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Hyattsville in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Gettysburg Address / The Emancipation Proclamation

 
 
The Gettysburg Address side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 28, 2020
1. The Gettysburg Address side of the marker
Inscription.  
The Gettysburg Address

Over the course of three days in July 1863, one-quarter of the entire Union force and more than one-third of the Confederate army were killed, wounded, or declared missing — approximately 50,000 men in all.

Four months later, the now-silent battlefield in Pennsylvania was the scene of a historic address delivered by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The occasion was the dedication of that ground as a national cemetery for the soldiers who were killed there.

Here is what the citizens heard that day, Thursday, November 19, 1863:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives than that nation
The Emancipation Proclamation side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 28, 2020
2. The Emancipation Proclamation side of the marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should have to do this.

But in a larger sense we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task of remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we were highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Of the five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address, the Library of Congress owns the two that President Lincoln gave to his private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. Upon his death in 1901, Nicolay gave his copy to John Hay. Hay's descendents have donated both copies to the Library of Congress in 1917. A copy of the draft that was originally
The Gettysburg Address / The Emancipation Proclamation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 28, 2020
3. The Gettysburg Address / The Emancipation Proclamation Marker
The marker is the rightmost sign.
given to Hay by the President is displayed above.


The Emancipation Proclamation

When Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States on March 4, 1861, slavery was legal in 15 of the 34 states.

On September 22, 1862, immediately following the defeat of Confederate forces at Antietam, President Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation declaring that as of January 1, 1863, all persons held as slaves in states or parts of states still in rebellion shall be "then, thenceforward, and forever free."

On January 1, 1863, he signed a document known as the Emancipation Proclamation, although the proclamation established a principle, it did not immediately result in freeing the slaves. However, it was a mighty preamble to the passage of the 13th Amendment of December 18, 1865, which did make free all those who had theretofore been shackled in servitude in addition, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Army and the Navy:

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the Armed Forces of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

By the end of the Civil War, about 160,000 black men had fought
The Gettysburg Address / The Emancipation Proclamation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 28, 2020
4. The Gettysburg Address / The Emancipation Proclamation Marker
Marker is on the left.
in the Army for the Union. Another 20,000 had served in the Navy, which had accepted their services years before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Approximately 35,000 of these men lost their lives in the war. Twenty-three received the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for heroism.

The original Emancipation Proclamation is in the National Archives of the United States.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1863.
 
Location. 38° 58.187′ N, 76° 57.156′ W. Marker is in Hyattsville, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Toledo Road just west of America Boulevard, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6525 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville MD 20782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lewis & Clark Expedition / The 15th Amendment (here, next to this marker); The Louisiana Purchase / Edison's Light Bulb Patent (here, next to this marker); The Bill of Rights / The Statue of Liberty (a few steps from this marker); A Nation of Immigrants / The Original 13 States
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(a few steps from this marker); The Constitution / The 19th Amendment (a few steps from this marker); The Treaty at Fort McIntosh / President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" Address (a few steps from this marker); To Serve and Defend / Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka (a few steps from this marker); The Declaration of Independence / President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hyattsville.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 29, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 29, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 20, 2021