Since the speech was given at the event of the dedication of a national cemetary for the dead at Gettysburg, several people would have been invited from many areas.
Approximately 15,000 people are estimated to have attended the ceremony, including the sitting governors of six of the 24 Union states: Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania, Augustus Bradford of Maryland, Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, Horatio Seymour of New York, Joel Parker of New Jersey, and David Tod of Ohio.
Canadian politician William McDougall attended as Lincoln's guest.
The precise location of the program within the grounds of the cemetery is disputed.
Reinterment of the bodies buried from field graves into the cemetery, which had begun within months of the battle, was less than half complete on the day of the ceremony.