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The True Story of the Statue of Liberty

The following is an article from Bathroom Readers' Institute 13th edition Uncle John's All-Purpose Extra Strength Bathroom Reader.

Anyone who says one person can't make a difference has never heard the story of the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty (Image Credit: auer1816 [Flickr])

A stunning photo of the Statue of Liberty at sunset (Image Credit: Grufnik [Flickr])

BIRTHDAY GIRL

In 1865 a young French sculptor named Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi [wiki] went to a banquet near the town of Versailles, where he struck up a conversation with Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent historian. De Laboulaye, a great admirer of the United States, observed that the country's centennial was approaching in 1876. He thought it would be a good idea for France to present America with a gift to commemorate the occasion. But what? Bartholdi proposed a giant statue of some kind ... and thought about it for the next six years.

COMING TO AMERICA

By 1871, Bartholdi had most of the details worked out in his mind: The American monument would be a colossal statue of a woman called "Liberty Enlightening the World." It would be paid for by the French people, and the pedestal that it stood on would be financed and built by the Americans.

Illustration from U.S. Patent D11023, Filed Jan 2, 1870 by Bartholdi.

The idea excited him so much that he booked a passage on a ship and sailed to New York to drum up support for it. As he entered New York Harbor, Bartholdi noticed a small, 12-acre piece of land near Ellis Island, called Bedloe's Island. He decided it was the perfect spot for his statue. Bartholdi spent the next five months traveling around the U.S. and getting support for the statue. Then he went back to France, where the government of Emperor Napoléon III (Napoléon Bonaparte's nephew) was openly hostile to the democratic and republican ideals celebrated by the Statue of Liberty. They would have jailed him if he'd spoken of the project openly - so Bartholdi kept a low profile until 1874, when the Third Republic was proclaimed after Napoléon III's defeat in the Franco-Russian Prussian War. Bartholdi went back to work. He founded a group called the Franco-American Union, comprised of French and American supporters, to help raise money for the statue. He also recruited Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, soon to become famous for the Eiffel Tower, to design the steel and iron framework to hold the statue up.

A WOMAN IN A HURRY

By now the centennial was only two years away. It was obvious that the huge statue couldn't be designed, financed, built, shipped, and installed on Bedloe's Island in time for the big celebration. But Bartholdi kept going anyway. Raising the $400,000 he estimated was needed to build the statue in France wasn't easy. Work stopped frequently when cash ran out, and Bartholdi and his craftspeople missed deadline after deadline. Then in 1880 the Franco-American Union came up with the idea of holding a "Liberty" lottery to raise funds. That did the trick.

Construction of Lady Liberty's left hand holding the tablet (Image Credit: Album des Travaux de Construction de la Statue Colossale de la Liberte destinee au Port de New-York, 1883 at Statue of Liberty National Monument)

Statue of Liberty being built in Bartholdi's studio (left, source: NYC Architecture). Head of the Statue of Liberty, exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exposition (right, source: Statue of Liberty Head).

In the United States, things were harder. There was some enthusiasm, but not as much as in France. It was, after all, a French statue ... and not everyone was sure the country needed a French statue, even for free. The U.S. Congress did vote unanimously to accept the gift from France ... but it didn't provide any funding for the pedestal, and neither did the city of New York. Neither did the state. By now, the Statue of Liberty's right hand and torch were finished, so Bartholdi shipped it to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition and had it put on display. For a fee of 50¢, visitors could climb a 30-foot steel ladder up the side of the hand and stand on the balcony surrounding the torch. Two years later the statue's head was displayed in a similar fashion in Paris, giving people a chance to climb up into the head and peek out from the windows in the crown. But while events like these generated a lot of enthusiasm, they didn't raise as much money as Bartholdi hoped for.

LADY'S MAN

In 1883 the U.S. Congress voted down a fresh attempt to provide $100,000 toward the cost of the pedestal; the vote so outraged Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, that he launched a campaign in the pages of his newspaper to raise the money. "The Bartholdi statue will soon be on its way to enlighten the world," he told his readers, "more appropriate would be the gift of a statue of parsimony than a statue of liberty, if this is the appreciation we show of a friendly nation's sentiment and generosity." After two months of non-stop haranguing, he managed to raise exactly $135.75 of the $200,000 needed to build the pedestal.

NOTHING TO STAND ON

In June of 1884, work on the statue itself was finished. Bartholdi had erected it in a courtyard next to his studio in Paris. The original plan had been to dismantle it as soon as it was completed, pack it into shipping crates, and send it to the United States, where it would be installed atop the pedestal on Bedloe's Island ... But the pedestal wasn't even close to being finished. So Bartholdi left the statue standing in the courtyard. In September 1884 work on the pedestal ground to a halt when the project ran out of money. An estimated $100,000 was still needed. When it appeared that New York was coming up empty-handed, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco began to compete to have the Statue of Liberty built in their cities.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED ...

Furious, Joseph Pulitzer decided to try again. In the two years since his first campaign, his newspaper's circulation had grown from a few thousand readers to more than 100,000. He hoped that now his paper was big enough to make a difference. For more than five months, beginning on March 16, 1885, Pulitzer beseeched his readers day after day to send in what they could. No reader was too humble, no donation too small; every person who contributed would receive a mention in the newspaper. "The statue is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America," he told readers, "but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America. Take this appeal to yourself personally."

This time, the campaign began to get results: By March 27, 2,535 people had contributed $2,359.67. Then on April 1, Pulitzer announced that the ship containing the crated parts of the statue would leave France aboard the French warship Isere on May 8th. The excitement began to build, prompting a new wave of giving. By April 15, he'd raised $25,000, and a month later another $25,000 - enough money to restart work on the pedestal. At this point, the makers of Castoria laxative stepped forward to help. They offered to chip in $25,000, "provided that for the period of one year, you permit us to place across the top of the pedestal the word 'Castoria.,'" they wrote. "Thus art and science, the symbol of liberty to man, and of health to his children, would more closely enshrined in the hearts of our people." The offer of a laxative for Miss Liberty was politely declined; Castoria kept its money.

ON A ROLL

By now the race to fund the pedestal had captivated the entire country, and money really began to pour in. People sent in pennies, nickels and dimes ... and they also began buying copies of the World each day to keep track of the race; by the time the dust settled, the World's circulation had exploded to the point that it was the most widely-read newspaper in the entire Western hemisphere. On June 19, the fundraising passed the $75,000 mark; on July 22, the Isere arrived in New York Harbor and began unloading its cargo; bringing the excitement - and the giving - to its peak. Finally on August 11, Pulitzer's goal was met. "ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! TRIUMPHANT COMPLETION OF THE WORLD'S FUND FOR THE LIBERTY PEDESTAL."

More than 120,000 people had contributed to the effort, for an average donation of about 83¢ per person. Work on the pedestal now moved at a steady clip; by April 1886 it was finished, and the pieces of the statue itself were put into place. The internal steel and iron framework structure went up first; then the pieces of the statue's outer skin were attached one by one. Finally on October 28, 1886, at a ceremony headed by President Grover Cleveland, the statue was opened to the public ... more than ten years after the original July 4, 1876 deadline. The statue was late - very late. But better late than never.

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World (1886) by Edward Moran.

A WOMAN OF FEW WORDS

The verse most closely associated with the statue, "Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..." weren't added to the pedestal until 1903 ... and only after officials realized what an inspiration the statue had become to the waves of immigrants arriving at nearby Ellis Island. The verses are part of "The New Colossus," a sonnet composed by New York poet Emma Lazarus in 1883; she donated it to an auction at the New York's Academy of Design to raise money for the statue's pedestal.

The article above, titled "Putting Liberty on a Pedestal," is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's All-Purpose Extra Strength Bathroom Reader. The 13th book in the series by the Bathroom Reader's Institute has 504-all new pages crammed with fun facts, including articles on the biggest movie bombs ever, the origin and unintended use of I.Q. test, and more.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


The war in the 1870's was not the Franco-Russian, but the Franco-Prussian War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War
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>> Then on April 1, Pulitzer announced that the ship containing the crated parts of the statue would leave France aboard the French warship Isere on May 8th.

The ship carrying the crates was ON a another ship?

Does the actual book have all these typos and errors?
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Ah, but the article doesn't say that. It says "Pulitzer announced that the ship..."

Perhaps the mistake was originally Pulitzer's.

If it is a mistake, indeed. Wouldn't it be really neatorama material if the ship was on another ship? That way, if the Isere sank, the other ship would have a fighting chance.

