Dr Abe V Rotor
Brief Gettysburg AddressPerhaps Edward Everett talked a bit too long at Gettysburg, but he was an old man then, by the standards of his day – within a few months of his seventieth birthday. And this was the culminating glory of a long career. But Everett was among those who perfected the classic qualities of the Lincoln address. In a note to the President the following day he said: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”
With his customary graciousness President Lincoln replied: “In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, or I a long one.” (Quote Magazine)
During the Civil War days a foreign minister to the United States was shocked when, on a call to the White House, he found President Lincoln shining his own shoes. He told the President that in his country it was not the custom of gentlemen to polish their own shoes.
With his customary resourcefulness and nimble wit, President Lincoln replied, “Then whose shoes do they polish?” (The Red Barrel)
Abraham Lincoln was questioned by one of his advisers as follows: “Mr. President, I cannot understand you. You treat your enemies with such kindness. It would seem to me that you should want to destroy them.”
“My dear fellow,” said the President. “I do destroy my enemy when I make him into a friend.” (Annonymous)
Throughout his life, music was a solace to Lincoln. “His musical tastes,” says a biographer, “were simple and uncultivated, his choice being old airs, songs and ballads.”
On one of his walks through Washington during the war, Lincoln passed a schoolhouse where children were singing. He took off his beaver hat and heard the song through, his face brightening the while. Then he straightened up and walked off with a more elastic step. (Sunday Magazine)
Using Words Carefully
If the story of the Creation can be told in 400 words, if the Ten Commandments contain 297 words, if Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address was only 266 words, if an entire concept of freedom was set in the Declaration of Independence in about 1,300 words – it is up to some of us to use fewer words, and thus save the time energy, vitality, and nerves of those who must read or listen (Jerome P Fleishman)
A Life in Brief
When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, seven slave states left the Union to form the Confederate States of America, and four more joined when hostilities began between the North and South. A bloody civil war then engulfed the nation as Lincoln vowed to preserve the Union, enforce the laws of the United States, and end the secession.
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan..."
Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865