Abraham Lincoln reference site established 2005

Letter to
Edward Everett

Edward Everett
Edward Everett portrait with facimile signature

 

     NOVEMBER 20, 1863

     EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 20, 1863

     HON. EDWARD EVERETT.

     MY DEAR SIR: Your kind note of to-day is received. In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure. Of course I knew Mr. Everett would not fail, and yet, while the whole discourse was eminently satisfactory, and will be of great value, there were passages in it which transcended my expectations. The point made against the theory of the General Government being only an agency whose principals are the States, was new to me, and, as I think, is one of the best arguments for the national supremacy. The tribute to our noble women for their angel ministering to the suffering soldiers surpasses in its way, as do the subjects of it, whatever has gone before.

     Our sick boy, for whom you kindly inquire, we hope is past the worst.

          Your obedient servant,

                    A. Lincoln

 

source: Perry, Bliss (editor). The Best of Lincoln, Garden City, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1922, p. 121.

 

...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, November 19, 1863


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