Those clever French, eh?
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It's hilarious in hindsight all of the franco-hate that went down in this country from the right in the lie-up to the war in Iraq.

I wish to god our congress had the testicular fortitude to listen to the rest of the world (including France) and opposed this stupid and fraudulent war.

But alas it was easier to poke fun at the French, rename our French fries Freedom fries.

Funny though no of these brown shirt wannabes, who clutch their made-in-china American flags while stroking their plastic statues of liberty, care to admit how incredibly fucking wrong they were.

Looking at the Statue of Liberty and learning its history should be a reminder to all Americans that we don't live in a vacuum, that there are countries beyond our own shores, and that we can as a nation make mistakes and just because the worse sycophants in our society like Bush, Cheney and their cabal of vicious fixers and backroom dealers can't admit their own mistakes doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't step up to the plate and take responsibility.

Its striking to me how the values embodied in the Statue of Liberty are the complete antithesis of the Right in this country. Immigration, Liberty, Freedom, International brotherhood, and the multiculturalism embodied by the melting-pot ideology all stand in stark contrast to the close minded fear peddled by talk radio, right wing fascists, and beady eyed pols like Bush who have absolutely no grounding, education, or even inkling of an idea about what democracy is really about.

For these right wingers to co-opt such a shinning symbol of liberty is like Dracula sticking a Jesus-Fish on his casket and wearing a crucifix to bible study.
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Great article. I remember in grade 7 we had to make a speech in history class an I chose the topic The Statue of Liberty. After reading your great article I wish I had all the information you mentioned.Maybe I would have gotten an A+ instead of just an A. By the way I am from Canada. Nothing here to make any great speeches about !
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Guys... thought you knew. The Statue was a gift from the French government to Egypt. Egypt declined the present due to its "ugliness" (matter of appreciation), so the french shipped it to the US.
That´s the Statue´s E! True Hollywood Story

cheers
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Wow, mrgoodbar sounds like he's running for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Unfortunately for his Euro-socialist-philia, the French just elected their own right-wing President whose victory speech promised France's friendship with their American friends and "that France will always be by their side when they need it". Guess not everyone in the world shares your hatred of your fellow Americans, mrgoodbar, oh well.
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Tinderbox:
Nice rebuttal! Attacking the messenger and not their message; that's called "ad-hominem" which means: you have nothing to say so you just open your mouth and scream about nothing at all." This debate tactic is often applied by ignoramuses and crooked politicians. I don't think you are a politician...

Let me invoke a few of your other debate tactics before you get the chance to use them: "If you don't like this country, leave" or "you're working with the terrorists and want them to win" or "we have to fight terror now or face them at home" or "it was Bill Clinton's fault!"

Looking back at Rudy applying this technique on Ron Paul the other night, I'm sure that some other people in your audience read your mindless blathering and applauded your bright shining intellect, but those people are also idiots, so I hope you got some nice circle-jerk emails from them.

So I guess your outrage meant that you took personal offense from his comment about brown-shirt wanna-be's. The truth hurts, doesn't it?
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I know, Earl, it's pretty far out for me to suggest that Americans, and not the French, are better qualified to determine what is in America's best interest.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... the rhetoric of many recent Democratic candidates has been indistinguishable from the Al Qaeda videotapes. Don't blame me that they sound alike. Often the only way to tell the difference is to check whether the speaker sports a turban or a $400 haircut. I sincerely hope politicians of both parties will wise up and stay focused on what is vitally important. That would be preventing another 9/11, not preventing ice from melting in the Antarctic summers.

So, how about that Statue of Liberty? Is the observation deck in her crown reopened or do they still keep it off limits?
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I always thought the Statue of Liberty was a demonic/masonic symbol. A prostitute holding the light of Lucifer, delivered as a gift to the "New World" by the Freemasons.
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Also worth mentioning that the pedestal was designed by Richard Morris Hunt,one of the most famous architects of that time (pre Frank Lloyd Wright). Hunt also designed Biltmore in North Carolina and various other famous buildings.
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It's a shame to read those stupid comments about what is, and will always be a masonic symbol over modern civilizations. A symbol of the triumph of the ancient roman heritage over absolute monarchies of that time.
France and America were the real first brand new democracies of modern times, they fought together against the ruling Crowns (UK & France monarchies). It has nothing to do with Muslims or whatever else. The face of peace as a link between the freed people of France and America, two new born democracies.
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Nice to learn about these kind of things. And where do you get the sense that americans hate the french? That is irrelevant... even if americans are known for such not all of us are idiots...
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didnt the statue of liberty look like the creator's mother? i'm not sure. what i am sure is that the statue of liberty has the face of someone's mother. probably the man's that designed it.
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In school we are taught that this is the welcome center for European immigrants, but it was actually a monument to recognize the Black Soldiers who fought and won the Civil War.

