Nancy Hanks Lincoln

Resolution of the Mineral County Historical Society

WHEREAS February 12, 2009, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln; and

WHEREAS it being necessary and proper to pay tribute to the sixteenth President of the United States of America, it is likewise necessary and proper to pay tribute to Nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln and native West Virginian; and

WHEREAS Mineral County, West Virginia, has long been recognized as the birthplace of Nancy Hanks; and

WHEREAS in 1783 Joseph Hanks purchased a 108 acre parcel on what is known as Mikes Run in what was then Hampshire County, Virginia, now Mineral County, West Virginia; and

WHEREAS Joseph Hanks married Ann Lee (a distant relative of Richard Lee, father of Robert E. Lee), and that marriage bore nine children, one of whom was Lucy Hanks; and

WHEREAS while residing on that certain parcel of property consisting of 108 acres located on Mikes Run in Mineral County, West Virginia, at a time believed to be not earlier than June 12, 1783, nor later than June 11, 1784, Lucy Hanks bore a child named Nancy Hanks; and

WHEREAS in 1806 Nancy Hanks married Thomas Lincoln and on February 12, 1809, gave birth to Abraham Lincoln; and

WHEREAS Nancy Hanks Lincoln died in 1818, at which time Abraham Lincoln was just 9 years of age; and

WHEREAS in 1859 in an autobiography written for Jesse Fell, Abraham Lincoln wrote that both of his parents were born in Virginia; and

WHEREAS in recognition of an important but often unrecognized individual who had a significant impact upon the history of this country, President Lincoln stated, "God bless my mother; all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her."; and

WHEREAS in 1929 a special commission identified as the Nancy Hanks Commission was appointed by West Virginia Governor William G. Conley to investigate the authenticity of the location of the birthplace of Nancy Hanks, and said commission, in its final report dated September 21, 1929, adopted the findings of Dr. William E. Barton of Foxboro, Massachusetts, a leading historian on Abraham Lincoln, as the best evidence on the nativity of Nancy Hanks; and

WHEREAS the findings, conclusions and final report of the Nancy Hanks Commission, as appointed by Governor Conley, recognized and officially adopted as factual and historical evidence Dr. Barton's findings that the actual birthplace of Nancy Hanks was, in fact, located within the state of West Virginia; and

WHEREAS said Commission further recommended that the "State of West Virginia acquire this sheltered place in the hills as a State park, both for its historical significance and for its picturesque value"; and

WHEREAS the facts and conclusions stated in this resolution are supported and further documented in the article cited as follows: Steers, Jr., Edward. "Nancy Hanks. West Virginian? A Review of the Current Status of Research Into the Birthplace of Nancy Hanks Lincoln." Lincoln Herald (Summer 1998): 61-81.; and

WHEREAS Dr. Steers is widely recognized as a Lincoln scholar, and his article on the birthplace of Nancy Hanks reflects his very comprehensive research into the subject; and

WHEREAS although other reports and investigations have suggested a birthplace of Nancy Hanks other than Mineral County, West Virginia, Dr. Steers has determined that the substantial evidence of record conclusively establishes that the birthplace of Nancy Hanks was on Mikes Run in present day Mineral County, West Virginia:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Mineral County Historical Society, in regular meeting assembled, this fifth day of November, 2008, that this organization does hereby declare and proclaim that Mineral County, West Virginia, is the birthplace of Nancy Hanks Lincoln.