"Every train into the area in the last 48 hours was loaded with passengers."
It was said by the press that between 50,000 and 60,000 came to hear the speeches in Pennsylvannia in a place called Gettysburg, marked A on the map to the left.
That fellow took so long, and then introduced the President, that he caught the press of guard. The above very poor image is a Mathew Brady picture and is the only one known in existance to have caught Lincoln during his brief talk. He is in the centre... under the arrow, and minus his stovepipe hat.
Here, in the President's own handwriting, is a portion of those famous words....
Among these was future Canadian Father of Confederation William McDougall, a Toronto born lawyer and politician in the government of the Colony at the time. Another future Father of Confederation, British born A.T. Galt, also a colonial member of government could have been on that stage but chose not to go the event.
Both had been sent on behalf of the colonial government to meet with Lincoln with regards to the Reciprocity Treaty which was under jeopardy of coming to an end. They arrived at DC and actually met with Lincoln who spoke briefly but then said he had to catch a noon train to Pa "to give a little talk." He then invited both to join him on the trip, attend the talk and then all would return to DC to meet on the issues the Canadians wanted to discuss. Galt had other matters to attend to in DC and therefore chose not to go along. But McDougall not only went along, he had the President's ear on route to Pa, and for quite some time the night before the speech. He even apparently rode with Lincoln in the carriage ride to the event the following morning.
ance also added a curious twist to this story. It noted that whilst he and Lincoln and othjers travelled to the cemetery on the 19th, Lincoln was frustrated with yet another copy of his speech and apparently threw it on the ground.
Perhaps McDougall picked it up, because after the event and return to Canada he apparently went to see his friend and co-worker George Brown of the Globe newspaper in Toronto. (Today's Globe and Mail)Mcdougall got to know each other in the years earlier as Brown absorbed a small paper that McDougal had produced and the two worked together for the next 5 yrs..
McDougall apparently sufficiently impressed Brown with the importance of the Lincoln speech that Brown carried the story in the Globe. McDougal also used influence in London to get the story also told and soon it was international news.
It is quite possible that with some 50,000 Canadians fighting in the Civil War, and with many soldiers attending the Gettysburg address, some of these may have been Canadians as well. But of much more importance, there were many Canadians who not only fought at Gettysburg, but many that were killed and buried there, right in front of the gathering. A recent magazine article claimed the numbers were in the hundreds.
Some of those you will read about in future blogs earned their Medals of Honor at Gettysburg, while other recipients who fought there either earned their MOH's before or after this great battle. And something else to reflect on.... the last known survivor of the famous Picketts Charge is buried in Alberta were he was visiting his childern and died or a heart attack in the 1930's.
After the fall of Richmond that brought the deadly war to an end, Pickett would be one of many who would escape the US and seek temporary residence in Montreal or other points on the Canadian side of the border.