Why President Lincoln Grew a Beard

Have you ever written a letter to a candidate running for the office of President of the United States? A little girl from Westfield, New York, wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln in October of 1860. Her name was Grace Bedell. She was eleven years old when she decided to write a letter to her favorite presidential candidate. She wrote a letter of support. In it she made a suggestion. Grace Bedell took it upon herself to let Mr. Lincoln know that he might do better in the election if he grew a beard.

Mr. Lincoln read Grace Bedell's letter. Abe Lincoln had never worn a beard before. He thought writing this letter took courage. He also found it amusing that an eleven-year-old girl would be brazen enough to make such a suggestion.

The following is Grace Bedell's letter exactly as it appeared:

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 wont think me very bold to write to such a 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 brother's 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 would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband's 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 to 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

The presidential candidate replied to her letter not long after he received it.

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