THE NEW-YORK TIMES. VOL. XIII - No. 3794 [CONTAINING THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS]
by [Lincoln, Abraham]
New York, 1863. 8pp. printed in six columns. Large folio. Very minor foxing. Near fine. A fine, complete issue of THE NEW-YORK TIMES printing the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 20, the first date of the speech's printing. On Nov. 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered his great address at the dedication of a cemetery on the Gettysburg battlefield four months after the bloody and pivotal battle that turned the tide of the Civil War in favor of the Union. Lincoln's speech was preceded by an address from Edward Everett, the most famous orator of his day. Everett's speech took some ninety minutes to deliver and today is largely forgotten. Lincoln's speech, delivered in only a few minutes, is immortal. It is a supreme distillation of American values and of the sacrifices necessary for the survival of liberty and freedom. Much controversy surrounds the circumstances and content of the address as it was actually delivered at Gettysburg. The words spoken in the speech differ in the versions appearing in newspapers and the text which appeared in Washington several days later, which is now taken as the closest version to Lincoln's final intent because of its correspondence to the known manuscript versions. The most important newspaper version is the present one, based on the notes of THE NEW-YORK TIMES correspondent, and it was widely copied by other newspapers around the country. However, the circumstances of a windy day, and the reporter's shorthand may have interfered, as there is still dispute over how accurately it represents what Lincoln actually said, versus a final version which he may have altered after the fact. In his recent study of the Gettysburg Address and the evolution of its reception through history, Gabor Boritt pays special attention to the front-page reporting of this Nov. 20 issue of THE NEW-YORK TIMES. Lincoln's address, though printed in a center column near the top of the front page, is visually swallowed by the headlines and text surrounding it. This, as Boritt points out, includes an article on a speech by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, which was given the front page's "place of honor" and received "superlatives within an inch of the president's Gettysburg remarks, which were reproduced with no comment" (Boritt, pp.138-39). Years would pass before Lincoln's short speech was acknowledged as one of the greatest in American history. Together with examples from other newspapers of Nov. 20, 1863, this issue of THE NEW-YORK TIMES represents the first appearance of a version of the Gettysburg Address in print, although at variance with the version Lincoln disseminated. A remarkably good copy of this rare and important document. Gabor Boritt, THE GETTYSBURG GOSPEL (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006). Shelby Foote, THE CIVIL WAR, A NARRATIVE: FREDERICKSBURG TO MERIDEN (New York: Random House, 1958).
(Inventory #: WRCAM49167)
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