How The Address Was Received

    The newspaper reviews and criticisms of the address varied.  Some of the initial reviews were not optimistic and it is safer to say that appreciation was more gradual.  (Barton 603)  The criticisms began as soon as Lincoln sat down.  On the platform Seward asked Everett what he thought and Everett replied, " It is not what I expected of him.  I am disappointed."  Then Everett asked Steward and he replied, " He has made a failure and I am sorry for it. His speech was not equal to him."  Even though Everett was not impressed with Lincoln's address he still knew how to give a compliment.  For the next day Everett wrote to Lincoln saying, " I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in nearly two hours that the did in two minutes."  Lincoln responded by saying that given there respected positions neither one could have given a shorter or longer address.  (Bardoness 43-44) 

    The printed reviews were uniquely diverse.  The London Times proclaimed that the words of the President would be looked over and would no longer be repeated or even thought of.  The Chicago Times wrote that we as Americans should be ashamed to point out to others that he is our President.  They stated, "the cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dish watery utterance of a man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States."  And the New York Tribune simply stated, " the dedicatory remarks were then delivered by the president."  However, soon appreciation began to come about.  The first was the Springfield Republic of Massachusetts.  They recognized Everett's address but said that the honors of the ceremony were to Lincoln and that his speech was a "perfect gem." (Barondess 45).  The Cincinnati Gazette then published that it was right and perfect in every manner. (Sandburg 446)  And the Harper's Weekly so simply yet truthfully stated that, " the few words of the President were from the heart to the heart.  They cannot be read without kindling emotion.  It was simple and felicitous earnest a word that was ever spoken." (Randall 312) 

    Soon after these reviews Lincoln began to be asked to make various copies.  The first two copies, one written in Washington and the second one he held while giving his address can now be seen in the Library of Congress.  (Sandburg 446-7) Eventually there was five copies and they had a few corrections and alterations, although only one is particularly notable.  These are the words "under God."  They were not present in his first versions or the one he held while speaking.  Lincoln adopted these words while he spoke and to the later copies.  (Randall 313-4)