The Nicolay copy is the earliest draft of the Gettysburg Address. Written in part on 'Executive Mansion' stationery, it is believed that Lincoln began this first draft in Washington, and completed it in Gettysburg on alternate stationery. He gave this copy to his private secretary John Nicolay. It can be seen at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The Hay copy is the second draft of the Gettysburg Address, believed to have been written by Lincoln not long after his return to Washington from Gettysburg. He made many changes to this version, both in choice of words and punctuation. He gave this copy to his private secretary John Hay. Both the Nicolay and Hay copies can be seen at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Edward Everett, the orator who spoke before Lincoln at Gettysburg, wrote to the President asking for a copy of his speech, to be included in a volume of materials commemorating the dedication. The volume was to be auctioned at the New York Sanitary Fair in support of health care initiatives for soldiers. The Everett copy is the version of the Gettysburg Address in which the words 'under God' first appears. It can be seen at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, IL.
In February of 1864, historian George Bancroft requested of President Lincoln a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address for a book that his nephew Colonel Alexander Bliss was assembling to raise money for soldier relief. Although he obliged the request, Lincoln wrote this version on the front and back sides of one piece of paper, and so it could not be used in the required printing process. This copy can be seen at Cornell University.
On behalf of his nephew Colonel Alexander Bliss, historian George Bancroft asked the President for a usable copy of the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln produced this version, known as the Bliss copy, which was included in the book Autograph Leaves of Our Country's Authors. At the 1864 Baltimore Sanitary Fair, the book helped to raise money for the U.S. Sanitary and Christian Commissions. Today, the Bliss copy is kept in the Lincoln bedroom of the White House - viewable only by private invitation from the President. Since 1973 it has been exhibited only once, for seven weeks (November 2008-January 2009).