tv Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address CSPAN August 17, 2017 9:06am-10:10am EDT
comprehensive legislation in consecutive years on pill mills. second state in the country to battle back sen thynthetics. being the first to mandate our prescription drug monitoring program. we have become the first state to require when prescribing to limit prescriptions to three days. some have done seven. some have done ten. we limited that to three days. >> we'll open up our phone lines to hear how the opioid epidemic we if he canned you personally. now back to the gettysburg civil war institute, the gettysburg
address. >> our first speaker is martin johnson. he teaches courses on abraham lincoln and modern europe. he earned his phd from brown university. he has devoted much of his career to studying the 16th president of the united states. he is also the author of a number of books. in pact his first two books are on european history he is able to go into other fields and succeed in doing so. in 2014 martin earned the distinguished lincoln prize. it is sponsored by gettysburg
college. he receive that had prize for writing the gettysburg address. writing the gettysburg address is a superb book. it takes readers on lincoln's journey to gettysburg. i don't want to give away too much but i'll simply say this, that it reveals how lincoln's intelle intelle intellectual process. this is a piece of detective work. two years ago i think we decided he came here. it was the dead of winter. miserable. he gave just an outstanding talk. so i don't want to inflate the expectations too much but it was fantastic. i knew he needed to come here. i knew he needed to talk about his important research and
findings to the cwi audience. let's give a warm welcome to mark johnson. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be here. we are here to talk about the gettysburg address. we have moment that is make us in many ways who we are. some times you wonder whether these are mythic, whether they are elements that are add especially for the gettysburg address. sudden inspiration or the work of longmonts months of labor. it is part of this journey that
we have as americans to understanding two we are and the nature of this american experience, the journey that we are on really, how we tell the story of who we are makes us who we are. we are the stories we tell ourselves. as we live those stories and we live up to those stories we make america and we can make a better america. one way we can see that is we look at things like this in the temple. i like the word here. in this temple for whom he saved the union. the memory is enshrined forever. as long as we have stories like stories of lincoln and the soldiers of the civil war we can become the americans we aspire to be. the story helps us make that journey. let's go to -- well, we are at
gettysburg. let's get to gettysburg. he got on the train the day before. these slides have little to do except the slide here is the old union terminal i believe it's called. it took him many hours to get to gettysburg and of course there's stories on that train of lincoln writing his speech. he stopped along the way. they had to pick up water. the train evidently -- the engines had to rest. for example just up the road here it's a wonderful place to visit. the railroad junction was an important place. lincoln went through there several times. they have -- excuse me. they have restored the old depot
too. you'll see images some times associated and they will say lincoln is here on the platform. lincoln is probably not in these pictures. they were probably taken the day before lincoln was there when a whole group of people, marshals for the parade and ceremony were going up and they were stranded there for hours and hours and had nothing to do but take a lot of pictures. he rattled down to get to gettysburg. we know he didn't write on the train. in a sense he tells us that. the story of him being on the train and being at gettysburg. i would like to organize what he
told. this was -- speed came to washington after the gettysburg ceremony. he was not at the ceremony. he did not see anything. what he tells us is what lincoln told him. so about a year after the ceremony lincoln said he was very uncertain as to whether he could go but was anxious to go. desired to be prepared to say some appropriate thing. the letter of invitation gave him expectations for a short speech but a speech that had to be appropriate to the occasion. one of the most impressive ceremonies of the mid-19th
centuries had never taken place. lincoln of course rarely left washington d.c. he never left in order give a speech, for example. this was a major event. he did want to say some appropriate thing. he knew this was an important event. he had -- but he knew too he wasn't going to be the main speaker. it hatd to be appropriate. >> you imagine lincoln busy here. he is not sure he can go to gettysburg. he only decided to go at the very last moment possible. it is probably the very weekend is when he decide today go. the monday before and it wasn't until the next day they had the railroad schedule set. it is really a last minute
decision that lincoln made. he wanted to go but he wasn't sure he could go. as he told him the day before he left he found time to write about half the speech. i love the picture of him standing up. it's as close to a candid shot as you can get of lincoln. you don't see it reproduce a lot because his face is obscured and people tried to retouch the face and it didn't tourn ourn out we. you can see his desk behind him
it's all in ink on executive mansion letterhead. it is beautifully written, no hesitation whatsoever. this is a draft that is the result of thought and this is a final version in many ways. i call this the washington draft because this is the only fragment we have left remains of the speech as he wrote it in washington before comes to gettysburg. it's the first page.