A Lesson in Black History:

It is hard to believe that after many years of schooling (secondary and post) the following facts about the Statue of Liberty were never taught:

Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people including myself have visited the Statue of Liberty over the years but yet I'm unable to find one person who knows the true history behind the statue amazing!

Yes, amazing that so much important Black history (such as this) is hidden from us (Black and White). What makes this even worse is the fact that the current twist on history perpetuates and promotes
white supremacy at the expense of Black Pride!

During my visit to France I saw the original Statue of Liberty. However, there was a difference... the statue in France is BLACK!!!!!!

"Ya learn something new everyday!"
The Statue of Liberty was originally a Black woman.
But, as memory serves, it was because the model was Black. In a book called "The Journey of The Songhai People," as Dr. Jim Haskins (a member of the National Education Advisory Committee of the Liberty-Ellis Island Committee, professor of English at the University of Florida, and prolific Black author) points out that is what stimulated the original idea for that 151 foot statue in the harbor. He says that the idea for the creation of the statue initially was to acknowledge the part that Black soldiers played in the ending of Black African Bondage the United States.
It was created in the mind of the French historian Edourd de Laboulaye, Chairman of the French Anti-Slavery Society, who, together with sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, proposed to the
French government that the people of France present to the people of the United States through the American Abolitionist Society, the gift of a Statue of Liberty in recognition of the fact that Black soldiers won the Civil War in the United States. It was widely known then that it was Black Soldiers who played the pivotal role in winning the war, and this gift would be a tribute to their prowess.

Suzanne Nakasian, director of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Foundations' National Ethnic Campaign said that the Black Americans' direct connection to Lady Liberty is unknown to the majority of Americans, BLACK or WHITE.

When the statue was presented to the US. Minister to France in 1884, it is said that he remonstrated that the dominant view of the broken shackles would be
offensive to the U.S. South because the statue was a reminder of Blacks winning their freedom. It was a
reminder to a beaten South of the ones who caused their defeat, their despised former captives.

Documents of Proof:

(1.) You may go and see the original model of the Statue of Liberty, with the broken chains at her feet and in her left hand. Go to the Museum of the City of NY, Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street (212) 534-1672 or call the same number and dial ext. 208 and speak to
Peter Simmons and he can send you some documentation.

(2.) Check with the N. Y. Times magazine, part II May 18, 1986.

(3.) The dark original face of the Statue of Liberty can be seen in the N. Y. Post June 17, 1986, also the Post stated the reason for the broken chains at her feet.

(4.) Finally, you may check with the French Mission or the French Embassy at the U.N. or in Washington, D.C.and ask for some original French material on the Statue of Liberty, including the Bartholdi original model. You can call (202) 944-6060 or 6400.

Let this be the beginning of your quest for the Truth about American History past and present!
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My bad, it sounded like a credible story from a credible source, and I like my sister ran with it. now the rest of the story:

It seems the lady who authored the story I initially posted was named Rebecca M. Joseph who actually worked for the National Parks Services. That story about the black model and Civil War has been going around the internet since 1998. As a result of all the rumors on the internet and Ms Joseph's jumping to conclusions, the National Parks Service commissioned an investigation headed by Ms Joseph. The final report tells it all. Make sure you check out everything before passing it on as fact.

THE BLACK STATUE OF LIBERTY RUMOR

An Inquiry into the History and Meaning of Bartholdi’s Liberté éclairant le Monde

FINAL REPORT

by

Rebecca M. Joseph, Ph.D.

with Brooke Rosenblatt and Carolyn Kinebrew

September 2000

Northeast Ethnography Program, Boston Support Office, National Park Service


This project was funded by the National Park Service. Principal Investigator Dr. Rebecca M. Joseph was formerly Senior Anthropologist, Northeast Region, National Park Service and is the author of this report. Research associates Brooke Rosenblatt and Carolyn Kinebrew are independent consultants. Release of this report does not imply endorsement of its conclusions or recommendations by National Park Service.

