The Gettysburg Address
On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication ceremonies of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After the Battle of Gettysburg from July 1-4, 1863, the citizens of the town in Pennsylvania were over-burdened with the task of caring for the injured and burying the dead. With nearly 6,000 dead bodies left behind by the Union and Confederate armies, and more dying every day, the state of Pennsylvania purchased land on Cemetery Hill for a burial ground. The day of the dedication ceremony, Lincoln's address lasted a little over two minutes, but soon became a historical piece of American rhetoric. This speech was not a hastily constructed grouping of words, but a thoughtful reflection of Lincoln's thinking throughout the war. Today, only five copies of the speech exist, each with the immortal words written by Lincoln himself, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
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Lincoln's First Draft of the Gettysburg Address, The Nicolay Copy
Here on Footnote we have an image of the first draft written by Abraham Lincoln of the Gettysburg Address. This is one of only five copies of the famous speech. The copy contains a few edits where Lincoln tried to make his message to the citizens of Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, clearer.