we know that from what he has told from the rest of his journey. he arrived at the station. it has been beautifully remodelled. it is part of the national park service. he was whisked away by edward. david wills was there. an enormous crowd waiting for lincoln to come in. it was about 6:00 at night or so. it was rather dark and moon was already out. >> so they kwhwhisked him away i don't have to tell many people here about david wills but he is a very important man and really in the american story in many ways. he was a young lawyer at the
time. probably was a little bit younger. . he was about 33 years old at that time. and he had been for months and months organizing the treatment of the wounded and the dying and the care for the battlefield and the soldiers. he had been commissioned by the governor of pennsylvania andrew curtain and been commissioned by the governor to take care of the battlefield and he was then a person who was the main leader behind the gettysburg cemetery and behind the ceremony that lincoln was going to now attend. possibly david wills was among those who thought lincoln was not going to raise the level of discourse. he was not known as a great eloquent speaker in 1863 or so.
he is not given the second inaugural. lincoln at this time is still very much viewed as western politician by many people. it's possible that david wills questioned whether he could in fact rise to the occasion. at the wills house there were greetings there were individuals, notables from the town came to meet lincoln. and in the evening at about 9:00 or so arrived out in front of that house here. this is the front door here. arrived out there. the band for the ninth new york infantry. that was the signal they were going to have a grand serenade. it is a charming 19th century ritual. it would play music. they would demand they come out and say a few words. they would march around and
everybody clap. lincoln made them stand outside for 45 minutes or so howling and yelling for them to come out. it is very important to know for the story of the gettysburg a address. it was after saying hello, just a brief word or two that he went back inside. it is after that that he went upstairs and started writing what we think of as the gettysburg address. here is the man who made that possible. i showed you this picture earlier. it turns out when you magnify it up that's actually david wills there. i think this picture was taken about 1892 or so just after he had written his account. david wills, you notice this is the photograph not of the wills family. this is the picture of a house because david wills wants you to
know that's the house that lincoln wrote the gettysburg address in. he had signed it like an affidav affidavit. he wanted to make sure that this is where he wrote the gettysburg address. you can visit it on the square. if anybody happens to know who all of the individuals are in the photo i would be happy to know about that, thank you. so here is what he said. this is after the serenade. he had taken with him what he had written. he was put in an upper room it
was an upper room. that's how we know it's a very reliable account. he is talking to us through james spieth. he was asked to be left alone far time. you can imagine there are politicians from all over the country. a dozen governors are expected in down that night. he needs to be left alone far time. he then prepare add speech. here -- this is an earlier photo. you can visit this. it is set up a little bit differently. this seems to be the bed that lincoln did sleep in. there is a little small table
here. that i don't know if that table is still there today but a table very much like that might have been why he wrote that or revised it at least. after revising far time he called his host and said i want to talk to william stewart, my secretary of state. how do i get to him? you this amazing story of david wills, his host, the governor of pennsylvania arrived by that time and several guards gathering in lincoln's room and hustling lincoln out to the street to go to the house where he was staying. lincoln, however, was worried. he knew it because huge crowd out there. he didn't like talking while he was president. he was afraid of making a mistake or something. he told the governor of pennsylvania, you go out and keep the people from me and i will then go see stewart.
so the governor stands up and gives one of those speeches where he said good to be here tonight. lincoln is going next door to see stewart. he started staying at the house of a newspaper owner and lincoln wanted to talk to him about his speech. and it's probable, it's very likely i think he did help lincoln with his peaspeech. of course we all know that stewart helped lincoln with the last few lines of the first inaugural, that idea came from him. lincoln change d it and made it his own.
he liked that word. he used exactly the word parish from the earth in a speech. lincoln did not use that that often. he does use it occasionally but parish from the earth i think is him through and through. he talks to some of the people and then he has to -- his bodyguards to have take him through the crowd once again back to the wills house.
he wrote out what was going to be the gettysburg address. the speech lincoln wrote that night is an intermediate draft. that's not the gettysburg address either. the speech he brought from washington and that we have on the wall of the lincoln memorial an elsewhere. the speech that he wrote that night in gettysburg although lincoln undoubtedly thought it would be the speech that would be given the next day. the journey is continuing. it starts in washington.
and we know a newspaper at the time, a newspaper quotes him as saying i visit the ground this morning and mr. lincoln joined me. they traveled up to the seminary ridge and visited some of the key sites that were known even at the time. i have here a magnificent history of gettysburg. this image comes from that. they visit the ground for very specific reasons. now, this is only four months after the battle. already there was a kind of pilgrimage route taking shape.
gettysburg was entering of the union and late tr the united states of the civil war. it often started at seminary ridge. it was recognized to be a key point in the battlefield. of course story looking out over the battlefield, there were stories in the newspaper at the time of the battle and after of human limbs out the windows of the seminary which have been used as the hospital. lincoln and others knew probably that lees headquarters was near by. he may have known -- certainly knew of john burns but he may have known that john burns had fought in that region. he had already been famous. what other of gettysburg made the cover of harpers weekly? so john burns of course who had fought in the war of 1812
grabbed his musket and went out to defend his home and farm. he has a stoatue and a moment ad he has fame. he was out but lincoln certainly knew about another event on seminary ridge, the death of john reynoldreynolds. lincoln had called to the white house before the battle and offered command before the battle. reynolds knew that he was a battlefield general. he wasn't -- and he did not like the political i think aspects of being the entire army. he declined. he was given command. reynolds was out in front. he was in front of the
battlefield. he was in control of the battlefield on the first day of battle. he was in front of his soldiers, perhaps 50 years from approaching confederate forces when he was shot from his horse in the ground around the seminary in what is to today called reynolds woods. that event was instantly famous. he was on the cover and his death was immortalized in a series of first drawings and then etchings. lincoln called him my friend, john reynoldreynolds. so lincoln knew of john reld nolds and maybe he knew it was
the woods around the seminary. certainly that's where they went when they knew they were visiting the battlefield. these are famous images and these images were hanging in the art gallery that the photographer -- that gardener had in washington when lincoln visited the studio. they were in his catalog that had just appeared in september. it had just appeared in the september cat lock log he had issued. these were notable pictures. people were very interested in such images. of course the git had tremendou interest. he saw those images undoubtedly
because they were on the walls when he was there. this is of course the picture that was one of the photos that was taken, some times called because it shows lincoln. i think this is one of the images we want to have in our mind. this lincoln is the lincoln he called it, backwoods jupiter, curling from the center of power, commanding armys, making strong generals quail and enforcing his will upon senators and representatives alike. so it's after visiting the battlefield then lincoln returns to the wills home up to the upper level room. the morning of the speech then and instead of simply looking over the words he had written the night before he engages in what i think is a crash revision of the gettysburg address. it shows that he was finding a new understanding of the war,
coming to words that we will find inspiring and that we will etch in stone. this is the document that he created in the upper level room. the first half is the part that came from washington. the second page is different paper. it's in pencil, not ink. it shows, again, there's no revisions on this second page either. the only revision to this document here instead of it is for us it is for us the living to stand here. he has written instead. it is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicate -- and it's
ungrammatic ungrammatical. we here be dedicate. you haven't heard that either. this is a crash revision. another change that he made that morning after walking the battlefield, just a small one but i think it speaks volumes. he underlined in pencil what they did here. that and change here only edits to this document, this first page. i think lincoln is looking over his speech when. he is thinking how am i going to get this speech? how am i going to emphasize things and he underlines what
they did here. the power of what they did there was coming to him more strongly than it could have in washington in the office that he was using. when he was in washington it was in his imagination and in his mind's eye he saw gettysburg. >> why did he make this transition? there is one element in the second page that is new novel and astonishing, and that is the second page that is a new birth of freedom. i think if that phrase -- that phrase that lincoln knew he was aiming for when he was revising the first page. he had written the second page and then he had to make this
work. and change we -- to stand here into we here be dedicated. dedicated is an emotion. standing is a status. it is passive no matter how you think about it. standing is basically a passive stance. to be dedicated is an emotional commitment. lincoln was thinking about and writing what we would call the state of the union speech for when he got back to washington. then it was called the message. essentially it is the state of
