273 Words to a New America (2:59 min)
Curator: Dr. John R. Sellers
Week of: September 23, 2009
President Lincoln gave a copy of the Gettysburg Address to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. According to Nicolay, Lincoln had written the first part of the speech on Executive Mansion stationery, and the second page in pencil on lined paper right before the dedication on November 19, 1863. Matching folds are still evident on the two pages of the Nicolay draft, supporting the eyewitness' argument that Lincoln kept it in his coat pocket before the ceremony.