*Includes pictures of Lincoln, pictures of the crowd, and pictures of original drafts of the Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln (1809â€“1865) is one of the most famous Americans in history and one of the countryâ€™s most revered presidents. Schoolchildren can recite the life story of Lincoln, the â€śWesternerâ€ť who educated himself and became a self made man, rising from lawyer to leader of the new Republican Party before becoming the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln successfully navigated the Union through the Civil War but didnâ€™t live to witness his own accomplishment, becoming the first president assassinated when he was killed at Fordâ€™s Theater by John Wilkes Booth.
As impressive as his presidency was, one of his most lasting legacies was his writing. In addition to masterful writing for everything from orders to his generals and condolences to the aggrieved Mrs. Bixby, his Second Inaugural Address and Gettysburg Address are considered masterpieces that rate among the greatest writings in American history.
Perhaps Lincolnâ€™s most impressive feat is that he was able to convey so much with so few words; after famous orator Edward Everett spoke for hours at Gettysburg, Lincolnâ€™s Gettysburg Address only took a few minutes. In those few minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, ensure that democracy would remain a viable form of government, and would also create a unified nation in which states' rights were no longer dominant. And yet, despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.
This edition of Lincolnâ€™s Gettysburg Address is specially formatted with an original introduction, original commentary, pictures of Lincoln at Gettysburg, pictures of the speech, and pictures of the crowd.