Can a Letter Change History?


No comments posted yet


Slide 1

Can a letter change history? A closer look at historical documents

Slide 2

Discuss who the following person from history is…

Slide 5

Discuss changes you noticed between the 2 images.

Slide 6

Why do you think he has a beard now?

Slide 7

In 1860, eleven-year-old Grace Bedell penned a letter to then presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting that he might “look a great deal better” with whiskers. Her letter touched Lincoln. In fact, he grew a beard. Grace Bedell met Lincoln in person the following year as his inaugural train journeyed to Washington, D.C. The meeting had a profound impact upon the rest of her life.

Slide 8

Here is a copy of her letter to Abraham Lincoln

Slide 10

Envelope the letter came in

Slide 11

Content of letter

Slide 13

Discuss things you notice about the letter.

Slide 14

Here is how Mr. Lincoln responded

Slide 15

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 (The original letter was sold to a private party)

Slide 16

Here is a photograph of Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War. This was taken 5 years after the 2nd image from earlier.

Slide 18

Discuss changes

Slide 19

Credits Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Department of Education 212 North Sixth Street Springfield, IL 62701