Friday, April 10, 2009

Where is Ann?

For years now, I've faithfully read the work of a talented, insightful, entertaining columnist, Dave Bakke of the State Journal-Register. You'll want to read his column today to hear more about where Lincoln's first love, Ann Rutledge, was once buried in Old Concord Cemetary near Petersburg - and, some folks think, might still be.

Even if Ann isn't buried there, there are plenty of other New Salem residents still resting there, as Bakke points out:

"There is Jack Armstrong, the roughest of the rowdy Clary’s Grove Boys who Lincoln wrestled to a draw. Armstrong’s was the one Harmening most wanted to find.

Here also are members of the Berry family, descendants of William Berry, who owned the New Salem store with Lincoln.

John Clary, leader of the Clary’s Grove Boys and other members of the Clary family; Jacob Short, Lincoln’s friend; Joshua Short, Revolutionary War soldier; and Ann Rutledge’s father, James, one of the founders of New Salem. They are all buried here."

Unfortunately, the cemetery lies off the beaten path in the middle of a farmer's field. Too bad. Two hundred years after Lincoln's birth, there are still plenty of us studying Lincoln and those formative New Salem years. It would be nice to see where those who touched his life were laid to rest, and as Bakke's source, Bill Harmening, former Menard County sheriff’s deputy, pointed out, to stand where Lincoln stood.

© Copyright 2009 Ann Tracy Mueller. All rights reserved.

No comments: