The Gettysburg Address
The State of Illinois owns one of the five known copies of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln’s own hand. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is proud to be the home of this historic document. This copy of the address is known as the Everett Copy because Lincoln prepared it for Edward Everett, who also spoke on the day Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
Please click here for audio of an actor reading the speech. For a closer look at the Everett Copy and the story behind Lincoln's most famous speech, just click on any of the highlighted text below:
The Everett Copy
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Gettysburg Address In Pictures
used on Gettysburg Address the Everett Copy page
Teacher Resource Guide
Gettysburg Address Puzzle
Other Sources of Information
National Constitution Center
Library of Congress
Gettysburg National Battlefield Park
ALPLM Gettysburg Address Digital Collection
"Writing the Gettysburg Address" by Martin P. Johnson
"Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America" by Gary Wills