Mr. Everett then arose, and without notes of any kind, pronounced an oration. He occupied two full hours in the delivery, and it was one of the greatest most eloqent, elegant, and appropriate orations to which I ever listened. I stood at his very side, through it, and I think the oratory could not be surpassed by mortal man.
I stood at the side of John Quincy Adams when he delivered his great Eulogy on Lafayette, in the old Hall of the House of Representatives, Dec. 31, 1834, and standing there, by Everett's side at Gettysburg, how the past came back upon me, and I thought if Adams could be alive, & here to day, how his pure and honest heart would swell with the patriotism that has followed his own great efforts to bring about that emancipation of the negro race which is so rapidly approaching. I hope his immortal spirit could look down upon us all with an approving smile, on that auspicious day.
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As soon as the hymn was sung, Marshall Larson introduced the President of the United States, who, in a few brief, but most appropriate words, dedicated the cemetery. Abraham Lincoln is the idol of the American people at this moment. Any one who saw and heard as I did, the hurricane of applause that met his every movement at Gettysburg would know that he lived in every heart. It was no cold, faint, shadow of a kind receptionâ€”it was a tumultuous outpouring of exultation, from true and loving hearts, at the sight of a man whom everyone knew to be honest and true and sincere in every act of his life, and every pulsation of his heart. It was the spontaneous outburst of heartfelt confidence in their own President.