Abe Lincoln giving relationship advice? Really?????I'm sure we all know brilliant people and sometimes marvel at how they lack common sense. This is one of those little known factotums I had to share about Abe Lincoln.
Let me set the stage. Abe is 24 working as a postmaster in Illinois. His friend was married to a beautiful woman, Elizabeth who had a sister Mary Owen's living in Kentucky. She was also 24. Lincoln acknowledging he was not close to being handsome joked with his friend's wife that he would marry her sister if she moved to Illinois. (What could he possibly be thinking?)
The sisters chat and Mary makes plans to visit her sister in Illinois. Here is brief exchange Abe had with another friend. “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."
The letter goes on but you get the idea. 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.
He began a barrage of letter writing telling Mary how awful New Salem was and how miserable she would be living in this Godforsaken town. When that didn't appear to do the trick he talked about how penniless he was and how she would have to live the rest of her life in poverty. Well, it finally worked and Mary gave him the shade and moved back to Kentucky without saying a word to Abe. She later married and had two children.
Amazingly Abe said that his feeling were hurt that she didn't acknowledge his last letter. Really????
After that anyone who asked Abe for advice about getting out of relationships he touted his "You'll be miserable journey!"
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