Saturday, November 21, 2020

Mrs. Haupt, of Philadelphia Remembers Kissing President Lincoln at 13 years old for a 10¢ Union Fund Raiser in 1864.

Mrs. John Haupt, north Main street, claims the proud honor of having kissed Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Haupt, who is fairly steeped in the tales of good old times which she is always glad to relate, tells the story in this manner: "It was in 1864 that Lincoln, who was then President, came to Philadelphia to be present at the Sanitary Fair given in that city. I was then a girl of 13 years and with a number of school children, I went to the Fair to see this wonderful man who was talked of so much."
The Philadelphia Sanitary Fair at Logan Square, June 7th to June 21st, 1864.

Mr. Lincoln had his seat on a raised platform and the children, those who cared to, mounted the rostrum, and took the offered privilege. The charge for the kiss was 10¢, of which all the money went to the benefit of the Union soldiers. I wore long curls when I was a girl and I remember that Mr. Lincoln said, "What pretty curls you have." 

Little else comes to my memory of what happened with the exception of the scolding I received when I reached home. My father, who was not a Republican, said, "If I had been you, Emma, I would not have kissed the old rail-splitter." Lincoln was being entertained at the home of an old friend of our family, Dr. Wright, in Philadelphia, and I can recall just how I felt what a great thing I had done when I gave my ten cents and took the kiss on the cheek, just as the other children did."

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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