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    Dennis Friend Hanks' Homemade Wooden Pen. Approximately 5.5" long quill pen, affixed by ribbon to a small card bearing a note in an unknown hand which states that the pen was "made by Dennis F. Hanks, the man who taught Abraham Lincoln to write. It is like the one he made for Abe when he gave him his 'first lesson.' Mr. Hanks lives in Charleston, Coles Co. [Illinois] and is 86 years of age. Presented by A.H. Davis." The age statement fixes the date of this quaint (and appropriate) relic to ca 1885; Hanks, born in 1799, was the first cousin of Nancy Hanks Lincoln and boyhood friend of Abraham Lincoln, whom he taught to write. TOGETHER WITH: Document Signed "D.F. Hanks", one page, 6.25" x 5", no place, no date (probably Coles County, Illinois, ca 1840). A two-line verdict in an unnamed lawsuit, finding "in favor of the defendant", signed by Hanks and five other jurors. Hanks, who said he ran over to see the newborn "Abe" the day he was born and held him in his arms, joined Thomas Lincoln's household in 1818 after his own adoptive parents and Abraham's mother Nancy had died of milk sickness. Although ten years the senior, he and Abraham were close companions, and he taught the ill-schooled Abraham how to write. In 1821 he married Lincoln's stepsister Sarah Johnston, and in 1830 the families moved together to Illinois. Dennis always resided thereafter near Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. A very uncommon autograph.

    Provenance: Document part of lot 226, Roy P. Crocker collection, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 28 November 1979; Timothy H. Bakken; George Rinsland auctions, Allentown, Pennsylvania; pen part of H.W. Fay Collection sold by Riba-Mobley Auctions, South Glastonbury, CT 26 October 1985, lot 197.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,502

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