Gettysburg Address (Hay draft)

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Gettysburg Address  (1863) 
Abraham Lincoln, given to John Hay
This draft was given to Lincoln's secretary John Hay. The Hay copy, which is sometimes referred to as the "second draft", was made either on the morning of its delivery, or shortly after Lincoln's return to Washington.
For works with similar titles, see Gettysburg Address.


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 here on a great battle field of that war. We are now have come to dedicate a portion of it as the a final resting place of 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 can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished ^work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. 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 the that cause for which they here gave gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.