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Lincoln, Abraham, and Edward Everett | The earliest publication of the Gettysburg Address in book form

Lot Closed

December 16, 08:32 PM GMT


25,000 - 35,000 USD

Lot Details


Lincoln, Abraham, and Edward Everett

An Oration delivered on the Battlefield of Gettysburg, (November 19, 1863,) at the Consecration of the Cemetery … by Edward Everett. To which is added Interesting Reports of the Dedicatory Ceremonies; Descriptions of the Battlefield; Incidents and Details of the Battles, &c. New York: Baker & Godwin, Printers and Publishers, 1863

8vo (229 x 143 mm). 48pp. Publisher's lettered wrappers, publisher's ad on rear wrapper; the wrappers beautifully preserved and unrestored, with only a minute (1 mm) spot of loss to fragile spine at tail; faintest, almost undetectable spotting to cover, spotting to title page and some scattered spotting in text. Old cloth folding case with a 1945 Swann Galleries catalog housed in as well.

"Four score and seven years ago..." — the earliest publication of the Gettysburg Address in book form, preceded only by the exceptionally rare pamphlet, The Gettysburg Solemnities, known in only three copies.

Lincoln made his speech at the dedication of a cemetery on the Gettysburg battlefield some 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 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.

"The Washington Chronicle of 18-21 November reported extensively on this ceremony and included a verbatim text of 'Edward Everett's Great Oration.' On the fourth day it noted in passing that the President had also made a speech, but gave no details. When it came to the separate publication on 22 November, Everett's 'Oration' was reprinted from the standing type, but Lincoln's speech had to be set up. It was tucked away as a final paragraph on page 16 of the pamphlet [The Gettysburg Solemnities]. It was similarly treated when the meanly produced leaflet was replaced by a 48-page booklet published by Baker and Godwin of New York in the same year" (PMM).

Lincoln's address appears on page 40, and parenthetical notes are added indicating "applause" and "long-continued applause." A diagram on page 32 gives the details of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg.


Grolier, American 100 72 (note); Howes E232, "b"; Monaghan 193; Sabin 23263; Streeter 1747; PMM 351; Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg 191-204


A Superb Library of Lincolniana, auction at Swann Galleries, 7 June 1945, lot 245, $180 ("No finer copy could be imagined")