A Personal Note
Judge David Wills to Abraham Lincoln
[November 2, 1863]
Gift of Robert Todd Lincoln, 1923
The late date of Judge David Wills's invitation, combined with
the small role that Lincoln was asked to play in the ceremonies,
has led many people to conclude that Wills was simply fulfilling
a political or ritual duty in inviting the president to Gettysburg.
Some have gone so far as to argue that Wills neither expected
nor wanted the president to accept his invitation. The one-page
enclosure of the same date negates that argument. Not only did
Wills expect the president in Gettysburg, he urged him to stay
at his own home.