4-1 - his own speeches William Herndon Lincoln’s friend...

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Tyler Liebnau Mr.virgiels Computers Monday, October 22, 2007 Abraham Lincoln as a public speaker The ability to speak well in front of an audience has always been an important requirement for political leaders. This was particularly true before the age of television, radio, and recordings. Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest orators in American history. He made some of the most quoted speeches of any U.S. President. The “Gettysburg Address” has been studied by generations of American students. His inaugural addresses were extraordinary for both their content and their delivery. In Lincoln’s time, there were no presidential speech writers. Lincoln wrote and prepared
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Unformatted text preview: his own speeches. William Herndon, Lincoln’s friend and colleague, described his preparation in detail: Mr. Lincon thought his speeches out on his feet walking in the streets: he penned them in small scraps—sentences, & paragraphs, depositing them in his hat for safety. When fully finished, he would recopy, and could always repeat easily by heart. Lincoln’s skill as an orator was especially impressive because he was entirely self-educated. He spent years polishing his speaking abilities. He practiced law for 25 years before he became President. His work in law and politics gave him many opportunities to develop his speaking skills....
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