The Gettysburg Gospel Essay

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In The Gettysburg Gospel, Gabor Boritt elucidates conjectures on Lincoln’s writing methodology concerning the Gettysburg Address “swings between two extremes” (Boritt 14). The themes ambit divine inspiration and transitory work that led to instantaneous corollary to what some scholars, such as Garry Wills, postulate as perpetual revelations and meticulous work that lead to an evolving causatum. Boritt believes that many writers and scholars have perceived predispositions; “It takes a heroic effort for the students of Lincoln to separate themselves from their subjects. Most of us fail to a smaller or larger degree” (Boritt 11). This is judicious for the “Lincoln’s Address was written spontaneously” argument. Take for example the story of the Alabama-born writer Mary Shipman Andrews. As the story goes, one day, her son Paul’s history teacher, Walter Burlingame, evoked a story to his class about hearing Edward Everett tell his father, diplomat Anson Burlingame, that the president “wrote his address on a piece of…show more content…
Linda Selzer, of University of Pittsburg, confirms, noting that Lincoln indeed delivered a speech in Washington, bearing strong similarities to Gettysburg’s. Selzer states, “Delivered on July 7, 1863, Lincoln speaks of the Fourth as ‘America 's birthday.’” Quoting Lincoln she goes on to state that “Eighty-odd years since, on the Fourth-of-July, for the first time in the history of the world, a nation, by its representatives assembled, declared as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal” (Selzer 132). Lincoln’s excerpt resembles the Gettysburg Address in two ways: the semblance of "Eighty-odd years since" to the more precise and powerful "Fourscore and seven years ago" and, furthermore, Lincoln using the first Fourth of July and The Declaration of Independence, among other things, to link national purpose to antedate the Gettysburg
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