ITHACA- Cornell graduate students have determined new and insightful information about the Gettysburg Address through recent analysis of the original document held in Cornell’s Manuscripts Collection. The team found themselves inspecting the original address while curating the artifact for the anniversary of the Lincoln’s delivery of the speech, held 150 years ago today.
While reviewing the text, history PhD candidates Derek Riley and Emily Yang noticed several edits and notes written in in the margins of the document. Yang detailed their findings to CU Nooz. “The first note read ‘Remember to smile for the nice soldier men -Mom’. It wasn’t a lot to go off of, but we eventually figured out that these notes were all written by Abraham Lincoln’s mom, Nancy Lincoln,” explained Yang.
The students soon found the document to be riddled with similar comments. The first line of text, which originally read “Hey guys, remember eighty-seven years ago when…” was crossed out and replaced with, “Say ‘four score and seven years ago.’ It will make you sound more grown up!”
Riley detailed the significance of these findings to CU Nooz “We tend to think of Lincoln as this powerful, iconic speaker, but our new analysis of this documents reveals he was probably real nervous about his big speech” Other notes strewn about the document included “Make sure you comb your beard” and “Wear your big hat so you look important”.
These notes even give insight to the previously unexplained brown smudges on the corner of the document. A final scrawling on the back of the page reads “I packed you a peanut butter and banana sandwich with the crust cut off. Good luck and don’t worry if you mess up. I’m sure no one will even remember this next week. love, mom”
Above: A photo of America’s Sweetheart, Nancy Lincoln