Friday, November 9, 2012

Mr. Lincoln's Beard

From the Nov. 8, 2012, Yahoo! Movies "The endearing reason why Lincoln grew his beard."

I am anziously awaiting the new Steven Spielberg bio-pic "Lincoln" starring Daniel Day-Lewis, which has limited release this weekend.  From what I've seen of the trailers, it is going to be a great one.

When you think Lincoln, you think long, lanky and beard, but he did not always have that beard.  Actually, it came about from a suggestion of an 11-year-old girl, Grace Bedell,  who had seen a campaign poster of him and wrote a letter which read in part:

"I have got four brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest 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."

Lincoln wrote back saying,  " As to the whiskers have never worn any do you not think people would call it a silly affection if I were to begin now?"

He, however, took the advise and by the time of his November 1860 election had a full beard.

Several months after the letters were exchanged, the two met in Westfield, New York.  Grave remembered, "He climbed down and sat with me on the edge of the platform. 'Grace, look at my whiskers.  I've been growing them for you.'  Then he kissed me.  I never saw him again."

Was the beard for better or worse?  Did it help get him elected?

One publication from back then called him, "the leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs, arms and hatchet-face ever strung upon a single frame."

But, Mary Loved Him.  --Old Secesh

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