Who Was Ann Rutledge?


Quick Answer

Historians believe that Ann Rutledge was Abraham Lincoln’s first love, although Lincoln never confirmed this relationship. Rutledge died from typhoid fever at the age of 22.

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Full Answer

Born in Kentucky in 1813, Rutledge moved with her family to Illinois, where her father founded the town of New Salem. Rutledge was engaged to John MacNamar, a man who left Illinois to travel to New York. After MacNamar left town, Rutledge and Lincoln became friends and possibly developed a romantic relationship, although the romance is still debated by historians.

Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon, revealed the story of the romantic relationship between Rutledge and Lincoln after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

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