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Would you elect these whiskers?

abe-loc

Abraham Lincoln, candidate for U.S. President. (LC-USZ62-7728) Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Abraham Lincoln, ca. 1860-ca. 1865 (ARC  530592). National Archives.

Abraham Lincoln, ca. 1860-ca. 1865 (ARC 530592; 111-BZ-98). National Archives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you looked at your money lately? Among the nickels and quarters and dimes, only the copper penny has a bearded profile.

But although Lincoln’s facial hair eventually became an iconic part of his image, he originally ran for President as a clean-shaven candidate.

Why grow the beard? The answer may lie in a letter written to Lincoln on October 15, 1860, exactly 150 years ago

Eleven-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, NY, wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln, then a Presidential candidate, suggesting he should grow a beard. “You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin,” she wrote, noting that “all the ladies like whiskers.”

Lincoln wrote back, wondering “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?” But a month later, Lincoln was sporting a full beard as he campaigned.  

What do you think? Does the beard make you want to vote for him?

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Comments

Comment from Deason Hunt
Time October 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Question: how does one grow a “full beard” in one month?

Comment from plekzy-gladz
Time November 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Deason: those people exist. i’ve met at least a couple of them allready and i’m not even 30 years old yet.