Cornell University Removes Lincoln Bust From Library After Complaint


Last Updated on June 29, 2022

Cornell University has removed a bust of Abraham Lincoln, and a plaque commemorating the Gettysburg Address, from its library. The bust was removed after someone complained, according to The College Fix.

“Someone complained, and it was gone,” Cornell biology professor Randy Wayne told the College Fix.

The Lincoln bust had been a fixture at Cornell’s Kroch Library since 2013, longer than Wayne’s tenure at the university. It was displayed in front of a bronze plaque that displayed the Gettysburg Address, which was also removed.

The biology professor asked librarians what had happened to the display, but he did not receive any concrete details. He was merely told that it was removed from the library after some type of complaint. Cornell has replaced the Lincoln bust with “well, nothing,” Wayne told the outlet.

On June 23, Wayne emailed Cornell University President Martha Pollack with questions about the display.

“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,” Wayne wrote. If you are aware, can you tell me why? Thanks.

The professor has yet to receive a reply, The College Fix reported.

“The Gettysburg Address is an incredible speech,” Wayne said. “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. 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.”

The Kroch Library houses Cornell’s rare and manuscript collections.

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