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Edward Everett
Date: 1794 - 1865
Remarks: After graduating from Harvard in 1811, Edward Everett served briefly as minister of the Brattle Street (Unitarian) Church of Boston. He was later appointed professor of Greek literature at Harvard College. Everett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1825-35) and from 1836 through 1839 served as governor of Massachusetts. He was U.S. minister to Great Britain for four years, after which he returned to academic life as president of Harvard (1846-49). By then Everett had gained distinction as an orator and statesman, and in 1852-53 he served several months as secretary of state, filling the office vacated by the death of Daniel Webster at the end of Millard Fillmore's presidency. His position on the slavery issue was one of compromise at first, but he came out strongly for the Union after the Civil War began. Perhaps his most famous orations were the two-hour speech he delivered just before Abraham Lincoln made his two-minute Gettysburg Address, and his Washington oration, delivered many times around the country to help the Ladies' Mount Vernon Society raise funds to preserve the first president's home on the Potomac as a national shrine.