Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent

Grace Bedell Billings: Lincoln's Little Correspondent (HM1IJU)

Location: Delphos, KS 67436 Ottawa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 16.422', W 97° 45.986'

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The home of
Lincoln's Little

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 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

Placed ByThe Billings Family
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, December 28th, 2014 at 5:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 606405 N 4347875
Decimal Degrees39.27370000, -97.76643333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 16.422', W 97° 45.986'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 16' 25.32" N, 97° 45' 59.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-169 W 2nd St, Delphos KS 67436, US
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