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    [Gettysburg Address ] and [Abraham Lincoln]. Henry E. Luhrs Archive including nine letters, signature cards, survey cards, a photograph, and a David Wills (in whose house the final draft for the Address was written) signed statement, spanning the years 1864 through 1952. All documents relate to eyewitness accounts of Lincoln's famous speech at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery nearly five months after the great battle.

    Of note is a Typed Document Signed by David Wills, circa January 19, 1894, who was president of the Soldiers' National Cemetery Association at the time of President Lincoln's visit. Wills states, in part: "I had charge of all the arrangements for the dedication of the Cemetery, and it was on my official invitation that President Lincoln came to Gettysburg on that occasion...I also invited the President to my house and he arrived there on the evening of the 18th of November, 1863....Between nine and ten o'clock the President sent his servant to request me to come to his room. I went and found him with paper prepared to write, and he said that he had just seated himself to put upon paper a few thoughts for the to-morrow's [sic] exercises...After a full talk on the subject I left him. About eleven O'clock he sent for me again...and asked me if he could see Mr. Seward. I told him Mr. Seward was staying with my neighbor...He went and I went with him and Mr. Lincoln carried the paper on which he had written his speech...The next day I sat by him on the platform when he delivered his address, which has become immortal, and he read it from the same paper on which I had seen him writing it the night before." Mounted to a backing board. Smoothed folds with light chipping at the right corner. Signature of Wills is very bold. The above typescript is mentioned in a Gettysburg Times article dated November 18, 1957, which is itself reprinted from the November issue of "Lincoln Lore," published by The Lincoln National Life Foundation.

    Also included is one letter, dated January 2, 1934, from Henry E. Luhrs soliciting information from a local resident who is known to have attended the famous speech: "I understand that you were one of the fortunate ones to have heard President Lincoln deliver his immortal Gettysburg Address, seventy years ago." There are also several letters written to Henry Luhrs in response to his letters of inquiry. One such reply letter, from Mrs. T. C. Billheimer, who had just reached her 92 year (the letter is dated March 6, 1934), recalls her meeting with the president as well as the battle itself. She writes, in part: "I heard President Lincoln deliver his address, and also shook hands with him. Am sorry to say I don't remember much about the applause...We lived here at the time of the battle. I was 92 years old on 2nd of February, so I was old enough to help take care of wounded and sick soldiers."

    Survey cards were included in Luhrs' letters asking a simple question: "After Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, the audience applauded with hand-clapping. YES ( ) NO ( )." According to Luhrs, that one question had been the subject of "untold controversy." In addition, Luhrs included "autograph" cards for those who had heard Lincoln to sign.

    Henry E. Luhrs was the author of several works on Lincoln and his famous Address as well as an avid collector of Lincoln memorabilia. He died in 1962.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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