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Gettysburg Address Essay

When and Where were the Gettysburg Address given? The speech was delivered by Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the national cemetery on the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg, Pa.
How did the Gettysburg Address come to be?
For three days in July of1863, Union and Confederate forces fought fierce battles at and near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Union turned back one of the last major thrusts of the Confederate troops toward the North. Many consider it the turning point in the war; after Gettysburg, the South had to fight a defensive war that was doomed to fail.
On November 20 of that same year, a battlefield cemetery was dedicated at Gettysburg. Edward Everett, a well-regarded and prominent speaker, was the main feature of the event. President Lincoln followed Everett’s two hour speech with what came to be known as the Gettysburg Address. In about two minutes, Lincoln gave his speech; though the newspapers of the time had much to say about Everett’s speech and relegated Lincoln to the back pages, Everett himself recognized the beauty of the simple elegance of Lincoln’s words, and told the President as much in a note he wrote to him the next day.
How many drafts of the Gettysburg Address were there and where are they now?
Of the five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address, the Library of Congress has two. President Lincoln gave one of these to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The copy on exhibit, which belonged to Nicolay, is often called the ” first draft” because it is believed to be the earliest copy that exists. Debate continues about whether the Nicolay copy is the “reading” copy. In 1894 Nicolay wrote that Lincoln had brought with him thefirst part of the speech, written in ink on Executive Mansion stationery, and that he had written the second page in pencil on lined paper before the dedication on November 19, 1863. Matching folds are still evident …

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