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A Biography of Young Abe for Younger Readers From The Story Of Young Abraham Lincoln: To the motherless boy the thought of his blessed mother being buried without any religious service whatever added a keen pang to the bitterness of his lot. Dennis Hanks once told how eagerly Abe learned to write: "Sometimes he would write with a piece of charcoal, or the p'int of a burnt stick, on the fence or floor. We got a little paper at the country town, and I made ink out of blackberry juice, briar root and a little copperas in it. It was black, but the copperas would eat the paper after a while. I made his first pen out of a turkey-buzzard feather. We hadn't no geese them days-to make good pens of goose quills." As soon as he was able Abe Lincoln wrote his first letter. It was addressed to Parson Elkin, the Baptist preacher, who had sometimes stayed over night with the family when they lived in Kentucky, to ask that elder to come and preach a sermon over his mother's grave. It had been a long struggle to learn to write "good enough for a preacher"-especially for a small boy who is asking such a favor of a man as "high and mighty" as a minister of the Gospel seemed to him. It was a heartbroken plea, but the lad did not realize it. It was a short, straightforward note, but the good preacher's eyes filled with tears as he read it.