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The actual count may be 268 or 270 words, more or less. There are five known manuscripts, and there are small differences in each. The most commonly seen is the signed, handwritten copy by Lincoln called the Bliss copy.

The handwritten Hay copy has 6 differences from the Bliss version. In the Hay form, he adds a seventh here, uses it instead of that field, leaves out an it, and uses the words carried on rather than advanced. The net count is 2 fewer words -- "under God" is left out.

Another, slightly different version appeared in a New York Times article of November 20, 1863.

Bliss version : 270 words (267 if the can not's are combined)

Hay version : 268 words (265 with cannots)

NY Times version : 263 words (uses cannot already) - see related link

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Q: What is the average word length of the Gettysburg Address?
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