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Transcript of Gettysburg Address
Speech given on November 19, 1863.
Delivered at the Soldiers' National Cemetery
Lincoln had little time to write the speech
What people thought about the speech
Some of the people and newspapers liked the speech, and thought it was inspiring and thought it reflected the soldiers and battle well.
But others didn't like it and thought it was too short and inappropriate
Why it was written
The speech was written to pay tribute to the Union soldiers who fought for equality, and dedicated part of the battlefield as a cemetery for the soldiers who died in battle.
By: Gillian Yi
The 5 Gettysburg Addresses
There are 5 known copies of the Gettysburg Address written in Lincoln's handwriting
They are named after the people who first received them: Nicolay, Hay, Everett, Bancroft and Bliss.
Two were written before the speech was delivered, and the others were written months after, for soldier benefit events.
First (Nicolay): Lincoln started writing this verion in Washington D.C and finished in Gettysburg.
Over 40,00 soldiers died or were wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg
He wanted to remind Americans that this country was founded off of "all men are created equal", yet we were fighting for the complete opposite reason.
Second (Hay): Written in Gettysburg the night before he delivered it.
Lincoln held this copy in his hand while he spoke, but made changes as he went along.
One of the most important changes he made was when he said "under God" after the word nation.
He made that change in the next three copies.
Fifth (Bliss): The fifth version was written after the Gettysburg Address was delivered.
It was different than the speech he gave, but it's the only one he signed.
This speech was the one that is carved on a stone plaque at the Lincoln Memorial.
The Gettysburg Address
Did you know the speech before the Gettysburg Address was 2 hours long about the history of the Battle at Gettysburg? Lincoln followed that speech with a ten sentence (about two minutes) speech about Gettysburg's significance?
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Since Lincoln was Republican, the Republican newspapers and people supported the speech.
Providence Journal: “Could the most elaborate and splendid oration be more beautiful, more touching, more inspiring than those thrilling words of the President?They have in our humble judgment the charm and power of the very highest eloquence.”
However, the Democrats and Democratic newspapers didn't like the speech.
The Chicago Times said, "“The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances.”
The Gettysburg Address is known as one of the greatest speeches in American history, and is one of the most well-known/ memorized speeches