Abraham Lincoln's relationship with Ann Rutledge is still being researched. Their relationship is considered by some historians to be a legend while other historians consider it to be fact. Abe's relationship with Mary Owens can be more easily verified by his letters to her.
Abraham was reportedly engaged twice before his engagement and marriage to Mary Todd.
- Ann Rutledge: Born on January 7, 1813 near Henderson, Kentucky. Although Ann was apparently engaged to John McNamar, she is believed by some historians to have been Abraham's first love. She died at age 22 on August 25, 1835, probably from typhoid. The Lincoln-Rutledge Legend
"Ann Rutledge was, to our knowledge, Lincoln's first and perhaps most passionate love."
Source: Doris Kearns Goodwin. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. page 55.
- Mary S. Owens: Born in 1808. Abraham Lincoln and Mary Owens met in 1833 in New Salem, Illinois while she was visiting her sister. In 1837, Abraham proposed to Mary Owens. However, after being aware that Mary had gained weight, he sent another letter and the 28 year old Mary turned him down. No wonder considering what he wrote to her:
"This thing of living in Springfield is rather a dull business after all. I am afraid you would not be satisfied. There is a great deal of flourishing about in carriages here, which it would be your doom to see without shareing in it. You would have to be poor without the means of hiding your poverty. Do you believe you could bear that patiently?...What I have said I will most positively abide by, provided you wish it. My opinion is that you had better not do it. You have not been accustomed to hardship, and it may be more severe than you now immagine."
Source: Doris Kearns Goodwin. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. page 94.
Mary died in 1877.