Originally intended to symbolize the concept of liberty in the French and American revolutions, during the twentieth century the Statue of Liberty would increasingly come to represent the possibility of new life in America for all immigrants passing by her, and the vision of America as a multicultural society strong because of its diversity.
The Statue of Liberty came to connect with the immigrant experience in two specific ways. Most directly and immediately, for all the millions passing into the United States through Ellis Island at the port of New York City, the statue’s towering presence (305 feet high from the ground to the top of her torch) would have been an unforgettable image and symbol of the new land they were entering, at a moment when their expectations and anticipations were raised high after a long and perhaps difficult journey.
Before the Statue of Liberty was erected on what is now called Liberty Island, it was assembled in Manhattan. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor who designed the statue, is shown in the cameo inset.
Even more significant, in the long run, would be the influence of a poem written in 1883 as a donation to a charity event raising money to pay for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty would stand. For that auction,
Lazarus herself became a strong advocate for
During the 1930’s,
Moreno, Barry. The Statue of Liberty. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2004. _______. The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Schor, Esther. Emma Lazarus. New York: Schocken, 2006.
History of immigration after 1891
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
New York City