Lincoln and Mary S. Owens....

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,327
Reaction score
1,741
Here I found this on Mary S. Owens and Lincoln letters to her... at a auction... if you got a letter from Lincoln its worth half a million...



Coming to auction next week is a two-page letter written in December 1836 by a young Abraham Lincoln to Mary S. Owens, the woman some call his first fiancée. It is estimated to sell for $500,000-700,000.

Soth-Lincoln.jpgRumors have long circulated that Lincoln's marriage to Mary Todd was unhappy at best, and none of his courtship correspondence to her survives. Nor do letters to Ann Rutledge, another inamorata suggested by Lincoln's biographers. His feelings for Mary Owens, however, are well documented, if not always clear. He met her in New Salem, Illinois, in 1833 when she was visiting her sister. Three years later, during another visit, their relationship was rekindled (strongly encouraged by Owens' sister). Like Lincoln, Owens was a Kentucky native and, by all accounts, quite the intellectual. Soon there was talk of marriage (some historians believe it was all a misunderstanding), and when Lincoln left for the opening session of the new state legislature, he wrote to Owens:

"I have been sick ever since my arrival here, or I should have written sooner. It is but little difference, however, as I have very little even yet to write. And more, the longer I can avoid the mortification of looking in the Post Office for your letter and not finding it, the better. You see I am mad about that old letter yet. I dont like very well to risk you again. I'll try you once more any how."
Then, after discussing politics (in detail), Lincoln concluded:

"Write back as soon as you get this, and if possible say something that will please me for really I have not [been] pleased since I left you. This letter is so dry and [stupid] that I am ashamed to send it, but with my present feelings I can not do any better."
It is not only the earliest of Lincoln's three known letters to Owens, but the only one remaining in private hands, according to Sotheby's. It has remained in the family since Owens died in 1877. The second letter was sold at auction to collector Malcolm Forbes in 1987 and then, in 2002, it was auctioned once again for $779,500 to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at the New-York Historical Society. The third was given to the Library of Congress.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,327
Reaction score
1,741
Here some more on Mary Owens and Lincoln's breakup.... Lincoln is a heel...

LINK: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/abraham-lincoln-mary-owens-springfield

Born in 1808, the daughter of a successful planter from Kentucky, Owens was 24 when she first met Lincoln in 1833. (Abe, still nearly 30 years away from the presidency, was 24, too.) Owens had traveled from Green County, Kentucky, to visit her married sister Elizabeth Abell in New Salem, Illinois, where Lincoln was living at the time and employed as a postmaster. Lincoln was a friend of Abell’s, and she introduced him to her sister. Lincoln later remarked to Abell that, if Mary Owens ever returned to Illinois, he’d wed her. It seems Elizabeth told her sister as much.

Snip... notice what I highlight... little interest in women...

If Lincoln did not fully expect to get hitched, he at least wrote to his friend Mrs. Eliza Browning that, if he and Mary did link up again, he “saw no good objection to plodding life through hand in hand with her.” (How romantic?) Lincoln didn’t have a reputation as a ladies’ man: His New Salem neighbors recalled that “Lincoln didn’t go see girls much…seemed as if he cared but little for them.” So he was fairly surprised when Mary returned to town in 1836, seemingly at her sister’s behest, fully prepared to marry him.

Snip... Lincoln gets rude....

It’s unclear whether Lincoln truly intended to make good on his promise. But if he ever did, he had certainly changed his mind when he and Mary Owens met again. After seeing her for the second time, he sent a scathing appraisal to Browning:


“I knew she was over-size, but she now appeared a fair match for Falstaff. I knew she was called an ‘old maid,’ and I felt no doubt of the truth of at least half of the appellation. But now, when I beheld her, I could not for my life avoid thinking of my mother. And this, not from withered features, for her skin was too full of fat to permit its contracting in to wrinkles; but from her want of teeth, weather-beaten appearance in general, and from a kind of notion that ran in my head, that nothing could have commenced at the size of infancy, and reached her present bulk in less than thirty-five or forty years; and, in short, I was not all pleased with her.”
Snip... Lincoln a wuss.... he is a heel...

Rather than fessing up to his feelings and having a frank conversation with Mary, Lincoln fled New Salem altogether. He moved to Springfield, Illinois, in 1837 to work as a lawyer. From there, he proceeded to write Mary Owens a series of letters trying to convince her that, while he was perfectly happy to marry her, it would definitely be no fun to be married to him.

sNIP...

Finally, Lincoln sent Mary a letter in which he claimed, “I want at this particular time, more than anything else, to do right with you; and if I knew it would be doing right, as I rather suspect it would, to let you alone, I would do it.” He was willing to marry her if she wanted—but he seemed to think it was a terrible idea. Apparently, Mary thought so, too.

sNIP... GOOD FOR MARY....

In the end, Mary ghosted him. Lincoln concluded his last letter to her stating, “If it suits you best to not answer this, farewell. A long life and a merry one attend you.” She never replied. This left Lincoln smarting. He later claimed, “My vanity was deeply wounded… that she whom I had taught myself to believe no body else would have, had actually rejected me with all my fancied greatness.


Snip... Lincoln tried the same trick again...

He would meet Mary Todd a few years after, and marry her in 1842—but not before trying to break off that engagement, too. Turns out he was more skilled at navigating national unions than personal ones.

Snip... I found a photo of Mary...

1593199834120.png
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,327
Reaction score
1,741
Here a good summary of Lincoln a the women he knew. I see he falls apart after Speed marries, sells the business and moves away...

LINK: https://lehrmaninstitute.org/history/essays9.html

sNIP... I think Lincoln is getting serious...

"Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented, and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy to fail in that effort," Abraham Lincoln wrote Mary Owens in May 1837. At the time, he and Mary Owens were engaged and Mr. Lincoln was trying to disengage.

Snip...

Mr. Lincoln went to considerable trouble to discourage her — all the while affirming that he would marry her if that were her wish. His dissuasion, while painful, was successful. Mary Owens herself decided that Abraham Lincoln was not marriage material. As she later said, he lacked "those little links which make up the great chain of womans happiness." When the relationship was finally terminated, Mr. Lincoln wrote a friend, "I have now come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason; I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me."

Snip... 1842 ... I want to point out Speed got marry and Lincoln had a breakdown, a duel and suicide thoughts could have been the loss of Speed...

But as Douglas L. Wilson made clear in Honor's Voice, a perceptive book on Lincoln's life during this period, Mr. Lincoln was struggling with many issues simultaneously —- issues that were to lead by the end of 1842 to a near breakdown, a near duel, a new law partner, a new wife, and retirement from the legislature.

Snip... Lincoln trying to run...

Wilson assembled the documentary evidence and concluded that Mr. Lincoln tried to back out of the engagement with Mary Todd near the beginning of December 1840 — first by undelivered letter and then in person. Mary Todd's tears unnerved him and led to a kiss, not of good-bye but of reconciliation. Speed called it a "bad lick.

Snip... Marriage to Mary a sham.... for honor... Speed leaving him....

Historian Wilson demonstrates that there is considerable evidence that Lincoln's sudden marriage — neither relatives nor friends knew of it until hours before it took place — was a matter more of honor than love. In January 1842, he had written Speed that he was tormented by the "never-absent idea, that there is one still unhappy who I have contributed to make so. That still kills my soul."
 
Top