William Herndon Lincoln's last law partner and biographer, described John Hanks saying "Lincoln loved this man, thought him beautiful, honest, and noble. Lincoln stated this to me over and over again." Hanks would repay Lincoln's trust in him by accompanying him on visits to his beloved stepmother Sarah, near Charleston, Illinois. At that time Sarah cried, afraid she would never see Abraham alive again, a prophecy that John Hanks was to sadly confirm when he went to Springfield to attend Lincoln's funeral.
Unlike his cousin, John Hanks was unable to master the art of reading and writing. This handicap caused Hanks later concern with Lincoln. During the 1860 presidential election, Democrats claimed that Hanks was not going to vote for Lincoln. Richard Oglesby then helped Hanks write a letter stating the rumor was untrue and that he supported Lincoln, "a man so honest under all circumstances for his whole life." Once Lincoln was elected President, he was besieged by people seeking political jobs. Hanks was among these, asking Lincoln for a job as an Indian Agent. Lincoln had wanted to give him the position but had to deny it after Hanks could not fill out the paperwork. Eventually Hanks enlisted in the 21st Illinois Infantry and was made a Wagoner, a position that did not require him to be literate.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 11:12pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 329213 N 4416767|
|Decimal Degrees||39.88378333, -88.99733333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 53.027', W 88° 59.84'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 53' 1.62" N, 88° 59' 50.40" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 3401-3439 Boiling Springs Rd, Decatur IL 62526, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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