by Meghan O'Malley, College Of William & Mary

This WebQuest allows students to explore in-depth the most famous speeches and writings of President Abraham Lincoln - the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and his Second Inaugural Address. By analyzing Lincoln's famous words, the students will learn how the principles and ideas contained in these speeches/writings affected both the Civil War and American history up to the present day.


Abraham Lincoln's formal education only equaled about one year, yet he composed some of the most famous lines in U.S. history - words that have shaped this nation for over one hundred years and reflect the core principles of the United States - freedom, equality, and one united nation. As the 16th President of the United States, Lincoln not only helped preserve this nation in its darkest hours of division, but also gave Americans a vision of what this nation should be. 

We will be analyzing Lincoln's three mot significant compositions in order to learn why his words have stood the test of time and continue to inspire Americans today.