There are five versions of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln's handwriting. Lincoln prepared the so-called "Bancroft Copy" for noted historian George Bancroft in February 1864 with the intention of having it auctioned at the Baltimore Sanitary Fair later that spring. However, the organizers of the Fair wanted the copy formatted in a particular way and ultimately it was Bancroft's stepson, Alexander Bliss, who provided the president's aides with the final details and even the paper, that the organizing committee desired the president to use. Nevertheless, when presidential aide John Nicolay mailed out the so-called "Bliss Copy," he sent along, as requested, the "mistaken" version prepared for Bancroft. The Bancroft Copy is now held by Cornell University. (By Matthew Pinsker)
Abraham Lincoln, Draft of the Gettysburg Address: Bancroft Copy, The Nicholas H. Noyes Collection of Historical Americana in the Cornell University Library. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.
Transcribed by the Cornell University Library. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Adapted by John Osborne, Dickinson College