Thoughts On the Gettysburg Address

In lieu of the fact that last week was the 148th anniversary of Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address I thought I would post the text of that famous speech which enobled the Civil War and put it on a higher plane in the hearts and minds of the American people. Lincoln, in ten sentences, gave his views on what the war was all about and the role of the American people in the war. He was able to say more in two minutes then the honorable Edward Everett was able to say in over two hours. Lincoln really didn’t think that this speech would make a mark. He thought it was a flop after he gave it, but it has gone on to be one of the most well known and beloved speeches in American history. Senator Charles Sumner, in Lincoln’s eulogy said the Gettysburg Address was a “Monumental act, the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” Sumner continued “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.”

 Four fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.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 have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for 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 can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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 gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(Text of the speech from

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm  Comments (1)