Note

Since this manuscript was completed in September of 2000, the NPS hired professional editors on two occasions to improve the organization and writing style of the report, which was a recommendation of peer reviewers, without altering the results and findings. However, each effort introduced changes to the report that ultimately were considered unsatisfactory by the NPS. In making the report available in its original form, the NPS seeks to preserve the nuances and details of the research as they were presented by the investigators. The information discussed in this report is an important addition to the more conventional understanding of the origin and meaning of the Statue of Liberty, and it has been used to help formulate significant new research and planning projects that are ongoing at the present time.

The manuscript has been modified by the NPS in the following areas:

1. The Introduction has been edited to improve readability.
2. Appendix D was added to provide a selected list of scholarly literature on the Statue of Liberty’s history and symbolism, for additional reading.
3. Two footnotes were added. Footnote 106 was inserted to identify scholars by name who have stated that the design for the Statue of Liberty evolved from the sculptor's earlier concept of a similar figure entitled, "Egypt Bringing Light to the Orient." Footnote 102 expresses a reservation about the author's identification of Egyptian fellah as "black."


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In early 1998, the Statue of Liberty National Monument staff began receiving inquiries about rumors that the Statue of Liberty was originally meant to be a monument to the end of slavery in America at the end of the Civil War. In response, the Monument's Superintendent launched an intensive, two-year investigation of the rumors and the truth about the statue's early history. The research reported here is based on investigations conducted on the internet, through personal interviews and in public and private library and archival collections in the U.S. and France.

The rumors have been circulating on the Internet, through e-mail networks and in telephone calls. In their totality, the rumors constitute a counter-narrative about the origin and development of the statue that preserves and transmits valuable information about its early history (discussed in Part I of the report). Parts II and III of the report examine four specific claims that are made in the multiple and often overlapping versions of the rumors. Part III also includes a discussion of the roles of African Americans in the statue's early history (1876-1886) and race relations as an enduring theme associated with the monument. A Chronology of American Race Relations for the Statue of Liberty is presented here. Following the Conclusions and Recommendations for Further Research, appendices present additional information about research methods, specific research findings concerning the rumors' Proof of Documents, a chronology of internet and media dissemination of the rumors, and a list of further readings about the meanings and interpretations of the statue.

The Rumors

Claim 1. The Statue of Liberty was conceived at a dinner party in 1865 at the home of Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent French abolitionist, following the death of President Lincoln.

Finding: This story is a legend. All available evidence points to its conception in 1870 or 1871. The dinner party legend is traceable to a single source --- an 1885 fund-raising pamphlet written by the statue's sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, after the death of Laboulaye.

Claim 2. Edouard de Laboulaye and Auguste Bartholdi were well-known French abolitionists who proposed the monument to recognize the critical roles played by black soldiers in the Civil War.

Finding: No evidence was found to support the claim that the Statue of Liberty was intended to memorialize black combatants in the Civil War. Edouard de Laboulaye was a prolific French abolitionist who believed that the end of slavery marked the realization of the American democratic ideal embodied in the Declaration of Independence. His use of references to the French role in the American Revolution to generate support for his efforts on behalf of American slaves and freedmen are critical to understanding his conception of the Statue of Liberty. Auguste Bartholdi was largely apolitical and adapted his self-presentation to advance his career as an artist. His frequent references to race-related subjects during his 1871 visit to the United States reflect the influences of his French patrons and American contacts.

Claim 3: The original model for the Statue of Liberty was a black woman, but the design was changed to appease white Americans who would not accept an African-American Liberty.

Finding: The statue's design almost certainly evolved from an earlier concept Bartholdi proposed for a colossal monument in Egypt, for which the artist used his drawings of Egyptian women as models. Bartholdi’s preliminary design for the Statue of Liberty is consistent with contemporary depictions of Liberty, but differs markedly from sculptures representing freed American slaves and Civil War soldiers. Bartholdi changed a broken shackle and chain in the statue's left hand to tablets inscribed "July IV, MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776) at Laboulaye's request, to emphasize a broader vision of liberty for all mankind. There is no evidence that Bartholdi's “original” design was perceived by white American supporters or the United States government as representing a black woman, or was changed on those grounds.

