Friday, November 18, 2011

Gettysburg Address

“Took the sow to Will Mills’ boar this forenoon.  Got home about half past twelve and cleaned up barley this afternoon.”

The only confirmed photo of Abraham Lincoln (circled) at Gettysburg, taken about noon, just after Lincoln arrived and some three hours before the speech. (Taken as Lincoln was leaving the stage after his speech according to the PBS "Civil War" series by Ken Burns) To Lincoln's right is his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon

The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Abraham Lincoln's carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, ensure that democracy would remain a viable form of government, and would also create a unified nation in which states' rights were no longer dominant.
Beginning with the now-iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago," referring to the American Revolution of 1776, Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States in the context of the Civil War, and used the ceremony at Gettysburg as an opportunity not only to consecrate the grounds of a cemetery, but also to exhort the listeners (and the nation) to ensure the survival of America's representative democracy, that the "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech

The Hay Copy, with Lincoln's handwritten corrections
Leesah

No comments:

Post a Comment