the union. it is the first time he issues a reconstruction policy. he had been thinking about it far long time. the gettysburg address and this reconstruction policy in the december message of 1863 were written at exactly the same moment. they illuminate each other. and so in the december message, which we date to december 8th was actually written at the same time as gettysburg address
lincoln and those around him believe that if the same political movement continued in 1863 as it motivate until 1862 the war could not be sustained if they had similar electoral losses in 1863 as in 1862. and it would cause tremendous upheaval and political difficulty. it was a military measure, even a union that was reconstructed under the emancipation proclamation. it was not a thorough solution. it was not a reconstruction program. it was a military measure to get soldiers on the field and to
make sure they didn't intervene and to make this war about freedom. >> they had proven their worth as good as any he said . it is as good as any. it is basically saying that putting the metric is one of equality or inequality. he is saying equality. as good a soldier as any. it had been proven over the previous six to nine months. proven to others who had originally questioned whether african american troops would be an asset. he knew politically it was going to cause difficulty. and around the time of gettysburg lincoln is beginning to think about and people are talking about what will become
the 13th amendment. he has not spoken publicly about it at this point. there are indications in november, december and certainly in january lincoln is speaking in ways that suggest he is favorable to it however he is moving slowly and cautiously. he is not getting out in front of certain issues. in this case there's a sense it was some of the democrats and might turn against it. he was worried about the politics involved in the 13th amendment. and so these are the reasons -- these are the things lincoln was thinking about. african american soldiers when he said in 1863 at the time of gettysburg the crisis which threatened has passed. gettysburg has been won. vicksburg has been won.
the armys are on the offensive. thus we have as he wrote in the message of 1863 the new reckoning. it's at gettysburg that he is putting these same ideas together in a more poe etic way as the new birth of freedom. the key provision, the key political policy change of 1863 is lincoln will not accept slavery in the union. any slave states have to abolish slavery as a part of their institutions. where as it freed slaves the new policy was to end slavery and we some times don't understand the transition that has to occur from 1862 to 1863 abdomnd 1864. slavery is done with.
no. many people thought the union would be reconstructed well into 1864. in many ways it was only the electoral victory that solved that question. but lincoln is saying here the new reckoning, the new birth of freedom is a union without slavery. it's not the union as it was. and it's not the union of four score and several years ago. it is in the morning of the speech at gettysburg in the upper room after visiting the battlefield when he writes in pencil. here it is in pencil. that nice shaation shall have a ber birth of freedom and it shall not parish from the earth.
you see the new birth of freedom is associated with this eternal vision of an american union which is now cleansed. this new birth of freedom tucks the it and you can see the fold marks. put it in his coat pocket. goes out to the central square here at gettysburg. we all walked around it today and yesterday and will in the days ahead. you have to imagine then horses, groups, civic organizations, odd fellows wearing their outlandish attire. it was down there on the square as they were getting ready to march out to the ceremony. it is about a mile south of town down this road. lincoln on this trip smiles.
he is greeting people. somebody lifts a child up to him. on this trip lincoln starts out in a joyful mood. people are laughing. it is a celebration. but as they get towards the cemetery where the graves can be seen on the hillside a new tone begins to be felt. so here we are south now looking up north towards the center of town. you can see these are the guarding troops which have come down and they will turn right here. we'll turn right here so they can go sort of around to the cemetery. another image of this. there are three images. this third image is one, however that when you focus in -- i'm
sorry. when you focus in you can see it. a man on a horse with a top hat and not wearing a sash. lincoln did not wear a sash. you'll see a man wearing a sash. not lincoln. this is undoubtedly lincoln. the photographer had set up his station exactly to catch this scene exactly. he knew as they turned this way the people in front of lincoln the people in front of lyincoln would be out of the way and that's when he snapped this shot. this is not as far as i know, has not been recognized as one of the photographs of lincoln. it probably should be added to that list. of course lincoln was coming
down this way. this is an aerial view. the turn he made was here and came around this way to the cemetery. evergreen is over here. they did not go through evergreen cemetery. they made sure they avoided that. he was not happy with the leader. so they went away from evergreen cemetery. they came probably up the center of what we think of now is the center of the cemetery, maybe they came up this way here. there is a little sunk in road here. this was taken probably from the second floor window of one of these houses here. it is relatively a little known photo. and we are looking up the hill. i don't know if you can see it. yes.
