The Gettysburg Address
Is the most famous speech of U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted
famous speeches in United States history. It was
delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers'
National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
on November 19, 1863, during the American Civil
War, four and a half months after the Battle of
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 fewer than 300 words delivered over
two to three 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.
Beginning with the now-iconic phrase "Four score
and seven years ago," Lincoln referred to the
events of the American Revolution and described
the ceremony at Gettysburg as an opportunity not
only to dedicate the grounds of a cemetery, but
also to consecrate the living in the struggle to
ensure that "government of the people, by the
people, for the people, shall not perish from the
The Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)
forever changed the little town of Gettysburg. The
battlefield contained the bodies of more than
7,500 dead soldiers and several thousand horses
of the Union's Army of the Potomac and the
Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia. The
stench of rotting bodies made many townspeople
violently ill in the weeks following the
battle, and the burial of the dead
in a dignified and orderly manner became a high
priority for the few thousand residents of
Gettysburg. Under the direction of David Wills, a
wealthy 32-year-old attorney, Pennsylvania
purchased 17 acres (69,000 m²) for a cemetery to
honor those lost in the summer's battle.
Wills originally planned to dedicate this new
cemetery on Wednesday, September 23, and
invited Edward Everett, who had served as
Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S.
Representative, Governor of Massachusetts, and
president of Harvard University, to be the main
speaker. At that time, Everett was widely
considered to be the nation's greatest orator. In
reply, Everett told Wills and his organizing
committee that he would be unable to prepare an
appropriate speech in such a short period of time,
and requested that the date be postponed. The
committee agreed, and the dedication was
postponed until Thursday, November 19.
Almost as an afterthought, Wills and the event
committee invited Lincoln to participate in the
ceremony. Wills's letter stated, "It is the desire
that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of
the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their
sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."
Lincoln's role in the event was secondary, akin to
the modern tradition of inviting a noted public
figure to do a ribbon-cutting at a grand opening.
Lincoln arrived by train in Gettysburg on
November 18, and spent the night as a guest in
Wills's house on the Gettysburg town square,
where he put the finishing touches on the speech
he had written in Washington. Contrary to popular
myth, Lincoln neither completed his address while
on the train nor wrote it on the back of an
envelope. On the morning of November 19 at
9:30 A.M., Lincoln joined in a procession with the
assembled dignitaries, townspeople, and widows
marching out to the grounds to be dedicated
astride a chestnut bay horse, between Secretary of
State William H. Seward and Secretary of the
Treasury Salmon P. Chase.
Approximately 15,000 people are estimated to
have attended the ceremony, including the sitting
governors of six of the 24 Union states: Andrew
Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania, Augustus Bradford
of Maryland, Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, Horatio
Seymour of New York, Joel Parker of New
Jersey, and David Tod of Ohio. The precise
location of the program within the grounds of the
cemetery is disputed. Reinterment of the bodies
buried from field graves into the cemetery, which
had begun within months of the battle, was less
than half complete on the day of the ceremony.
Info from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
©Rhythm On The Rock Productions
"The Gettysburg Address"
|"The Gettysburg Address"
Voice by Christopher W. French
(See media player below)
Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Christopher W. French
"American Patriotic Music"
by, Christopher W. French
Enjoy more songs from these links below!
|"I know there are many others who
have done a much better interpretation
of Abraham Lincoln and his Gettysburg
Address than mine. However, I was still
compelled to do one myself. For I truly
believe that it's not a person's voice that
makes the "Gettysburg Address" so
powerful, but the words themselves!"
|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.
November 19, 1863 ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Union soldiers dead at Gettysburg.
Photographed by Timothy H. O'Sullivan,
July 5–6, 1863.
|The only known photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg,
compliments of the US Library of Congress
The Lincoln Memorial, on the extended axis of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a United
States Presidential Memorial built for United States President Abraham Lincoln. The building is in the form
of a Greek Doric temple, and contains a large seated sculpture of Lincoln and inscriptions of two
well-known speeches by Lincoln. The Lincoln Monument Association was incorporated by the United
States Congress in March 1867 to build a memorial to Lincoln. Little progress was made until the site was
chosen in 1901, in an area that was swampland. Congress formally authorized the memorial on February
9, 1911, and the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was not put into place until Lincoln's birthday,
February 12, 1914.
Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery.
Photo taken by Henryhartley on July 4, 2003.
16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln.
February 5, 1865 or April 10, 1865
one of the last photographs of Lincoln.
Click the play button to hear the "Gettysburg Address".
The Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated by
President Abraham Lincoln a brief four months after
the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863). Lincoln's
speech lasted only two to three minutes, but it went
into history as the immortal Gettysburg Address.
Delivered at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
on November 19, 1863.
A wise man's heart guides his mouth,
and his lips promote instruction.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.