Monday, October 15, 2012

On October 15

On this day in ...
... 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell wrote these bold words in a letter to the Republican Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln:
Grace Bedell
'My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture. I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are… I have got four brothers and part of them will vote for you any way 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.'
Lincoln took her advice and won the election. He made a point of stopping his inaugural train – which had begun its D.C.-bound journey in Springfield, Illinois –  in Grace's hometown of Westfield, in Chautauqua County in upstate New York, in order to thank the girl for her advice. Those of us who've attended the annual International Humanitarian Dialogs in the county will recall that a statue in Westfield commemorates the Bedell-Lincoln meeting.

(Prior October 15 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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