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Lincoln and the Little Chicago Girls.

Mr. Lincoln made a hurried trip to Chicago on business, and was received with great enthusiasm by Democrats as well as Republicans. At the house of a friend

he beholds a group of little girls.

him wistfully.

One of them gazes at

"What is it you would like, dear?”

"I would like, if you please, to have you write your name for me."

"But here are several of your mates, quite a number of them, and they will feel badly if I write my name for and not for them also. How many are there, all



"Eight of us."

Oh, very well; then give me eight slips of paper and pen and ink, and I will see what I can do."

Eeach of the little misses, when she went home that evening carried his autograph.

Why Mr. Lincoln Let His Whiskers Grow.

If we had been in the village of Westfield, on the shore of Lake Erie, Chautauqua County, N. Y., on an October evening, we might have seen little Grace Bedell looking at a portrait of Mr. Lincoln and a picture of the log cabin which he helped build for his father in 1830.

"Mother," said Grace, "I think that Mr. Lincoln. would look better if he wore whiskers, and I mean to write and tell him so."

Well, you may. if you want to," the mother answered.

Grace's father was a Republican and was going to vote for Mr. Lincoln. Two older brothers were Democrats, but she was a Republican.

Among the letters going West the next day was one with this inscription:

"Hon. Abraham Lincoln, Esq., Springfield, Illinois." It was Grace's letter. telling him how old she was, where she lived, that she was a Republican, that she thought he would make a good President, but would look better if he would let his whiskers grow. If he would she would try to coax her brothers to vote for him. She thought the rail fence around the cabin very pretty.


'If you have not time to answer my letter, will you allow your little girl to reply for you?" wrote Grace at the end.

Mr. Lincoln was sitting in his room at the State house with a great pile of letters before him from the leading Republicans all over the Northern States in regard to the progress of the campaign; letters from men who would want an office after his inauguration; letters abusive and

indecent, which were tossed into the waste basket.


came to one from Westfield, N. Y. It was not from anyone who wanted an office, but wanted him to let his whiskers grow.

which he must answer,

from a little girl who

That was a letter

A day or two later Grace Bedell comes out of the Westfield postoffice with a letter in her hand postmarked Springfield, Ill. Her pulse beat as never before. It is a cold morning the wind blowing bleak and chill across the tossing waves of the lake. Snowflakes are falling. She cannot wait till she reaches home, but tears open the letter. The melting flakes blur the writing, but this is

what she reads:

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., Oct. 19, 1860.


My Dear Little Miss

Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is received. I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughter. 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 (affectation) if I should begin it now?

Your very sincere well-wisher,


It was natural that the people should desire to see the man who had been elected President, and the route to Washington was arranged to take in a number of the large cities-Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Buffalo. In each of these he spent a night and addressed great crowds of people. When

the train left Cleveland, Mr. Patterson, of Westfield, was invited into Mr. Lincoln's car.

"Did I understand that your home is in Westfield?" Mr. Lincoln asked.

"Yes, sir, that is my home."

"Oh, by the way, do you know of anyone living there 'by the name of Bedell?"

"Yes, sir, I know the family very well."

"I have a corresdondent in that family. Mr. Bedell's little girl, Grace, wrote me a very interesting letter advising me to wear whiskers, as she thought it would improve my looks. You see that I have followed her suggestion. Her letter was so unlike many that I have received some that threatened assassination in case I was elected—that it was really a relief to receive it and a pleasure to answer it."

The train reached Westfield, and Mr. Lincoln stood upon the platform of the car to say a few words to the people.

"I have a little correspondent here, Grace Bedell, and if the little miss is present I would like to see her."

Grace was far down the platform, and the crowd prevcnted her seeing or hearing him.

'Grace, Grace, the President is calling for you!" they shouted.

A friend made his way with her through the crowd. "Here she is."

Mr. Lincoln stepped down from the car, took her by the hand, and gave her a kiss.

You see, Grace, I have let my whiskers grow for you."

The kindy smile was upon his face. The train whirled His heart was lighter. For one brief moment he had forgotten the burdens that were pressing on him.


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It was during the dark days of 1863, says Schuyler Colfax, on the evening of a public reception given at the White House. The foreign legations were there gathered about the President.

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