The corner stone for the statue of liberty was laid July 5, 1884 on Bedloe's Island a military post. I believe most of us know that the statue was a gift from Franc, but were you aware that it was often referred to as Barholdi's statue? The statue was built in France then dismantled and shipped to New York. After several months, nearly a year and a half of reconstruction and touch ups the statue was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886.
From "A Standard History of Freemasonry" ©1899 we have this account of that day:
We are assembled here to-day in the face of you all to erect a statue representing liberty enlightening the world, a work of art grand in its conception and birth. As Auguste Bartholdi sailed into the bay of New York, a few years ago. the sight of the great city before him was grand, but grander the thought which found lodgment in his mind, of placing at this entrance to the continent, something that would welcome to these shores all who love and seek liberty, and the thought at this time crude though grand, gave birth to this statue; grand in its figure—colossal in size; grand in its practical use—lighting the storm-tossed mari
ner to a safe harbor, and grand in its very name and the significance thereof—"Liberty Enlightening the World:" "liberty" of thought, of conscience, of action, that true liberty that is not license, but which finds its highest development in obedience to constituted authorities and law; "enlightening"— how necessary enlightenment to true liberty and the highest appreciation thereof; "world"—yes, to the whole world does our continent open its arms and bid it welcome to the blessings of liberty.
From the "History of the city of New York" ©1896 we also have this excerpt:
This statue, at present adorning the entrance to the inner harbor of New York, is much larger than was the Colossus of Rhodes ; the figure is one hundred and sixty-two feet in height, and from the top of the pedestal the head-dress reaches an elevation of three hundred and twentysix feet. The pedestal is a rectangular shaft placed in the parade of the star-shaped granite fortification known as Fort Wood. The weight of the entire structure is forty-eight thousand tons. The work of constructing the pedestal was done under the supervision of Gen. C. P. Stone, engineer-in-chief. The tiara upon the head, and the torch carried aloft as a beacon in the right hand, are illuminated by electricity.
Because it admirably embodies the spirit of the statue, we append the sonnet written by Emma Lazarus.
THE NEW COLOSSUS.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek tame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose Hame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. Front her beacon hand
Glows world-wide welcome ; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities frame.
" Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp !" cries she
With silent lips. " Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, —
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, tome.
1 lift my lamp beside the golden door! "