This Springfield attorney clerked under Lincoln at the Lincoln & Herndon law offices (1856-61), though after fighting in the Civil War he worked in banking, investing and farming; he is well known for his popular 1916 account "Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln" and his 1924 "Intimate Character Sketches of Abraham Lincoln." Item #40615
ALS, 1p, 6¼" X 7¼", Springfield, IL, 1922 August 18. Addressed to George P. Hambrecht (1871-1943), noted education official, Lincoln scholar and founder of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin (which still exists today!). Near fine. On his imprinted letterhead, Rankin sends Hambrecht a cordial letter of advice and encouragement to this Lincoln buff about to tour England: "Only lines to wish you all good things and peoples in the mission you'r going on. Have you Lord Charnwood's Abraham Lincoln? If not, get it for reading on the 'Magestic' as you go out. Then if it can at all comport with your plans and time, see the Lord at, Stowe House, Litchfield, 108 Eaton Square S.W. England. Excepting the first 5 chaps. (in which he follows Lamon & Herndon too literally) he has written the most discriminating -- I might say, -- the best appreciative estimate of the real Lincoln we have. Should you see him, convey to him my good wishes and highest regards. Ah! I almost wish I was 30 yrs. younger, and was going with you. But -- then -- I just recall -- I've had so much of life in my nearly 86 years. It's better, -- after awhile, to pull down the shades and turn on Eternities Lights...." With original imprinted envelope (addressed to Hambrecht in another hand) and 8½" X 11" onionskin carbon copy of Hambrecht's transcription of this letter. A delightful Lincoln content piece from one in his immediate circle.