Documents & Speeches

American History is better understood when you have the opportunity to examine the original documents and speeches as written and spoken by the people who put the words on paper, or gave the speeches in front of dozens or even thousands. Back in the era when these documents were written, they became primary sources, not only for the people of that time, but for us as well!

From Fredrick Douglas's The Hypocrisy of American Slavery speech, to Lincoln's Letter to the Widow Bixby, CivilWarTalk has many of the most often requested documents available for free as part of our Resources!

Top resources

1865/04 - Lincoln's Last Public Speech CivilWarTalk
“We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart...”
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1865/03 - Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address CivilWarTalk
"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away."
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1864/11 - Lincoln's Letter to the Widow Bixby CivilWarTalk
"I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement..."
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1863/12 - Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction CivilWarTalk
"...to resume their allegiance to the United States...."
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1863/11 - Lincoln's Gettysburg Address CivilWarTalk
"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom..."
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1863/10 - Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamations CivilWarTalk
"...set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving.."
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1863/01 - The Emancipation Proclamation CivilWarTalk
"all persons held as slaves within any State...in rebellion... shall be then... forever free"
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1862/12 - Lincoln's Letter to Fanny McCullough CivilWarTalk
"It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father..."
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1861/07 - Abraham Lincoln's July 4th War Message CivilWarTalk
“...to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.”
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1861/03 - Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address CivilWarTalk
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."
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1894/07 - Slavery and States' Rights CivilWarTalk
"There were many reasons which brought on the conditions which culminated in the war..."
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1859/11 - John Brown's Trial Sentencing, and Final Speech of his Life CivilWarTalk
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1858/06 - A House Divided CivilWarTalk
"...I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free..."
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1852/07 - What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? CivilWarTalk
"...With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression..."
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