Time Era

Historic time period: 1850–1877

A Letter to Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a log cabin, but eventually became the 16th president of the United States and lead America through the Civil War. He is famous for freeing the slaves, saving the Union, and giving thoughtful speeches like the Gettysburg Address. His life ended in 1865 when he was assassinated.

The National Museum of American History has many objects related to Abraham Lincoln, including the top hat he wore on the night of his assassination, the model for the patent he developed, and masks of his face and hands that were created by artists planning to make sculptures of him.

Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers is a story about an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell and a letter she wrote to Abraham Lincoln while he was campaigning to become president. Make learning about Abraham Lincoln fun by reading Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers and trying out the activities below.

For more information about Abraham Lincoln, visit the Museum's online exhibition, Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life.

Read This Book

You can learn more about Abraham Lincoln in these books. Click on the book titles below for more information, or visit our complete bibliography.

Mister Lincoln's Whiskers book cover

Featured Book

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers

by Karen B. Winnick

Images of Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers by Karen Winnick. Text and illustrations (c) 1996 by Karen Winnick. Used by permission of Boyds Mills Press. All rights reserved.


  • Imagining Abraham Lincoln

    Imagining Abraham Lincoln

    Use Technology

    Imagine a "missing scene" from the story about Grace Bedell and her letter to Abraham Lincoln and create your own comic.

    Download the PDF »
  • Find Grace's Family

    Find Grace's Family

    Learn From Objects

    Explore Grace’s letter to discover clues about her family and create a Bedell family portrait.

    Download the PDF »
  • Mr. Lincoln's Hat

    Mr. Lincoln's Hat

    Play and Create

    Create your own Lincoln top hat and try it on. How tall are you in your new top hat?

    Download the PDF »
  • Send a Lincoln Letter

    Send a Lincoln Letter

    Take a Trip

    Share what you know about Abraham Lincoln by writing a letter to a family member or friend. Visit the post office to mail the letter.

    Download the PDF »
  • Dear Mr. President

    Dear Mr. President

    Study in School

    If Grace could do it, so can you! Write your own letter to the President of the United States of America. Ideal for the 3rd – 4th grade classroom.

    Download the PDF »

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Smithsonian's History Explorer