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"Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln Part I "
By Jerry Stewart

Anytime Americans are asked who they believe to be one of the greatest presidents in our Nation’s history, one of the top three listed is always this man, Abraham Lincoln. Just the mention of his name brings to our mind’s eye a tall lean man wearing that familiar top hat, most always looking quite serious, and, sometimes, almost sad.

But there was a reason for Mr. Lincoln's sadness. He was President of our United States during one of the saddest times in our history, our own Civil War, when brother literally fought against brother, and far more brave Americans were killed in that 5 year period than during any other war in our nation’s history.

But, why do we love and admire Abraham Lincoln so? And what do we really know about him? Well, first, regarding Lincoln’s beard - did you know that most all his life Abraham Lincoln never wore a beard, or even any facial hair at all? He was clean shaving. But, in 1860, when Lincoln was 51 years old and running for U.S. President, he received a letter from a little girl named Grace Bedell who lived in Westfield, New York.

She wrote that she had seen his picture and thought he would look better with whiskers. She promised that if he would grow a beard, she would try her best to convince her older brothers, all Democrats, to vote for him. Lincoln wrote her back a letter thanking her for her interest in his appearance but that regarding a beard he said, “Do you think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I should begin it now?”

But, Lincoln did change his mind, and when he was elected President and on his way to Washington D.C. for his Presidential inauguration, interestingly enough, the train he was riding stopped in Westfield. Lincoln stepped out of the train and inquired as to where little Grace Bedell lived in town. But, she was already there, in the crowd. He asked her to come forward to see that he had allowed his whiskers to grow at her request. He picked her up and gave her a kiss while the crowd cheered its approval. From that day on, President Lincoln wore a beard.

And just how did Lincoln get the name honest Abe? Well, Lincoln’s first salaried job was as a clerk in a general store. One day a woman came into the store, bought some goods, laid down her money, and left. Later when Lincoln counted the money he found that she had paid 6 ½ cents too much - that really bothered him. So that night after work, believe it or not, Abraham Lincoln walked four miles to give the woman her change. In all our U.S. history, there have been many politicians who have called themselves “honest”, but for Abraham Lincoln, the name given, “Honest Abe”, was all true.

And they say you can tell more about the true character of a man by asking his wife. It was a fact that Mr. Lincoln was not a handsome man, and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, had received a number of requests for marriage from men who were more handsome and had much more in the way of wealth and credentials. So, why did she marry Lincoln? When asked, she said this, “I’d rather marry a good man, a man of mind and bright prospects than all the gold stones in the world”.

So, what about that stovepipe hat? Why did Lincoln wear that silk stovepipe hat? That story and other Abe Lincoln stories will follow in next week’s report. Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln.

Jerry Stewart

P.S. email me with your own thoughts and ideas regarding our America at stewartreport@onemomentinamerica.com

JS

Jerry's speech at The Bellingham Tea Party Presentation,
“In Defense of Liberty” on February 20th, 2010

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This week's Stewart Report has been sponsored by:

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Quote of the Week

“If you look for the bad in people - you will surely find it."

- Abraham Lincoln -
 

Audio Clip for the Week

"Get Out Of The Bunker!"
 

Short Story

"Does Anybody Really Know?"

In 1970, a song was released by the rock band, “Chicago”. The song? “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” It tells of a young boy walking down the street and a man asks him “What time is it?” Later, a woman approaches him, “My diamond studded watch just stopped cold dead, do you know what time it is?”

The message? We’re all rushing around, doing stuff, but getting very little of real substance done. Does anybody know what time it is? It’s time to wake up. To shake off our apathy, our selfish lack of concern. It’s time to pray.

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