The Gettysburg Address delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, is one of the most famous speeches in American history.
The occasion was the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in honor of those who fought and died during that crucial and historic Civil War battle which the North won.
The famous orator of the time was Edward Everett. Initially planned for October 23rd, the dedication was moved to November 19th because Mr. Everett could not meet the October date; he needed more time to prepare. Mr. Lincoln’s invitation to speak was an after-thought. Edward Everett had 2 months to prepare. Mr. Lincoln was given 2 weeks.
On November 18th President Lincoln and his entourage traveled to Gettysburg from Washington, DC by train. Upon arrival, Lincoln stayed at the large home of Judge David Wills, a wealthy lawyer who planned the entire event.
On November 19th, 9:30am President Lincoln rode a brown horse to the grounds to be dedicated. Members of the presidential party rode horses and drove wagons while others walked.
Mr. Everett spoke for 2 hours, followed by Mr. Lincoln, who spoke for 2-3 minutes. 15,000 people attended. The great orator Everett was so impressed by Lincoln’s speech he sent the president a note commending him on it and asked for a copy of the president’s speech.
The Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln will appear in a separate post later this August; as well as Mr. Everett’s letter to the president one day after the dedication.
Note: Grammar and punctuation are in accordance with the writer’s time period.