Cornell Quietly Removes Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln Bust From Library: Report

(Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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Cornell University quietly removed a plaque of the Gettysburg Address and a bust of Abraham Lincoln from its library, a professor told The College Fix.

Biology professor Randy Wayne told The College Fix that a display of Abraham Lincoln in front of a bronze plaque of the Gettysburg Address was recently removed without notice. The bust and plaque reportedly lived in the Kroch Library. Wayne said the exhibit has “been there since I can remember.”

Wayne claims that he asked a librarian about the bust’s removal and they had no details to provide. The professor claimed that “someone complained, and it was gone.”

The bust has been in the library since 2013, according to a Facebook post from Cornell celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Wayne told The College Fix that he emailed Cornell President Martha Pollack asking why the display was removed.

“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,” the email read.

Rebecca Valli, the director of media relations at Cornell, told Fox News that the display was a “temporary exhibit” that was removed in 2021.

“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 said.

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

Will Harvey, a recent Cornell graduate, told the Daily Caller that he would be disappointed if the university took the exhibit down to “pander” to a “vocal few.” (RELATED: Teddy Roosevelt Statue Bound For North Dakota After Being Removed From Outside Museum Of Natural History In NYC)

“Abraham Lincoln is the epitome of an anti-racist and one of the compelling figures for embracing unity in this era of radicalized social beliefs,” Harvey said. “If the university took it down after a complaint … [that] shows the university’s true colors — pandering to a vocal few who clearly do not represent the majority opinion.”

James Peabody, a current student at Cornell, said he was “curious” why the statue was removed and believes it’s “important to understand that [Lincoln] was much more of a nuanced character.”

Peabody also noted that “historical figures have been under much more public scrutiny in recent years.”

Following the Black Lives Matter riots in the summer of 2020, activists desecrated and called for the removal of several Abraham Lincoln statues. At the University of Wisconsin, student activists called for the removal of an Abraham Lincoln statue because the former president was allegedly “anti-black.”

Cornell University did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.