Realty vs. Myth, 5 manuscript versions of Gettysburg Address

Being an engineer, I enjoyed Math, Physics, Chemistry, and many other sciences.  Studying Accounting and Finance was a close third to Math and Science.  These were exact things to understand.  When I was 14 I was working part-time after school, and it didn't work out as I wasn't fitting in.  Losing the job didn't really bother me which bothered my mom more than it did me.  What I think the event did do is get me into studying psychology, philosophy, reading Jung, Freud, and Zen Buddhism.  People's perceptions shape their realty.

Here is an example of perception.  I was curios to read the exact words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address.  We all take "four score and seven years ago…" as a truth.  But, guess what there are five different manuscripts of Abraham Lincoln's speech and each has its different place in history.

Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording and location of the speech are disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.

Here are references to the 5 different manuscripts.

a The Gettysburg Address: Nicolay copy. The Library of Congress. Retrieved on 2010-09-15.b The Gettysburg Address: Hay copy. The Library of Congress. Retrieved on 2010-09-15.c Everett copy (jpg). Retrieved from internet archive 2007-06-14 version on 2007-12-10.d Bancroft copy cover letter (pic), Bancroft copy, page 1 (pic), page 2 (pic). Cornell University Library. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.e Bliss copy, page 1 (jpg), page 2 (jpg), page 3 (jpg). Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.

One of the lessons learned is the perception (of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address) is stronger than the reality (5 different manuscripts).

How many of these perception issues exist in the data center that the mass majority believe is true, but actually there is little data to support the perceived truth.

If you want to make it worse, there are some who benefit from distortion of perception as they create a reality that benefits their agenda.

Some of the smartest people know how to question common accepted truths as they ask for the data.

And sometimes those who speak less say more.

Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln was the second speaker on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln was preceded on the podium by the famed orator Edward Everett, who spoke to the crowd for two hours. Lincoln followed with his now immortal Gettysburg Address. On November 20, Everett wrote to Lincoln: “Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. 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.”





273 Words to a New America (2:59 min)

Curator: Dr. John R. Sellers 
Week of: September 23, 2009