Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent
The home of
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
....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
I must not write any more answer this letter right off
[Letter from Lincoln to Grace]
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
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
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. • Communications • Politics • Women •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 269 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 28, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.