Claim 4: By the time of its dedication in 1886, European immigration to the United States had increased so substantially that earlier meanings associated with the statue were eclipsed, and this association has continued to be the predominant understanding of the statue’s meaning from then until now.

Finding: The conventional interpretation of the statue as a monument to American immigrants is a twentieth-century phenomenon. In its early years (1871-1886), that view was only rarely and vaguely expressed, while references to the Civil War and abolition of slavery occur repeatedly from its first introduction to the United States in 1871 up to and including the dedication celebrations in 1886. Immigrants did not actually see the Statue of Liberty in large numbers until after its unveiling. In the early twentieth century, the statue became a popular symbol for nativists and white supremacists. Official use of the statue's image to appeal to immigrants only began in earnest with public efforts to Americanize immigrant children and the government’s advertising campaign for World War I bonds. The "immigrant" interpretation gained momentum in the 1930s as Americans prepared for war with Hitler and by the 1950s, it had become the predominant understanding of the statue's original purpose and meaning.

The Role of African Americans in the Statue's History

Although African Americans played no active role in the statue's conception or design, they contributed to the main fund-raising drive for the statue’s pedestal, participated in public celebrations during its dedication in New York City, and conducted their own celebrations at that time as well. African American newspapers throughout the country covered those events extensively. Yet for black Americans the Statue of Liberty has also long symbolized America's failure to protect their civil rights. In the early 1900s, many African Americans were victims of white supremacists and nativists who used the statue to represent their exclusionary views. Since then, continuing ambiguity among African Americans about whether to embrace “Liberty” hopefully or scorn it as a symbol of American hypocrisy has been expressed in numerous works of art, political debates, and, on at least one occasion, violent protest. Planning and construction of an Immigration Museum at the Statue of Liberty took seventeen years (1955-1972); and the effort involved a fierce public debate about how African-Americans who were brought involuntarily to America as slaves could or should be presented as "immigrants" and, if so, how their history and contributions to American society should be told.

Conclusions

• Was the original model for the Statue of Liberty a black woman?

Most versions of the Black Statue of Liberty rumor refer to a cast (c. 1870) of a no longer extant maquette owned by the Museum of the City of New York as proof that “the original model” for the Statue of Liberty was a black woman. The temporal proximity and aesthetic overlap between Bartholdi’s Egyptian proposal and the Statue of Liberty project, and the preliminary nature of the statue's study models, makes it impossible to rule out an 1870-71 Liberty model that has design origins in Bartholdi’s drawings of black Egyptian women in 1856. Based on the evidence, the connection is coincidental to the development of the Statue of Liberty under Laboulaye’ patronage. We found no corroborating evidence that Edouard Laboulaye or Auguste Bartholdi intended to depict Liberty as a black woman. Laboulaye’s intent was to present a monument that would commemorate the fulfillment of America’s commitment to universal liberty established by the Declaration of Independence, and set an example for other nations. Liberty depicted as a freedwoman would have represented his strong anti-slavery convictions, but it would not have fulfilled this broader vision.

• Is the Statue of Liberty a monument to the end of slavery in the United States?

The Statue of Liberty would never have been conceived or built if its principal French and American advocates had not been active abolitionists who understood slavery as the cause of the Civil War and its end as the realization of the promise of liberty for all as codified in the Declaration of Independence. But the Statue of Liberty was not intended entirely as a monument to the end of slavery. The statue’s form after June 1871 clearly embodies Laboulaye’s views on the two-part realization, in 1776 and 1864, of his ideal of liberty. The centennial of the American Revolution was significant to the French sponsors because the Civil War ended slavery and preserved the Union at a time when the France’s future was still uncertain. For the American republicans, it was a timely opportunity to erect a monument to their efforts and worldview. Laboulaye and his French colleagues also wished to send a political message back to France. Bartholdi cast the project in the broadest terms, hoping to encourage additional commissions.

• What roles do African Americans have in the Statue of Liberty’s history?

