Readers Respond to the December Issue

Like his Gettysburg Address ["Beyond Words"], Lincoln's comments on labor also merit attention: "It has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue."
Dan Thompson,
Union, Oregon

Lincoln Speaks
Owen Edwards reports that it "made sense" not to have Lincoln deliver the main oration at Gettysburg because one didn't bother a president in the middle of a war. That wasn't the reason. People bothered Lincoln day and night throughout his presidency. Edward Everett was then considered America's greatest living orator and had always been the choice of the head of the Cemetery Commission, Judge David Wills. Wills was so determined to have Everett that he convinced commissioners to delay the dedication, originally scheduled for October 23, for nearly a month to give Everett sufficient time to prepare. Lincoln was later invited to give the consecration following the main address. He accepted and the rest is history.
Myra Reichart
Dillsburg, Pennsylvania

If a picture is worth a thousand words, it's also sometimes worth a few words of explanation. Joe Vecchione
Jamestown, Rhode Island

Picture this: The March 1864 copy of the Gettysburg Address that Lincoln wrote by hand is indeed the only one of five known handwritten drafts signed by him; however, he backdated it to November 19, 1863, the date he delivered the speech. —Ed.

Teamwork in Istanbul
Maybe we should invoke Solomon to save the ancient Hagia Sophia [Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Competitive Edge
prior to his design of the U.S. Capitol, William Thornton [Benjamin Franklin's Library Company of Philadelphia. Razed in 1884, the building was reconstructed in the 1950s and today partially houses the American Philosophical Society, founded by Franklin in 1743.
Andrew A. Zellers-Frederick
Warminster, Pennsylvania

American Sufi
Your article about Sufism in Pakistan [United States. M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, a Sufi master, taught from 1971 until his death in 1986. He exuded a depth of love and wisdom that inspired people of all faiths, world and religious leaders included, to become better human beings. He resided in Philadelphia, where his teachings continue at the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship.
Amy Wilson
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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