Before telegraph lines connected Central Illinois communities in the early 1850s, most of Lincoln’s correspondence and legal documents were written using a quill or nib pen dipped in ink.
Letters from Lincoln
December 21, 1858
My young friend George Perrin Davis, has allowed me the honor of being the first to write his name in this book. Bloomington,
Dec, 21. 1858 — A. Lincoln —
...Do you remember my going to the city while I was in Kentucky, to have a tooth extracted, and making a failure of it? Well, that same old tooth got to paining me so much, that about a week since I had it torn out, bringing with it a bit of the jawbone; the consequence of which is that my mouth is now so sore that I can neither talk, nor eat. I am litterally “subsisting on savoury remembrances,” —that is, being, unable to eat, I am living upon the remembrance of the delicious dishes of peaches and cream we used to have at your house...
Your sincere friend, A. Lincoln
I can not learn of a single copy of the Revised Code being here for sale. Sorry; but it seems to be so.
Does the Rev,. John S. Barger occasinally cross your path?
— Yours truly A. Lincoln
I am in a little trouble here. I am trying to get a decree for our “Billy the Barber,” for the conveyance of certain town lots sold to him by Allen, Gridly and Prickett. I made you a party, as administrator of Prickett, but the Clerk omitted to put your name in the writ, and so you are not served. Billy will blame me, if I do not get the thing fixed up this time. If, therefore, you will be so kind as to sign the authority below, and send it to me by return mail, I shall be greatly obliged, and will be careful that you shall not be involved, or your rights invaded by it. Yours as ever
Dear Sir I have to day drawn on you in favor of the McLean
County Bank, or rather it’s cashier, for one hundred and fifty
dollars. This is intended as a fee for all services done by me for
the Illinois Central Railroad, since last September, within the
counties of McLean and DeWitt. Within that term, and in the
two counties, I have assisted, for the Road, in at least fifteen
cases (I believe, one or two more,) and I have concluded to
lump them off at ten dollars a case. With this explanation, I
shall be obliged if you will honor the draft.
Yours truly A. Lincoln