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The Gettysburg Address – New York Semi-Weekly Tribune First Day of Printing
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A rare first day of publication newspaper, with Lincoln’s timeless embodiment of American ideals prominently placed. From November 20, the day after the Address, this original issue starts with Edward Everett’s speech and a report on the ceremonies on page one, and includes Lincoln’s speech on the final page (making it possible to display both together).

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. New York Semi-Weekly Tribune, November 20, 1863. Newspaper. New York, N.Y.: Horace Greeley. 8 pp., 15½ x 20⅜ in.

Inventory #26142       ON HOLD

Complete 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-continued applause.] (p8/c3)

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]”


Additional Content
A Slander on Mr. Lincoln Refuted.

The remark said to have been ascribed to President Lincoln by Wendell Phillips, to the effect that ‘the greatest folly of his life was the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation,’ out of which such Copperhead journals as The World and The National Intelligencer are attempting to make political capital, is emphatically pronounced in high quarters to be altogether untrue.” (p4/c6)

The Emancipation Proclamation—The original copy of the President’s Emancipation Proclamation, has been awarded to T. B. Bryan, esq. for the sum of $3,000.” (p4/c6)

President Lincoln donated his original signed draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to the Northwestern Sanitary Fair in Chicago to be auctioned, noting in his cover letter, that he “had some desire to retain the paper; but if it shall contribute to the relief or comfort of the soldiers that will be better.” Attorney and businessman Thomas B. Bryan (1828-1906), who also served as president of the fair, purchased the original draft and presented it to the Soldiers’ Home in Chicago. It was lithographed, and the Soldiers’ Home raised thousands of dollars from the sale of the copies. The original was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

What Old Abe Says.—After the election of United States Senators yesterday, the Hon. E. H. E. Jameson of St. Louis telegraphed the result to the President; in reply the following dispatch was received:                   Washington, Nov. 13—7:30 p.m.

Hon. E. H. E. Jameson, Jefferson City

Yours saying Brown and Henderson are elected Senators is received. I understand this is one and one; if so, it is knocking heads together to some purpose.  A. LINCOLN.” (p7/c3)

The Missouri legislature elected radical Benjamin Gratz Brown (1826-1885) of St. Louis and conservative John B. Henderson (1826-1913) of Louisiana, Missouri, to the U.S. Senate, as a compromise between the two factions of Unconditional Unionists.

Additional Content

  • The full text of Edward Everett’s oration (p1/c1-6, p8/c1-3);
  • report on Lincoln’s arrival at Gettysburg on November 18 and his brief impromptu remarks that evening in response to a serenade (p1/c1), plus accounts of the ceremonies (p1/c1, p8/c3);
  • report on New York Central Railroad (p2/c1);
  • report titled Woman and Work (p2/c2);
  • a report on stalled efforts to exchange prisoners (p2/c3-4); an interesting editorial on “The Union As It Was” (p2/c4-5)
  • Dartmouth College and Dr. Lord (p2/c5);
  • Canada Kidnapping (p3/c1);
  • news from the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Cumberland (p3/c3-6); summary of General Rosecrans official November 17 report of the Battle of Chickamauga; report on Siege of Charleston (p3/c6);
  • Enlistment of Colored Troops (p4/c2);
  • news from the Army of the Ohio (p5/c1);
  • a speech by Henry Ward Beecher on his return to Brooklyn from a speaking tour in Europe to build support for the Union cause (p5/c2-6);
  • Series of letters from a correspondent with the army near Knoxville, Tennessee (p6/c2-5);  
  • a message from Missouri Governor Hamilton Gamble declaring that the “rebellious spirit” in the state has been subdued (p7/c3);
  • and a variety of other news, notices, and advertisements.

New-York Tribune(1841-1924) was established in 1841 by Horace Greeley (1811-1872). By the 1850s, it reached a circulation of 200,000 copies, making it the largest daily newspaper in New York City at the time. Greeley also published weekly (1841-1866) and semi-weekly (1845-1866) issues of the Tribune through much of his tenure. The New-York Tribune became the dominant Whig and then Republican newspaper in the United States, helping to shape public opinion, especially as other newspapers often copied its articles and editorials. It was one of the first newspapers in the Union to send reporters and correspondents to cover the military campaigns of the Civil War. Greeley used his newspaper to support many reforms, including abolitionism, pacifism, socialism (for a time), and feminism. After Greeley’s failed campaign as the Liberal Republican candidate for President, Whitelaw Reid (1837-1912) assumed control of the Tribune until his death. His son, Ogden Mills Reid (1882-1947), acquired the New York Herald and merged the newspapers in 1924.

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