Cornell University's Copy
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Cornell’s manuscript of the Gettysburg Address was written out by President Lincoln at the request of George Bancroft, the most famous historian of his day. On February 23, 1864 Bancroft attended a White House reception and asked Lincoln for a copy of the Gettysburg Address in his own handwriting. He explained that he was making the request for his stepson, Colonel Alexander Bliss. The Colonel was a member of a committee collecting manuscripts which were to be included in a lithographed volume of facsimiles entitled Autographed Leaves of Our Country's Authors, to be sold by the Baltimore Sanitary Fair. The Fair was to provide some assistance to soldiers, especially those ill in hospitals.

Lincoln agreed, and a week later he mailed a copy to the historian—the same day that he mailed another copy to Edward Everett, who had spoken with Lincoln at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery in November.

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Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. The Gettysburg Address. with: Autograph Letter Signed by Abraham Lincoln to George Bancroft. Washington D.C., Februrary 29, 1864.
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A copy for a good cause
Never forget what they did here
Ideas are always more than battles