Fostered By A Stroke Of Luck

Fostered By A Stroke Of Luck

Young girls are braver than you believe, stronger than you think, wiser, and more beautiful in every way.  

Abraham Lincoln is lauded for his steadfast leadership in a time of tumult, but the 16th President also had an impressionable side: One of his defining physical traits, his iconic beard, was grown at the suggestion of an 11-year-old girl. In the fall of 1860, as Lincoln campaigned for the presidency, he received a letter from one Grace Bedell of Westfield, New York. In her letter, Bedell expressed her excitement for Lincoln’s political aspirations but suggested that he might gain even more support if he grew some facial hair. 

“I hope you won’t think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are,” she wrote. “I have got 4 brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway 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 so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.”

In a letter dated October 19, Lincoln wrote back to Bedell. “Having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?” he asked. Yet by the following January, the recent President-elect indeed had a beard growing in. The next month, in February 1861, a bearded President Lincoln made a stop in Westfield and met Bedell in person. As he continued to make his way via train to Washington, D.C., his facial hair filled in, and by the time of his March 1861 inauguration, he was the first U.S. President with a full beard.

Blessings dear friends,

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Comments (2)

  • Naomi

    Well, all I can say is that some intellect is fostered out of the mouth of babes!!! And Grace Bedell might have started marketing intuition!! A great read for a bit of history that most of us would never have known.

  • Alyssa McCombie

    well that was interesting to read! who knew that little girl just wrote history, that so awesome and I bet shes hanging up in the clouds with Mr Lincoln right now

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