you can probably see it. that's large flag here. this is just on the other side of the hill. the parade came up this way and probably up one of these spokes here. as they got to the top of the hill this is what greeted them. we are approaching the cemetery grounds. that flag pole is on the left. there it is. so we have come up the hill a little bit to this point approximately here. and now we are looking straight on. this is one of the alexander photos. he is setting up for that purpose. it's absolutely clear that's why this camera is here at this point. it is raking almost across the front of the speaker stand.
probably the speaker stand is pointed here and not straight down towards the flag. here is the speaker stand. behind the speaker stand is a tent that everett asked for. he was 72 years old. he knew it would be hours and hours out there. he want today make sure he had the combination that is were necessary. he asked for a tent. he asked for a chamber pot. he was given the run of the tent just beforehand. there's a group of people with him. he had a hard time shushing them out so they could -- there is the tent behind the speaker stand. behind this picture many people believe that i had could find lincoln in various ways. personally i don't think so. again, we are looking from above. we'll go to the other side of the field towards the gate house which is over here. this is an image of december
5th, 1863. it is beautiful. as far as i can tell everything is accurate except for this tree having lots of leaves on lots of leaves on it which probably did not happen in november. there were stories of people selling lemonade and souvenirs along baltimore pike. but come up this way somehow perhaps, there's the speaker stand. they walked in front of the stand. they filled in this area here where soldiers had been kept open to keep that area reserved for the parade to come in. and here we have another image, the same image photographically basically from almost the same place. except on this photograph you're probably in one of the upper windows th of this building her looking out onto the field. here's the flag poles right there.
and the graves of the cemetery over here. let's go down to this area right here. many of you know the story. in 1954 an employee of the national ar kooifrs was looking at this picture. nobody knew where this picture was taken from. look closer. blew it up a little bit and of course we know. there on the speaker stand is none other than abraham lincoln sitting on the platform at gettysburg about to give the gettysburg address.
i'm concerned about that. but i thought it was ward lambon. and i will go with ward lambon until i have another photograph to tell me differently. as they sit on the stand, they today wait a few minutes and edward everett emerged from his tent. there was difficulty there. emerged from his tent. he came forward. everybody stood up of course. main speaker of the day. edward everett was man who held every major office that nation could bestow except president and vice president.
senator of massachusetts. on the down side of his career at this point but still somewhat a controversial figure. especially abolitionists and other anti-slavery and attempts through the 1840s and 1850s and kept the union together by not emphasizing anti-slavery. he was one of those wigs that hoped that problem would take care of itself if it wasn't talked about much. and of course as you know in the 1850s, that's not getting you very far in massachusetts. he retired from politics some what under a cloud. he then took to public speaking. he is one of the people who is very much important for creating national -- historical memory about washington's mount vernon for example. known as perhaps a little bit of the bygone era, 1863.
associated with webster and orders of 1840s and 1850s perhaps. but his speech is often compared to lincoln's, to of course not to the advantage of everett. but everett gave a speech that brought lincoln to tears. you have to imagine, they are sitting on the battlefield, seeing these kinds of sights. this is taken in november of 1863 at battle of gettysburg. the freshly dug graves were in front of them. one reporter described it like flower beds freshly dug. the scene became somber and the graves themselves set the tone for this being a sacred ceremony. everett rose to the occasion. those accounts that we have that denigrating of everett or
accounts generally by newspaper editors back home reading the speech, if you were there during that hour and half or two hours, there is universal praise, universal praise for everett's speech because it did bring people to tears. lincoln then stepped forward. it is a void when you know so much about what happened before. what happened after. but you have to fill in in some ways with iconography. but you have to fill in. these are some. but maybe this is what we should be thinking about. on the platform. standing with no gestures. maybe the sweep of his right hand at one point. this image here, this lincoln in chicago and elsewhere, that perhaps is a very good impression, too.
