Tragedy Into Grace: Lincoln At Gettysburg

Susan Thomas


While perhaps best known as 'The Great Emancipator', Abraham Lincoln could also be called a theoretical ancestor of the New Rhetoric. Lincoln's mastery of language in 'The Gettysburg Address' reveals a deft application of what would come to be known among rhetorical scholars as epistemic rhetoric--over 100 years later. This article discusses the lesser-known side of Lincoln as rhetorician and argues that the sixteenth President of the United States prefigured the course of a nation in a two-minute speech at a Pennsylvania cemetery.

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