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Examining the Evidence Activities

Examining Related Evidence: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 465 of The American Pageant, Thirteenth Edition. Or you can view the feature here.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history. However at the time, Lincoln was only invited to Gettysburg at the last minute to make a few remarks before the featured speaker, Edward Everett gave his oration in memory of the soldiers killed at Gettysburg. Historians disagree on whether Lincoln thought his speech was a success. What did Everett think of Lincoln's brief remarks?

Go to the American Memory Project and click on Search. Then do a search for items in the collections containing the words "Abraham Lincoln Everett Gettysburg." When you get the results, select Edward Everett to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 1863. Read Everett's letter, especially the second paragraph which begins on the first page and is continued on the third page. NOTE: IT IS EASIER TO READ THE TRANSCRIPTION.

  1. What did Everett think of Lincoln's speech? (Hint: how did Everett complete the following sentence: "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that "?)

    A month before the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing a formal Thanksgiving holiday to be observed on the last Thursday in November. Historians often compare speeches and other records to look for clues about people in the language and imagery they use in their writing. To compare the Gettysburg Address to the Thanksgiving proclamation go to the Internet Public Library's page on Abraham Lincoln. On the IPL hompage choose special collections - more - POTUS then choose the Lincoln page then click on the Thanksgiving Proclamation located under the Historical Documents section. [If this link takes you to the IPL homepage the click on SPECIAL COLLECTIONS and POTUS (Presidents Of The United States) then choose Lincoln and click on HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS)]
  2. According to Lincoln, for what should Americans be thankful?
  3. Compare this document to the Gettysburg Address. How are the values he invokes in both similar? Different?





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