standing and speaking his words in a loud clear ringing voice. a voice heard by hundreds and thousands in front of him. of course he knew how to speak in the open air. he still had two eastern ears. he still had that kentucky accent. he called it chair, what you're sitting in, he called that a cheer, for example. but that voice is one that could be heard across the battlefield. when he stepped forward he then spoke and gave to the speech his new dedication, which he felt that morning. he imagined being there in washington. he walked now the battle field. and now he had heard everett's speech and heard the prayer. heard the hymns. seen the graves. he had stood on that platform for two hours. looking at the scene around it. beautiful scenery. beautiful fall day by the time the ceremony took place.
about 52 degrees probably. what he said had impressed everett so much that everett said the next day, i should be glad that i came as near to central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes. that distinction, two hours, two minutes, those kinds of comparisons have lasted until the present day. everett was among the first to make them, the poor fellow. but it didn't work out to his benefit. this is the culmination of lincoln telling the story to james speed. and lincoln told me, according to speed, he never received a
compliment he prized more highly. because lincoln had endowed that speech, not just the words, but with his feeling. he had been to the battlefield. and we can see that, when we try to understand what he said there. we have the words on the page. but what did he say? that we have to look to the newspapers and other sources. and here, the second half of this phrase here was added by lincoln on the battlefield, on the stand. he had already underlined this word here here. the world will little remember what we say here, or what can never forget what they did here. that was the most quoted phrase of the speech at the time and for years afterwards. that was the part of the speech, because they were commemorating real living dead, many of the thousand s in front of lincoln were sons, brothers, wives, daughters, parents, of soldiers who had died or been injured at gettysburg.
so this spoke to them. it spoke to lincoln too. and then he added, it is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have so far nobly carried on. the second page also has two words that are new and original to this document. devotion. they're not found in the first page. it is at gettysburg he adds those words to his speech. the speech that he brought from washington had dedicated in it. the speech that he wrote that morning contained the word dedicated. the revision that he made in gettysburg he added a word, the word dedicated. and then when he spoke, he added another version of the word dedicated. six times he put the word dedicated in a speech, even on the stand, feeling those
emotions, feeling the power of that moment, the word came to him for a sixth time. and so it is in that phrase that occurs here, you see, from here to here, the spoken words, that join together the washington version of lincoln's words and the gettysburg version of lincoln words. the thinking about the founding, the revolutionary era, the four score and seven years ago, those thoughts are from the first page that he wrote in washington. but the dedication, the devotion, the emotional power is in the second page and it is in a phrase, the people at the time did not remark upon, a phrase that was not in his written draft, a phrase that he added while standing on the battlefield, while standing on the platform.
he added, you know, various -- a number of versions the gettysburg address and different newspapers here. this is the draft he held on the battlefield draft, these are other newspaper versions. and the newspaper versions pretty much all agree that he said that the nation shall, under god, later on when we revised it, he moved the under god, here's where he moved it. and that phrase under god then is -- shows the power of that gettysburg moment for lincoln, the power of the speeches, the prayers, seeing the graves, and this is why we have that phrase in our pledge of allegiance. it was added, of course in the 1950s as part of our fight against communism. godless communism, they called it at the time. and one nation under god was added in 1954 as part of that -- and much of the argument in favor was on the basis that
lincoln spoke those words at gettysburg, which he undoubtedly did. so this is how lincoln got to gettysburg. the journey he made starting with one text in washington, ending with another text in gettysburg, the revisions, even on the battlefield itself, those revisions made the gettysburg address we have today and even the words that our children recite in class rooms all over the country today. so i thank you very much for that. [ applause ] >> we have time for questions and they need to go to the microphones. >> okay. i'm told that there is time for questions if there are any and use the microphones if you have any questions.
