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Lot 0137A
This historic document is bound and composed of tipped-in pages of photographic copies of the Hay Draft of the Gettysburg Address with edits and omissions in Lincoln's hand. It is one of the only six copies ever produced making it a very rare, important, and treasured item. The book has been in the same collection for nearly 90 years and is in great condition. The cover page reads, "President Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg -- Photographed from the Original Manuscript -- Six Copies Printed -- 1905" Dimensions: 13" x 11" x 1 / 4"

Notable history of the document :Abraham Lincoln's November 19, 1863, Gettysburg Address was a concise and historic speech delivered during the American Civil War at the Gettysburg battlefield on the occassion of a dedication ceremony four months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. The text of the address, which so adeptly proclaims the principles upon which the nation was founded and projects a trajectory of national purpose during a time of strife, is recognized as a literary masterpiece. The "battlefield draft" a two-page document written in the President's own hand and supposedly read by Lincoln has been, and continues to be mired in controversy as it's existence is unknown. However, there are five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address, all differing from one another, that Lincoln dispersed among close associates prior to and after his Address. Each of the five manuscripts is named for the person who received it from Lincoln. John Hay, Lincoln's aide who accompanied Lincoln on his trip to Gettysburg to deliver the address, was one of the five individuals who received a copy of the address. The original Hay manuscript named after John Hay is housed in the Library of Congress. The document being offered here was published in 1905 and is one of six copies of the original Hay manuscript.

With differing opinions from scholars about the proximity of each of the five manuscripts to the address Lincoln delivered, the Hay Draft is widely considered the second draft. Scholars continue to quarrel over whether it was the Hay Draft that was intended as the reading copy or another draft, however, there is little to no empirical evidence to support which, if any, of the existing drafts, were directly read from during the address. The existence of the Hay manuscript was announced to the public in 1906, after a search for the "original manuscript". The Hay manuscript along with the Nicolay manuscript (one of the five manuscripts) were both presented to the Library of Congress in 1916. Of the five manuscripts, these two are the only two housed in the Library of Congress.

The Hay Draft contains editorial revisions in Lincoln's hand. Below is a transcription of the Hay Draft: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecratedit far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

This is an unreserved auction with no minimums. This is an online only sale. Items may be viewed upon appointment in New York City.

Condition: Paper creasing on the front endsheet. The ink of the text of the speech has made marks on the verso of the previous page, however, it does not bleed through. Slight signs of aging to the spine. Overall, in great condition. More detailed condition reports and additional photographs are available by request. The absence of a condition report does not imply that the lot is in excellent condition. Please message us through the online bidding platform or call Guernsey's at 212-794-2280 to request a more thorough condition report.

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Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Hay Manuscript

Estimate $10,000 - $20,000
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