The black press championed the French-American project; and African Americans contributed to the pedestal fund, participated in the public celebrations for its unveiling in New York City and conducted their own. Blacks were among the immigrants whose first sight of the United States was the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. In the early 20th century, African Americans died because of the perverse appropriation of the statue’s symbolism by white racists. They were targeted by and responded to the government’s Liberty bond campaign during World War I. Racial justice, particularly for African Americans, has been a recurrent theme ever since the Statue of Liberty’s inception as evidenced by political cartoons, poems written for the 50th anniversary, debates over the content of the American Museum of Immigration’s exhibits, and acts of civil disobedience in the 1960s and ‘70s. Along with recent work by African American artists, the Black Statue of Liberty rumor extends this tradition of active engagement with this American icon.
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I VISITED THE STATUE IN 1990. WHAT IS THE STATUE SUPPOSE TO REPRESENT. IF FREEDOM THEN FOR WHO.NORT THE REAL AMERICANS WHOSE LAND WAS STOLEN BY THE WHITEMAN WHOSE DRINKING GWTERS WERS POISONED BY THE WHITE MAN. ITS A SHAME THAT THE STAUE IS THERE WHEN THE REAL INHABITANTS THAT IS THE THE RED INDIAND HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR FREEDOM
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I'm going to new york tomorow and i'm very exited. My parents it will give me a great edgucation to learn about the STATUE OF LIBERTY. When I get back i will tell you all about the STATUE.
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i m from brasil i was bon new works today i lives brasil sao paulo i think statue liberty is very muit important history usa gift france peoples but today i couldnt to travel because i m jail mr chairman globo tv mr roberto irineu marinho i have been police every day that fine i wish new years
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Americans hate the French for the same reason they do anything else: everyone's doing it. It's just the culture. Someone says, 'The French suck!', and the guy next to him says, 'Ya, they SUCK!'. Then the ditzy blonde next to him says, 'Ya, what he said!', and all of a sudden it's on t-shirts and hats.
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their is a missing part which everywhere denied it, The Statue OF Liberty was built originally for Egypt from France and then America requested from The King of Egypt to take it and that what happened ...
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The national parks service commissioned an inquire into the link between African Americans and the Statue of Liberty. The findings seem plausible...however, I'm not privy to the source document so I can't vouch for the conclusion. My questions would be, did they include anyone of color on the panel and what kind of pressure was placed on the member(s) to reach a desired conclusion.
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Question above: Why do the Yanks hate the French so much.

Well they like to think that they are the saviours of the world, the best at everything and the military might, the reality is they have never won a conflict on their own. This is hard for most yanks to comprehend, they like to think they won the first and second world wars, but in reality they played a very minor role they also like to think they defeated the British for independance and that it was over taxation without representation, however it was actually about avoiding paying interest on money borrowed from the crown, developing an independant monetary system, creating a masonic state (beginning of the New World Order)and becoming independant before Britain was able to abolish slavery as the colonies knew they needed slaves if they were to survive as an independant economy (see Ben Franklyn's correspondance with William Wilberforce) so Ben Franklyn belonged to the same masonic lodge as Robespierre who instructed General Lafayette to assist the colonials in the war against Britain. The French fought the US war of independance ( which lead to bankrupting France and in turn the tax increase to fund the war generated the French revolution, creating the second masonic state, the republic of France) so the Yanks dont like to admit they needed the French to help them fight the British they want to belive they did it all themselves but the French are always there to remind them, the easiest way to deal with that is to scandalise your enemy before he has chance to speak that way no one believes him when he does. Hate the French so hat way we dont have to teach out kids that actually it was the French who fought for out independance, we can just rewrite our own history to make ourselves look and feel better.

Also if you imagine the world as a school playground, All the other countries are kids playing. Britain is the smart kid all the girls are standing around, Australia is the kid eating worms and the USA is the fat trailer park kid from a broken home who's parents are alcoholics on prozak and he's a bully stealing other kids lunch money. France on the other hand is the smart educated kid with a healthy lunch, who understands art and passion, the dumb fat kid hates him out of jealousy but tries to keep telling himself he's better than the other kids, he's the best kid in the world when all he really is is a fat dumb bully no one likes.
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Hello: Just want to make a comment: If,and I'm really not sure, Yet ( if the Statue was ment for Egypt or not) But if it was, than She would represent an African, right? I personally believe that she's a pagan goddess representing a come back from religions of the world. Pure Masonic and Illuminati...

James....
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