5: The number of times the audience interrupted Lincoln with applause during his speech. Even with those five interruptions, Lincoln still managed to deliver his entire address in approximately two to three minutes.
4: The number of months it took the Gettysburg Address to become a hit. Reviews by newspapers were mixed, but people quickly clamored for autographed copies of Lincoln’s speech. In February 1864, historian George Bancroft visited the White House, and asked Lincoln for a copy of the address, written in the president’s hand. It was used for a book that would be sold by the Baltimore Sanitary Fair to benefit soldiers, especially those in hospitals.
10: The number of sentences in the Gettysburg Address. In contrast to Everett’s hours-long address, Lincoln only spoke for a few minutes. A popular myth tells of President Lincoln hastily jotting down his 270-word speech on the back of an envelope during the train ride from Washington to Gettysburg. In truth, Lincoln put a great deal of planning into his remarks. He began writing the speech the night before he left and completed it after his arrival in Pennsylvania.
Smallpox: Something Lincoln was coming down with when he delivered the Gettysburg Address. This could have been a reason for the brevity of his remarks. Many people noted that Lincoln looked weak and pale at the event. The president would be bedridden with smallpox for several weeks after.
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