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Tags: abraham lincoln | cornell | gettysburg address

Professor: Cornell Library Removed Lincoln Bust, Plaque After 'Someone Complained'

A portion of the Cornell University campus
A portion of the Cornell University campus. (Evgeny Moerman/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 June 2022 05:36 PM EDT

A Cornell University professor claims the school's library has removed a bronzed Gettysburg Address plaque and bust of former President Abraham Lincoln, due to an unknown complaint.

"Someone complained, and [the plaque and bust are] gone," professor Randy Wayne told the College Fix, referring to the pieces of American history that had been part of Cornell's Kroch Library since 2013.

Of equal note, professor Wayne says the Lincoln-centric bust and plaque have been replaced, by "well, nothing" in the university library.

Several weeks ago, Wayne said he first noticed the items were missing from the library.

Shortly thereafter, Wayne sent the following inquiry to Cornell University President Martha Pollack:

"I am wondering if you are aware that the bust of Abraham Lincoln purchased by Ezra Cornell and the bronze plaque of the Gettysburg Address that was beside it has been removed from the RMC in Kroch Library and replaced with nothing. If you are aware, can you tell me why? Thanks."

As of Tuesday, Wayne says he has yet to hear from President Pollack or anyone from her office.

"The Gettysburg Address is an incredible speech," Wayne told the College Fix. "We have a handwritten copy in Lincoln's hand. It is known as the 'Bancroft Copy.' It comes with an envelope signed by Lincoln (using his franking privilege), and a letter to [then-Democratic Party politician George] Bancroft, thanking him for requesting a copy of the address to put in a book to be sold for charity."

Wayne added, "I show these documents to my class, as well as the heavy iron manacles worn by slaves. Yes, we have a Lincoln legacy that has been inspirational to me and my students. To take his words — and bust — out of the hallway says something about our love of liberty."

Legacy-wise, on June 19, 1862, President Lincoln signed a bill outlawing slavery in U.S. territories, ending the "specter of the spread of slavery into areas likely to be settled by Northern-sympathizing homesteaders."

Also, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address from 1863 has been hailed as perhaps the most iconic presidential speech in American history.

Rebecca Valli, Cornell's media relations director, responded to a query from Breitbart News, regarding the missing Lincoln bust and plaque.

However, Valli's answer did not address professor Wayne's "complaint" allegation.

"President Lincoln's bust was part of a temporary exhibit on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The bust was on display in the Rare and Manuscript Collections from 2013 to 2021," Valli wrote.

"Cornell proudly possesses one of five known copies of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand. The original is safely sequestered, with a digital facsimile on permanent display. Additionally, five electronic Lincoln exhibitions are available for 24/7 viewing online."

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A Cornell University professor claims the school's library has removed a bronzed Gettysburg Address plaque and bust of former President Abraham Lincoln, due to an unknown complaint.
abraham lincoln, cornell, gettysburg address
452
2022-36-28
Tuesday, 28 June 2022 05:36 PM
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