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A Philadelphia First-Day Printing of the Gettysburg Address (SOLD)
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“Four score and seven years ago”

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. Newspaper. North American and United States Gazette, Philadelphia, Pa., November 20, 1863. 4 pp., 23 x 29 in. Chips missing from masthead and right edge, some internal tears, not affecting Lincoln’s speech which is on second page, fourth column, 2/3 of the way down. Much of the first two pages are taken up with Gettysburg-related news, including Edward Everett’s Address.

Inventory #22449.01       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Historical Background

Lincoln’s speech, delivered at Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 1863, has endured as a supreme distillation of American values. Over the past 150 years, it has become a compelling testament to the sacrifices required to achieve freedom for all Americans. Lincoln made his speech at the cemetery’s dedication, some four months after the bloody and pivotal battle that turned the tide of the Civil War in favor of the Union. Edward Everett, the most famous orator of his day, spoke first, and his address took some ninety minutes to deliver. He evoked the ancient Greeks, who save their society by defeating the Persians at Marathon, drew upon Wellington’s victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, and then moved to a history of the Battle of Gettysburg—America’s decisive victory in the struggle to save the nation. Though a masterpiece of period, it has been largely forgotten.

Lincoln’s speech, delivered in only a few minutes, has persisted despite his assertion that “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here.”

Our present example is unfortunately flawed, but first day printings of the Gettysburg Address are scarce, and this is an excellent Philadelphia imprint.

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