11 yr old Grace Bedell, daughter of Norman Bedell, saw a campaign poster of Abe Lincoln that her father brought home with him from a fair and thought his clean shaven face could use some “whiskers” so she wrote to him saying just that.
Here’s my favorite part of the letter:
“I have got 4 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.”
And then she signs it off with,
“I must not write any more answer this letter right off Good bye”
They met a few months later, while Lincoln was travelling to D.C. as president-elect and with a new beard, and as Grace recalled,
“He climbed down and sat down with me on the edge of the station platform,” she recalled. “‘Gracie,’ he said, ‘look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.’ Then he kissed me. I never saw him again.”
You can see Grace’s letter and Lincoln’s response and read the full transcriptions on this link at the blog Letters of Note.