Gettysburg Address

One of the two confirmed photos of Lincoln[1][2][3] (center, facing camera) at Gettysburg, taken about noon, just after he arrived and some three hours before his speech. To his right is his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.

The Gettysburg Address is a speech that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is one of the best-known speeches in American history.[4][5]

Although not the day's primary speech, Lincoln's carefully crafted address came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. In just 271 words, beginning with the now iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago,"‍ referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence[6] eighty-seven years earlier‍, Lincoln described the USA as a nation "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," and represented the Civil War as a test that would decide whether such a nation, the Union sundered by the secession crisis,[7] could endure. He extolled the sacrifices of those who died at Gettysburg in defense of those principles, and exhorted his listeners to resolve

that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom[8] — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.[6][9]

Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, its exact wording is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand differ in a number of details, and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech. Neither is it clear just where stood the platform from which Lincoln delivered the address. Modern scholarship locates the speakers' platform 40 yards (or more) away from the traditional site in Soldiers' National Cemetery at the Soldiers' National Monument, which means that it stood entirely within the private, adjacent Evergreen Cemetery.

David Wills invited Lincoln to speak.

Background

Union soldiers dead at Gettysburg, photographed by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, July 5–6, 1863

Following the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1–3, 1863, the removal of the fallen Union soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves and their reburial in graves at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg began on October 17. In inviting President Lincoln to the ceremonies, David Wills, of the committee for the November 19 Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, wrote, "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."[10]

On the train trip from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg on November 18, Lincoln was accompanied by three members of his Cabinet, William Seward, John Usher and Montgomery Blair, several foreign officials, his secretary John Nicolay, and his assistant secretary, John Hay. During the trip Lincoln remarked to Hay that he felt weak; on the morning of November 19, Lincoln mentioned to Nicolay that he was dizzy. Hay noted that during the speech Lincoln's face had "a ghastly color" and that he was "sad, mournful, almost haggard." After the speech, when Lincoln boarded the 6:30 pm train for Washington, D.C., he was feverish and weak, with a severe headache. A protracted illness followed, which included a vesicular rash; it was diagnosed as a mild case of smallpox. It thus seems highly likely that Lincoln was in the prodromal period of smallpox when he delivered the Gettysburg address.[11]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Gettysburg Ián-káng
Bahasa Indonesia: Pidato Gettysburg
Lingua Franca Nova: Parla a Gettysburg
Bahasa Melayu: Ucapan Gettysburg
Nederlands: Gettysburg Address
Simple English: Gettysburg Address
Tiếng Việt: Diễn văn Gettysburg