town, he disappeared, and despite many inquiries, no trace of him was ever found. Eventually, a relationship developed between Ann and young Abraham Lincoln, who was studying for his law degree. They appeared to be very genuinely in love, but in 1835, Ann contracted typhoid fever, and after a prolonged illness, she died that summer. After her death, Lincoln confided to Mentor Graham that he felt like committing suicide, but Mentor Graham reassured him that “God has another purpose for you.” Sadly, Ann died about 5 years before the invention of daguerreotype photography, so no photographs of her exist. Her epitaph on her tombstone, written by Edgar Lee Masters in 1890, reads: “Out of me unworthy and unknown, The vibrations of deathless music! ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all’. Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions, And the beneficent face of a nation, Shining with justice and truth. I am Ann Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds, Beloved of Abraham Lincoln, Wedded to him, not through union, But through separation. Bloom forever, O Republic, From the dust of my bosom!” The actual 8th line of the verse should read “Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,” according to a written copy of the epitaph published by Masters, but the words “in life” were omitted by the stone engraver for reasons unclear. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John James Rutledge (1781 - 1835)
  Mary Ann Miller Rutledge (1787 - 1878)
 
 Siblings:
  Ann Mayes Rutledge (1813 - 1835)
  Nancy Cameron Rutledge Prewitt (1821 - 1901)**
  William Blackhorn Rutledge (1826 - 1917)*
  Sarah Foster Rutledge Saunders (1829 - 1922)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Oakland Cemetery
Petersburg
Menard County
Illinois, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 02, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3004
Ann Mayes Rutledge
Added by: frank amari
 
Ann Mayes Rutledge
Added by: Connie Nisinger
 
Ann Mayes Rutledge
Added by: James E. Toal
 
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- sjm
 Added: Aug. 25, 2014

- Kat
 Added: Aug. 25, 2014
Remembering sweet Ann...ღ
- Edie xღxღxღ
 Added: Aug. 25, 2014
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