I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

146th Anniversary Of The Gettysburg Address

Today is the 146th Anniversary of The Gettysburg Address. Just like today, November 19 fell on a Thursday back in 1863.

Abraham Lincoln was not the only speaker at the event. As a matter of fact, Lincoln's role was quite minor. His involvement in the ceremony was merely that of an afterthought. Despite this, for lack of a better description, he stole the show. The main speaker at Gettysburg was Edward Everett. His oration was to be the Gettysburg Address, but fate and destiny had other plans. The following day Everett wrote Lincoln a letter which included these words, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes".

I have some authentic 1860s items related to the Gettysburg Address.

The first two jpegs are of CDV (Carte-De-Vista) images of Everett and Lincoln dating from the mid- to late-1860s. The next four jpegs are of a newspaper from November 1863 and includes the first page, Lincoln's speech, the first part of Everett's speech and the final part of Everett's speech.


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The Library Of Congress currently owns the actual letter Everett wrote to Lincoln (given to the Library by Abe's son Robert) and it is pictured at the following url:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trt032.html

Now, ending this message is a rare opportunity to hear a recollection of the Gettysburg Address by someone who was there in person. William Rathvon recorded his memories in 1938 and his words comprise the only first-hand account of the day in audio format. Although wikipedia is not always accurate, this entry is fine:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_R._Rathvon

At the bottom you will see "External links". You have a choice between a six-minute version with commentary or a longer version of twenty-one minutes. Should you endeavor to choose the latter, I guarantee ... you will be richly fulfilled.



UPDATE (November 19, 2012): I see the audio link for William's entire interview on NPR's site no longer works. I do make a point to listen to his account every November 19.
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I am a(n) researcher and archivist.