20 Jun. 2013
President Abraham Lincoln’s Thoughts on His “Gettysburg Address”
I am the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. I come from humble beginnings and never finished school. My love for reading and learning led me to a career in law. I was able to manage this by “studying independently the law books of the time: Blackstone’s Commentaries, Chitty’s Pleadings, Greenleaf’s Evidence, and Story’s Equity and Equity Pleadings” (Levine 733). My law career led me to a career in politics. I held offices in Illinois before being elected to Congress. Now, I am the leader of a divided nation in the throes of a vicious civil war. I have a duty to deliver this address, not just to honor the dead; but to inspire the living. To persuade my countrymen that, indeed, this war is not only about keeping the country united, but also those rights of equality which every man is endowed with. This speech, (which will later be well-known as “The Gettysburg Address”) like many of mine, was influenced by the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. The Bible and the Declaration of Independence are two documents which I regard in the highest authority. Members of my cabinet that accompanied me on the trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, describe my face as having a “ghastly color”. On the way to deliver the address, I did not feel well. I remarked to some of my travelling companions of feeling dizzy. Although I didn’t know it, I was coming down with smallpox.
The theme of the “Gettysburg Address” is an inspiration. The country is in turmoil, and the Battle of Gettysburg is the bloodiest to date. Both the Union and Confederate armies have sustained many casualties in this battle. It is my duty as the President to pay homage to the soldiers lost. Also, it is my duty to remind people that there are some things worth fighting for, no matter the cost. I must ensure that “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here” (Wills 307) did not...
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