"All the Ladies Like Whiskers" : how an 11 year old helped Lincoln become president

"Having recently seen a picture of Abraham Lincoln and the man who would become his vice-president, Hannibal Hamlin, eleven-year-old Grace Bedell decided in the autumn of 1860 to write to the Republican candidate and future U.S. president with a a single suggestion that would surely win him the affections of the voting public. To her amazement, she met him in person a few months later, as he traveled victoriously to Washington, DC by train - and he had taken her advice."

The letter reads:

For those hard of seeing, here's some help:

Hon A B Lincoln
Dear Sir
My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin's. I am a little girl only 11 years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you won't think me very bold to write to such  great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brothers and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is to thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try and get every one to vote for you that I can I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter direct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chautauqua County New York.
I must not write any more answer this letter right off Good bye.
Grace Bedell


Grace met President Lincoln soon after. "He climbed down and sat down with me on the edge of the station platform," Grace later recalled. 'Gracie,' he said, 'look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.' Then he kissed me. I never saw him again." (via).

"With great power comes great responsibility." I wonder if one of the many responsibilities of those in power is kindness, and not taking oneself to seriously.



For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  History  :  President : humble, meager, pathetic


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