A reader commented on one of my older post, Ignoring Historical Inaccuracies, with a link to an article from the site American Thinker. It appears as if Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies is on the hot seat–once again–for their ambiguous and somewhat political Abraham Lincoln plaque.
This historic building, which was built and donned with this plaque in 1905, has displayed for more than one-hundred years an inscription reading, “ABRAHAM LINCOLN DEMOCRAT.” While Abraham Lincoln was affiliated with many political parties (Whig Party, Republican Party, and the National Union Party), the Democratic Party was not one of them.
A statement released by Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies stated that “…the word democrat was used because Lincoln was an advocate for democracy-the political or social equality of all people. The word was not chosen to reflect a political affiliation.” Below is their entire statement.
Northeastern Illinois University
Hi Clarice, The Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University is housed in a building that bears historical significance. From time to time, the integrity of a plaque honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln is questioned. Installed in the building for its opening in 1905, the plaque includes an inscription of the word “democrat” following Abraham Lincoln’s name. According to building archives, the word democrat was used because Lincoln was an advocate for democracy-the political or social equality of all people. The word was not chosen to reflect a political affiliation.
I spoke to Abraham Lincoln on Twitter, and this is what he had to say…
@Hnkrng4History Thanks, by the way. I'd not seen this plaque, nor heard of it. I do think it means "democrat" not "Democrat"
— Abraham Lincoln (@Mr_Lincoln) November 5, 2013
I’m not really sure if I believe the university. As this plaque has stood for over one-hundred years, I am sure that it will continue to read “ABRAHAM LINCOLN DEMOCRAT” until the building is no more. That being said, I wish that someone would carve an asterisks in after the word democrat.
For more on this story, jump over to American Thinker and check out the article: Don’t Know Much About History