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Delphos in Ottawa County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent

 
 
Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
1. Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Monument
Inscription.

Delphos
The home of
Lincoln's Little
Correspondent

Grace Bedell Billings
1848 - 1936

At the age of 11, Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote Candidate Abraham Lincoln on Oct. 15, 1860 suggesting that he grow a beard. She felt this would increase his appeal to voters, adding "...and then you would be president."

After his election, Lincoln's train was routed through Grace's hometown of Westfield. Lincoln asked for his Little Correspondent, kissed her and said, "You see, I let these whiskers grow for you, Grace."

Grace Bedell married and moved to Kansas about 1871, living the rest of her adult life in Delphos.

[Letter from Grace to Lincoln]
(Excerpts from two-page letter)
Westfield Chatauque Co NY
Oct 15. 1860

Hon A B Lincoln
Dear Sir

....I am a little girl only eleven 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...

I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you will 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 husband's to vote for you and then

Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
2. Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Marker
you would be President....

I must not write any more answer this letter right off
Good bye
Grace Bedell

[Letter from Lincoln to Grace]
Springfield, Illinois
October 19, 1860
Miss. Grace Bedell

My dear little Miss.

Your very agreeable letter of the 15th. is received.

I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughters. I have three sons -- one seventeen, one nine, and one seven, years of age. They, with their mother, constitute my whole family.

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?

Your very sincere well-wisher

A. Lincoln
 
Erected by the Billings Family.
 
Location. 39° 16.422′ N, 97° 45.986′ W. Marker is in Delphos, Kansas, in Ottawa County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Street and 2nd Street, on the left when traveling south on Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is at the northwest corner of the city park. Marker is in this post office area: Delphos KS 67436, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Civil War Memorial (approx. 1.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial

Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
3. Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent Monument
Looking east along 2nd Street
(approx. 1.3 miles away); Pike's Route (approx. 4.6 miles away); George W Carver (approx. 10.9 miles away); Welcome to Rock City (approx. 12.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Abraham Lincoln Online: Letter to Grace Bedell. (Submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Abraham Lincoln Online: Lincoln meets Grace Bedell. (Submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Advice of a Little Girl (Library of Congress). (Submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsPolitics
 
Excerpts from Grace Bedell's Letter to Lincoln on Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
4. Excerpts from Grace Bedell's Letter to Lincoln on Monument
Lincoln's Letter to Grace Bedell on Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
5. Lincoln's Letter to Grace Bedell on Monument
Billings Family Plot in Delphos Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
6. Billings Family Plot in Delphos Cemetery
Grace Bedell Billings Grave Marker in Delphos Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 1, 2012
7. Grace Bedell Billings Grave Marker in Delphos Cemetery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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