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Chapter 6.

  • Lincoln falls in love with Anne Rutledge.
  • -- the old story. -- description of the girl. -- the affair with John McNeil. -- departure of McNeil for New York. -- Anne learns of the change of name. -- her faith under fire. -- Lincoln appears on the scene. -- Courting in dead earnest. -- Lincoln's proposal accepted. -- the ghost of another love. -- death of Anne. -- effect on Lincoln's mind. -- his suffering. -- kindness of Bowlin Greene.--“Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?” -- letter to Dr. Drake. -- return of McNamar.


Since the days when in Indiana, Lincoln sat on the river's bank with little Kate Roby, dangling his bare feet in the water, there had been no hint in these pages of tender relations with any one of the opposite sex. Now we approach in timely order the “grand passion” of his life — a romance of much reality, the memory of which threw a melancholy shade over the remainder of his days. For the first time our hero falls in love. The courtship with Anne Rutledge and her untimely death form the saddest page in Mr. Lincoln's history. I am aware that most of his biographers have taken issue with me on this phase of Mr. Lincoln's life. Arnold says: “The picture has been somewhat too highly colored, and the story made rather too tragic.” Dr. Holland and others omit the subject altogether, while the most recent biography — the admirable history by my friends Nicolay and Hay --devotes but five lines to it. I knew Miss Rutledge myself, as well as her father and other members of the family, and have been personally acquainted with every one of the score or more of witnesses whom I at one time or another interviewed on this delicate subject. From my own knowledge and the information thus obtained, I therefore repeat, that the memory of Anne

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