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President's Day
"What Does the Writing of a Good President Look Like?"

Written by Guest Author Kathi McKnight
Edited by Linda Hodges

PRESIDENTS' DAY...... is celebrated in the United States every year, on the 3rd Monday in February. It honors two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

I’m taking the liberty of writing a piece on the handwriting of these two outstanding presidents. There are many inspirational and informative things to learn about handwriting analysis and greatness of character and accomplishment.

Below is one of my favorite, short, inspirational pieces:

"Portrait of An Achiever"

Failed in Business – Bankruptcy, 1831
Defeated for Legislature, 1832
Failed in Business – Bankruptcy, 1834
Sweetheart/Fianc� dies, 1835
Nervous Breakdown, 1836
Defeated in Election, 1838
Defeated for U.S. Congress, 1843
Defeated again for U.S. Congress, 1846
Defeated once again for U.S. Congress 1848
Defeated for U.S. Senate, 1855
Defeated for U.S. Vice President 1856
Defeated again for U.S. Senate, 1858



"You cannot fail…unless you quit."  Abraham Lincoln

"Not failure, but low aim, is a crime.James Russell Lowell

That "Portrait of an Achiever" inspires me every time I read it.

Let’s take a look at "Honest Abe" and his handwriting.

He was born on February 12, 1809.
Growing up in a log cabin, there was no electricity, because it had not been invented yet. He read books by firelight and drew with charcoal on a shovel. His family was poor and often he went without shoes. Studying hard through those formative years, he became a lawyer and was eventually elected the 16th President of the United States.

Let’s see how his handwriting tells the story…

You don’t have to be a certified graphologist to notice the flair in Abe’s writing…..a sign of his times. There is a flamboyancy, no doubt expressing the "signature style" of a person who is his own person and listens to the beat of his own drummer.

If you were to put a ruler under his signature, you would see the upward slant, indicating optimism.


A person who can remain optimistic despite the setbacks that Lincoln suffered, shows the raw courage a forward thinking man possesses. That kind of optimism speaks of being in touch with an inner strength and greater self-motivation than most.

Great leaders inspire people, but great people motivate themselves. Lincoln did both. To keep his vision in sight, despite setbacks to him personally, to keep his eye on the goal and remain optimistic about the outcome…….. these traits are clearly seen in Lincoln’s handwriting.

Now, let’s take a look at the well-known phrase, "Honest Abe."

One of the tell-tale signs of honesty is found in the letter o. There are absolutely no loops, no hooks, no nuttin' honey, in his letter o. It is clean and round. It demonstrates the textbook definition of honesty.

He dots his i with a strong dot.

Although it is not directly located over the i, it is no wimpy dot either...shows determination and definiteness. Attention to detail may have been left to his support staff.

Notice the large loop in the small letter "L".

That "l" loop has a lot of space in it. This is indicative that this was a man who had big dreams, big vision and could see and visualize things for the future; and keep those dreams and vision in sight, even when they had not yet happened. His hopes and dreams were big for America, they were not to be squelched out.

An "l" that shows that one's hopes and dreams have been squelched out would be indicated by an "l" with no loop in it...such as this:

Sadly, I see this squelched out ""l" in far too many of the readings that I do, even in young people. I really encourage folks to make their l's with exaggerated loops in them when I advise through grapho-therapy; for without our dreams...we die.

Let's look at another quote by this famous President:
"I am not afraid to die, and in fact would be more than willing, but I have an irresistible desire to live until I can be assured that the world is a little better from my having lived in it."

Can you imagine if most of the human race thought that way? I wonder what a philosophy like that would do to bring about global peace?

George Washington

Moving on to the first president of the United States, here is a sample of the handwriting and the signature of George Washington:

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. When he was born, America was not a country yet. It belonged to England and people in America did not want to belong to England. So, they fought a war to become a separate country.

George Washington was an American General in that war and when America won the war, George Washington became the 1st President of the newly-formed United States of America.

What does George Washington's Writing Say?

One can almost see the frills and white wigs adopted into high society at that time, by looking at the frills and flair in George Washington’s handwriting. Notice that he crosses the t bar very very high on the t stem; this is the sign of a true visionary and a man with incredibly high goals and self-esteem. He dots his i precisely over the i, showing incredible attention to detail, a photographic memory and intense loyalty.

The slant to Washington’s writing is that of a far right "heart" slant; meaning he was very sentimental and had incredible heart energy to devote to his country.

An emotional slant like that can also lead to impulsiveness... remember the story of the cherry tree??

When he was a small boy, George got a hatchet for his birthday. He impulsively cut down a small cherry tree to try the hatchet out! The story goes that his father was angry with him and although he was afraid, he told his father the truth, that yes, he did cut down the cherry tree; and his father was proud that he told the truth.

Again, honesty can be seen in the letters a and o of his handwriting. There are no loops or hooks inside the letters. If there were, they would look like any combination of these.

His name ends with an n and let’s take a closer look at that n.

Notice the points and wedges and the depth between the humps. Also notice how small the writing is. The small writing shows that he would feel things intensely and is another indicator of penetrating concentration. Of course, the first letters of his name are quite a bit larger than the rest of the writing. That is significant and indicative of a strong, healthy ego and strong sense of self - absolutely imperative for a leader of men. George Washington was a dreamer and a doer. 

Yes, you can be a dreamer and a doer too, if you will remove one word from your vocabulary: impossible.

Be the change you wish to see.........and go out there and do great things with your knowledge of handwriting analysis. Follow those inner promptings, do something about the dreams you have. And remember:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Kathi McKnight


Kathi is an International Handwriting Analyst,
Professional Speaker and Freelance Writer.


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