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The Gettysburg Address—First Day of Printing, New York
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“…It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the refinished work that they have thus so far nobly carried on….

A rare first day of publication newspaper, with Lincoln’s timeless embodiment of American ideals prominently placed.This printing from November 20, the day after the Address, contains Lincoln’s speech on the front page. This original issue also includes Edward Everett’s speech, a report on the ceremonies, and a map of the “Great National Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg.”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. Newspaper, The World, New York, November 20, 1863. 8 pp., 15 3/8 x 23 in.

Inventory #22381       Price: $12,500

Partial Transcript

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. (Applause.) 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 are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place of 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. (Applause.) The world will little note nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. (Applause.) It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the refinished work that they have thus so far nobly carried on. (Applause.) 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 here gave the last full measure of devotion: that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain (applause): that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that governments of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (Long continuous applause.)”

The text is the Associated Press version, delivered by telegraph from the battlefield ceremonies. There are some slight variations between different newspapers and typesetters in terms of punctuation and capitalization, but the original AP version is easily identifiable by the use of the phrase “to the refinished work …” instead of the more appropriate “to the unfinished work….”

Additional differences between this and other versions of the text include:

  • “We are met to dedicate” is “We have come to dedicate” in Lincoln’s written copies.
  • the word “poor,” heard by some reporters and present in both of Lincoln’s drafts, is excluded here: “ far above our [poor] power to add or detract”
  • “carried on” is found here and in Lincoln’s second draft, but he replaced it with “advanced” in subsequent drafts: “have thus so far [so] nobly [carried on advanced]”

 

For the full historical background of the Gettysburg Address click here.


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