New York. Nov. 20, 1863. 8pp., printed in six columns, on a single folded sheet. Large folio. Old vertical and horizontal folds, minor fraying to spine. A few small holes along folds or at cross-folds, but none affecting Lincoln's address. Light occasional foxing and soft creasing. Very good overall. Untrimmed and unopened. Item #WRCAM55344
The complete issue of the NEW-YORK TRIBUNE printing the Gettysburg Address on the morning of Nov. 20, 1863, the first possible date of the speech's printing. The previous day, 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 between ninety minutes and two hours to deliver and today is largely forgotten. Lincoln's speech, delivered in only a few minutes, stands as 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 (published as THE GETTYSBURG SOLEMNITIES and known in only four copies) which is now taken as the closest version to Lincoln's final intent because of its correspondence to the known manuscript versions. Interestingly, and according to Carbonell, the text of the first appearance of the speech in book form, published a few days later as AN ORATION DELIVERED ON THE BATTLEFIELD OF GETTYSBURG (MONAGHAN 193), is taken largely from this NEW YORK TRIBUNE printing. As it appears here, the address corresponds closely to the transcription printed in the same day's edition of the NEW YORK TIMES, with slight variations in punctuation and capitalization ("Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new Nation...," in the TRIBUNE, versus, "Fourscore and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth on this Continent a new nation...," in the TIMES, e.g.). The address is printed on the first page at the bottom of the fifth column, running to the top of the sixth. Significantly, it notes the five places during Lincoln's speech where applause broke out, thereby providing an important historical record of the reception of the speech as it was delivered by Lincoln. It is noted that the conclusion of the speech was met with "long continued applause" and that "three cheers were here given for the President and the Governors of the States." Lincoln's speech is preceded by the opening prayer of the Rev. Thomas H. Stockton, and followed by Everett's speech, which occupies the rest of the sixth column and the vast majority of space on page two. War news occupies the other column space on the front page. Together with examples from other newspapers of Nov. 20, 1863, this issue of the NEW-YORK TRIBUNE represents the first appearance of any version of the Gettysburg Address in print, although at some variance with the version Lincoln eventually disseminated. The exact order in which the morning editions of November 20 were printed is practically impossible to determine at this point, and as Carbonell states, "will almost certainly never be known." Rightfully so, Carbonell includes all November 20 morning newspaper printings of the Gettysburg Address as his first entry, with no priority. Suffice to say this is as early a printing of one of the foundational documents of American life as one can ever encounter. "Lincoln's speech, composed on the train on the way to Gettysburg and written down, according to tradition, on scratch-paper and the backs of envelopes, comprised ten sentences and took only a few minutes to deliver. From the first words - 'Four score and seven years ago' - to the last - 'that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth' - it is immortal, one of the supreme utterances of the principles of democratic freedom" - PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN. A handsome copy of this rare and important document. CARBONELL 1. GROLIER AMERICAN 100, 72 (ref). STREETER SALE 1748 (ref). PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MAN 351 (ref). HOWES E233 (ref). MONAGHAN 192 (ref). Paul M. Angle, "Four Lincoln Firsts" in PAPERS OF THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, 36, Spring, 1942, pp.13-17. For an outstanding analysis of the structure and importance of the Gettysburg Address, see Garry Wills, LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG (New York, 1992).