Professor: Cornell U. Library Removes Gettysburg Address, Lincoln Bust After ‘Complaints’

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
Library of Congress/Getty

A professor at Cornell University says the school’s library has removed a bronzed Gettysburg Address plaque and a bust of President Abraham Lincoln after somebody complained.

“Someone complained, and it was gone,” Cornell professor Randy Wayne told the College Fix, referring to a Gettysburg Address plaque and Lincoln bust that had been on display in the Ivy League university’s Kroch Library since 2013.

Cornell is situated on a large, leafy campus on a hill overlooking the city. Cornell is considered one of the top universities in the world, with 40 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students. Photo: peterspiro / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Cornell is situated on a large, leafy campus on a hill overlooking the city. Cornell is considered one of the top universities in the world, with 40 Nobel laureates affiliated with the university as faculty or students. Photo: peterspiro / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The professor said that he had noticed that the items were gone after stopping by the library several weeks ago, adding that when he asked the librarians about it, they were unable to give any details, other than saying it was removed as a result of some type of complaint.

The plaque and bust have been replaced with, “Well, nothing,” Wayne told the College Fix.

On Thursday, the professor reportedly emailed Cornell University President Martha Pollack the following:

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, President Pollack has yet to respond to him, Wayne said.

“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 Bancroft, thanking him for requesting a copy of the address to put in a book to be sold for charity.”

“I show these documents to my class, as well as the heavy iron manacles worn by slaves,” the professor added. “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.”

Rebecca Valli, director of media relations at Cornell University, responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment and clarification, stating the following:

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.

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.

While it remains unclear as to why the plaque and bust have been removed from Cornell’s library, the call to remove U.S. historical figures on college campuses is a bizarre new trend among students in what is becoming an increasingly irascible society.

In 2020, the University of Wisconsin-Madison student government approved a resolution calling for the removal of a statue of Abraham Lincoln on campus, claiming that the statue is a “racist remnant” of “white supremacy.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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