don't leave me hanging up here. >> they're going right there. they're there. >> there they are. thank you. >> hey, martin. in your book you said that lincoln was talking moderate, but leaning radical. eric phoner would argue that lincoln's thinking on slavery actually evolved over the course of his presidency. do you agree with that? or do you think that lincoln always intended to abolish slavery or was just looking for the right political moment? >> good question. i don't think, like, in the start of the war he was thinking about abolishing slavery by hook or by crook. i think his credentials are clear before the war. i think he took advantage of every opportunity and when he saw , especially in 1862, he believed that anti-slavery was, of course, deeply controversial, and he feared, as i believe he was right from the elections of
1862 that taking anti-slavery measures might hurt the union, and maintaining the union was the overall goal. but it had to be -- here's where the tension comes, it has to be a union worth fighting for. the ideals have to be preserved. so you cannot, you cannot allow slavery to be extended. if he hadn't been anti-slavery, a compromise could have been reached easily before the war started. got going really. so the -- the ideals are the most important element, but in practical reality, they had to be preserved through the constitution and that requires political support. so you have to move slowly and he did take advantage of his opportunities, i think. but there was no plan in advance, i don't believe. >> hi. al mackey from mechanicsburg, pennsylvania. where do you stand on the accuracy of lehman's claim that lincoln had come back from giving the speech and sat down
next to him and said, lehman, that speech won't scowl. >> the won't scowl story first emerges in the late 1870s. and it was much discussed at the time. and people like david wills and james speed, in fact, they said, no, lincoln did not feel that way. i, in the -- in the book i argue that lincoln probably, as he did, often spoke deprecatingly of his words in some ways. he talk ed about them short, short, short, that kind of thing, the few remarks i gave, those kinds of things came to him easily. he was not one to puff up his achievements or accomplishments. so when you talk to him about his speech, you could easily say, yes, these few words or something of this sort. and people might have heard him saying these aren't -- not so great, i'm not that -- but what
he said to james speed about the compliment that everett gave him and later on, other indications that i give in the book that lincoln did understand that his speech was something that the people talk ed about, and recognized, and that lincoln himself came to understand was something that had been more than just a speech. i do believe lincoln, before the end of his life, did see the emerging legend grow and told that story to james speed in part to account for that. >> you said that david wills did not get along with -- i imagine you mean elizabeth thorn, running the -- >> no, mcconaughey was the person. >> sorry? >> mcconaughey was the person he did not get along with. >> what was the issue they had? >> i would like to hear from a local lore and legend if i could. i looked high and low for specifics about that. david wills and david mcconaughey seemed to be republicans. mcconaughey went to the republican convention in 1864 and supported lincoln.
wills might have been a little more in support of freemonte or others, may have been political shading there. their problem, as one of the gettysburg committees that was looking into it at the time, told the governor of pennsylvania, you know, it is the peculiar relations between these men that are causing trouble. but they did not say what the peculiar relations were. some people think there must be a romance involved. maybe, you know, there has been suggestions of that. so i've been looking at that. and it is just a very interesting problem. but mcconaughey was nowhere near lincoln when lincoln came to gettysburg as far as i could tell. s wills kept him away from lincoln. and he kept lincoln away from the cemetery, the evergreen cemetery. all right. thank you very much. [ applause ] our focus on abraham lincoln and the civil war continues from the gettysburg college civil war
institute conference in just a moment. next time, on american history tv, in primetime, we'll be back at gettysburg college for a look at president james buchanan and southern secession. c-span's coverage of the solar eclipse on monday starts at 7:00 a.m. eastern, with the washington journal, live at nasa's goddard space flight center in green belt, maryland. our guests are shawn donegal goldman and jim garvin, the chief scientist at goddard. at noon, we join nasa tv as they provide live views of the eclipse shadow passing over north america. and at 4:00 p.m. eastern, viewer reaction to this rare solar eclipse over the continental united states. live, all day coverage, of the solar eclipse on monday, starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern, on c-span and c-span.org.
listen live on the free c-span radio app. and this saturday, we'll take a look at preparations for the first solar eclipse over the united states in 100 years. plus, programs on the nasa budget, mars exploration and more. beginning at noon eastern, on c-span. interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org/history. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs, and watch college lectures, museum tours, archival films and more. american history tv, at c-span.org/history. next, u.s. army war college professor michael neiberg talks about the civil war, world war i, and the concept of total war. this was part of an annual conference hosted by gettysburg colleges civil war institute. >> good evening. i am peter carmichael.