NH, IV, 212-24, and AD, NNP. Nicolay and Hay date this fragment [October 1, 1858?]. While a fixed date cannot be given, obviously the arguments and much of the language of the fragment are duplicated in Lincoln's reply to Douglas in the Debate at Ottawa, August 21, and the last three paragraphs appear in his speeches at Bloomington, September 4, and Edwardsville, September 11. Presuming that Nicolay and Hay found the manuscript of the fragment intact as printed in the Complete Works, one concludes that it was composed prior to or between August 21 and September 11. Only two pages of the manuscript have been located, however, as indicated in the succeeding footnote. Presumably the manuscript was dispersed after Nicolay and Hay had access to it.
 From this point to the end, the text has been corrected from two pages of autograph manuscript in the Pierpont Morgan Library. A third page of manuscript held by the Morgan Library in association with these two may have formed part of the same manuscript. Nicolay and Hay, however, include it with another fragment (c. May 18, 1858, supra), presumably for sufficient reasons, and the present editors have followed their predecessors in the absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary. The Morgan Library has all three pages dated [June 18---November 4, 1860], which date cannot be supported by the contents of the pages.