Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lincoln's Letter to Edward Everett, Written the Day After the Gettysburg Address

Executive Mansion, Washington, November 20, 1863.

 Your kind note of to-day is received. In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure. Of course I knew Mr. Everett would not fail, and yet, while the whole discourse was eminently satisfactory, and will be of great value, there were passages in it which transcended my expectations.
The point made against the theory of the General Government being only an agency whose principals are the States, was new to me, and, as I think, is one of the best arguments for the national supremacy. The tribute to our women for their angel ministering to the suffering soldiers surpasses in its way, as do the subjects of it, whatever has gone before.
Our sick boy, for whom you kindly inquire, we hope is past the worst.
Your obedient servant,
A. Lincoln

(Everett, a noted orator of his day, spoke for two hours and ostensibly made the principal address. He was followed by Lincoln who spoke only a few but immortal words)

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