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Thanks, History Buffs

May 27, 2008 | 4 Comments

Dear Sir:
The speaker at Gettysburg besides Lincoln was Edward Everett, not Edward Horton. You must have been thinking of Edward Everett Horton, the famous movie comedian.

Tim C.

You are exactly right, sir, and it's good to know that people listen closely to the show and that we're not just a murmuring presence. The windbag who preceded Lincoln was Edward Everett who, to his credit, knew immediately what Lincoln had accomplished and told him so. The story of the President's tardy invitation to speak at the Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication and the placement of him after the main speaker is a fascinating story in itself. The man was not held in high regard at that point.


Kudos to the host for pointing out Lincoln's unpopularity at the end of his term. Few today can imagine Abe Lincoln being despised save the current president. In Washington, D.C. he was even nicknamed "The Widow Maker" in reference to the number Union troops he was accused of sending to their deaths.

Whoever said "brevity is the soul of wit" got the message. Edward Everett's speech was something like 2 hours and no one remembers it, and few that he spoke. For its conciseness and pointedness Lincoln is honored. Note also that Lincoln wrote his own speech on the train while traveling to Gettysburg. No speech writers here. The speech was pure Lincoln, unfiltered, unfluffed, and unspun. Where are men like Lincoln now? They don't seem to be in Washington.
I sometimes wonder if real men of integrity and honor, men with moral values, would want to place themselves in that environment and subject their families to it.

Strane isn't it how men like Lincoln, Truman and yes, Bush the 2nd were all extremely unpopular in their own time....yet at least two of those became revered after either: A. Their assasination or B. 25 years had passed.
I suspect if you live long enough you'll see the same transformation in the reputation of the third.

Garrison: It might interest you to know that Edward Everett (of Massachusetts) was the vice-presidential running mate of John Bell of
Tennessee on the Constitutional Union party ticket in 1860. Comprised mainly of Southern former Whigs, it adopted the U.S. Constitution as its sole platform, favored keeping the Union together no matter what, and contested the South against John C. Breckinridge and the Southern Democrats. Bell carried his home State as well as Virginia and Kentucky. The Confederate general John Bell Hood was named after him. JTA

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