But why did he choose that particular look? As you may know, he grew the beard in response to a letter written by 11-year-old Grace Bedell who thought that it would help him win votes.

Lincoln had a wide range of beards to choose from. I've taken small illustrations from a turn-of-the-century barber's manual and imagined what Abe would have looked like if he had gone with a different style of facial hair.

Mouse over the kinds of beards to see how it would have looked on Abe's face.


Mutton Chops

Chin Puff




Chin Curtain

a la Souvarov


Petit Goatee

French Fork

Why did he choose a beard without a mustache? I haven't researched my answer. It's just my guess. But having drawn mustaches on Lincoln's face (I love my job!), I think he shaved it off because it made his lopsided face more obvious. I read recently that a doctor thinks Lincoln might have had a condition which caused one side of his face to be smaller than the other. A mustache -- being like a straight line across the upper lip -- makes this crookedness more visible. (The best example above is the "anchor" mustache.)

That's just my opinion. What do you think? Isn't it interesting how each beard seems to give Lincoln a different personality? Which one would you most feel comfortable voting for?

Feel free to contact me and tell me what you think of my page.

Photo illustrations and text @2007 Bruce Van Patter and may not be re-used without permission.
back to main page
programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio store