Everett, Edward(ĕv`rĭt, ĕv`ərĭt), 1794–1865, American orator and statesman, b. Dorchester, Mass., grad. Harvard (B.A., 1811; M.A., 1814). In 1814 he became a Unitarian minister in Boston, but, appointed (1815) professor of Greek literature at Harvard, he went abroad to study at the Univ. of Göttingen (Ph.D., 1817) and to travel. During his professorship (1819–25) he also edited (1820–23) the North American Review. He was a U.S. Representative (1825–35), governor of Massachusetts (1836–39), minister to England (1841–45), president of Harvard (1846–49), and secretary of state in the last four months of President Fillmore's administration (1852–53). Massachusetts elected him U.S. senator, but he resigned in the second year of the term (1854), embarrassed by his old-line Whig attitude of compromise on slavery. In the Civil War he traveled throughout the North speaking for the Union cause and drawing immense audiences. His most famous address, now almost forgotten, was the principal oration delivered at Gettysburg on the same occasion that called forth Abraham Lincoln's enduring Gettysburg AddressGettysburg Address,
speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the national cemetery on the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg, Pa. It is one of the most famous and most quoted of modern speeches.
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Everett, Edward(1794–1865) U.S. representative/senator, educator, orator; born in Dorchester, Mass. A Harvard valedictorian (1811), he served as pastor of the Brattle Street Church in Boston (1814–15), then, after studying abroad, became a professor of Greek literature at Harvard (1819–25). He was a U.S. representative (Ind., Mass.; 1825–35), governor of Massachusetts (Whig, 1836–39), U.S. ambassador to England (1841–45), president of Harvard (1846–49), secretary of state (1852–53), and U.S. senator (1853–54). He turned to lecturing and, as an advocate of compromise over slavery, he ran as vice-president on the Constitutional Union Ticket in 1860; when the war broke out, however he became an ardent speaker on behalf of the Union and he delivered the two-hour keynote speech at Gettysburg in November 1863, the one that was followed (and his historical reputation unfairly eclipsed) by Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. He continued his public lectures almost to the end of his life.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.