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Today in 1863

President Lincoln gave of the most famous and moving speeches ever and perhaps on of the shortest ones too.  Today in 1863 the Cemetery  at Gettysburg, PA was dedicated and Lincoln gave his now famous Gettsyburg Address.  At the time it got mixed reviews but today is considered a classic!  Below is the famous speech given by our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Alvin Bovay-A Founder Of The Republican Party

Born in 1818 Alvin Bovay started his working life as a Lawyer and then as a teacher in New York before moving to Ripon, WI in 1850 where he helped to create Ripon College.  He was a leader of the anti-slavery movement in Ripon and when in 1852 he visited Horace Greeley in New York he shared his idea of a new party which he told Greeley would be called the Republican Party.  Greeley endorsed the idea.

Bovay was a leader of the local Whig Party and in 1854 he led a meeting on Feb. 28, 1854 in which it was resolved if the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed those attending would leave their political parties and form a new organization.  The act did pass and Bovay and 16 other leaders met again in the school house in Ripon and formed the Republican Party.  Bovay later said he chose the name for it had been the name of the Party founded by Jefferson.  Horace Greeley used his newspaper and writing abilities to back the new organization and it rapidly grew.

Bovay was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1860 and when the Civil War broke out he joined the military and stayed the duration of the war in the military.  When the War ended he went back to practicing law, but his political career was not over.

As time passed Bovay became disillusioned with the Republican Party.  He believed it had served its purpose and should be disbanded and a new party with Prohibition as its main cause should be created to take its place. On Oct. 13, 1874 he was elected to the very first State Central Committee of the Prohibition Party.  He was part of its politics until he died in 1903.

Alvin E. Bovay is often called the founder of the Republican Party and rightfully so but he also created a college, served his country and helped to found another political party as well as being a local leader in another party before founding the GOP.  A very, very active man.

Alvin E. Bovay

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