Lincoln's face is familiar to people all around the world, at least his face when he was wearing a beard. But he didn't wear a beard until later in his life. When he started out as a judge and then a lawyer, he had two nicknames.The first was Honest Abe. And there are many stories of his honesty both as a child and as he went on throughout all of his life. His second nickname was Homely Abe. He was not good looking. Then something happened in 1860. That year Abe Lincoln was the Republican Party nominee, the man the recently formed Republican Party chose a sits candidate for President of the United States.
Just a few weeks before the presidential election,Lincoln received a short letter. It was from a girl who lived in New York State. Her name was Grace Bedell. Grace wrote to Lincoln about his homely face, but in a polite way.
"I am a little girl only 11 years old, but I want you should be the President of the United States very much so I hope you won't think me very bold to write such a great man as you are."
And then Grace went on.
"I have got four brothers and part of them will vote for you anyway, and if you will let your whiskers grow, I will try to 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 Grace Bedell's advice, and over the next two weeks he did not shave. By election day on November 6th of 1860, he already had enough whiskers to make a short beard. And he did get elected. Maybe his new beard had something to do with that. And he did wear the beard for the rest of his life.