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  • Abraham Lincoln Sycamore Witness Tree Letter Opener
  • Abraham Lincoln Sycamore Witness Tree Letter Opener
SKU: WT-123

Abraham Lincoln Sycamore Witness Tree Letter Opener

$75.00Price

Following the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1–3, 1863, Congress approved the creation of a National Military Cemetery at Gettysburg.  Originally named Soldiers National Cemetery, a committee of Union governors approved a radial plan that grouped the Union dead by states and focused on a central monument. The graves were marked with simple, unadorned, rectangular slabs of gray granite inscribed with the name, rank, company and regiment of each soldier. A dedication of the cemetery was set for November 19, 1863, though on the day of the ceremony, interment was less than half complete.

Prominent Gettysburg citizen David Wills invited President Abraham Lincoln to the dedication to deliver ‘a few appropriate remarks.’  Lincoln accepted and arrived by train on November 18.  He was warmly greeted by the local citizenry.  He stayed with the Wills family that evening, where it is believed he put the finishing touches on his speech for the following day’s dedication.

Lincoln’s short but powerful speech became an iconic moment in the history of the United States.  In three minutes and 272 words, Lincoln asserted that the nation was born not in 1789, but in 1776, "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." He defined the war as dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality for all. He declared that the deaths of so many brave soldiers would not be in vain, that slavery would end and the future of democracy would be assured — that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

It is not widely known that Lincoln was not well on November 19.  He mentioned to his aides that he felt weak and dizzy.  During the speech it was noted that Lincoln’s color appeared ghastly and that he looked sad and mournful, even haggard.  After the speech, when Lincoln boarded the 6:30 p.m. train to return to Washington, D.C., he was feverish and weak with a severe headache. A protracted illness followed, which was diagnosed as a mild case of smallpox.

  • Gettysburg Sentinels creates products using reclaimed wood from one of three giant Sycamore trees, two of which still stand today, at the southeast corner of the third block of Baltimore Street in Gettysburg. Beyond witnessing the fighting in the town during the Battle of Gettysburg, this tree bore witness to President Abraham Lincoln's march to and from Cemetery Hill, where he participated in the dedication of the new national cemetery on November 19, 1863, and where he delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address.

    All of our products include documentation related to the tree.

  • Available without engraving.

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