Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Grace Stalter

On the evening of November 19th, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the shortest, most important and influential speeches in the world. At 272 words, the Gettysburg Address was said in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as a cemetery dedication speech. This cemetery was home to the bloodiest battle in American history: The Battle of Gettysburg. This battle was fought in July of 1863, and they turned this battlefield into a cemetery for the soldiers that had fallen in battle. Lincoln was the second person to speak on this day, and though his speech was just over two minutes long, it is still considered to be one of the most powerful and important speeches of all time. The famous first statement, “Four score and seven years ago” refers to the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln redefined the Civil War as a “struggle for not only the Union, but also for the principle of human equality.” The Gettysburg Address was short, and right to the point, unlike the speech before it, by Edward Everett, which was surprisingly no less than two hours long. Lincoln’s speech basically summarized in ten sentences what Edward Everett had said before him. History.com says, “he invoked the principles of human equality contained in the Declaration of Independence and connected the sacrifices of the Civil War with the desire for "a new birth of freedom," as well as the all-important preservation of the Union created in 1776 and its ideal of self-government.” As you can see, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was one of the most important and influential speeches to ever be delivered. It will forever be a huge part of America’s history. Grace Stalter Fisher Jr Sr High School Fisher IL