Lincoln’s Lost Gettysburg Address

Joe Nickell

in Real or Fake

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125343
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135229 | DOI:
Lincoln’s Lost Gettysburg Address

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This chapter explores the authenticity of a document that is Lincoln's famed address at Gettysburg. Several factors were seen in the said document, all pointing to forgery. It notes that Mark Hofmann forged the Ostendorf Gettysburg Address. He used a variety of techniques to deal with the troubling issue of provenance. This chapter explains that Hofmann had the skills necessary to forge the Ostendorf Gettysburg Address. He also used some pioneering techniques to produce amazingly authentic-looking fake historical documents. Despite such attention to detail, however, Hofmann's work was imperfect, possessing typographical anomalies, enabling scholars to demonstrate the document's spuriousness despite scientific pronouncements to the contrary.

Keywords: Lincoln; Gettysburg Address; Mark Hofmann; Ostendorf; forgery; fake historical documents

Chapter.  3909 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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