The Lincoln Ox Yoke at the University of Illinois

By John Hoffmann

One of the most valued artifacts owned by the University of Illinois is an ox yoke–not an ordinary ox yoke but one believed to have been made by Abraham Lincoln himself. The traditional story of this yoke rests on brief references to it in 1875 and fuller accounts of it in 1900. Recently, however, information at odds with those statements has come to light. This paper undertakes to set forth the conflicting evidence regarding the history of the “Lincoln ox yoke.”

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