The Statue of Liberty

Designed by Brother Frederic A. Bartholdi

Situated at the entrance of New York Harbor stands one of the most important symbols of American liberty... The Statue of Liberty.  It was a gift from the French people to the United States as a token of mutual friendship.  Its designer, a Freemason, was Brother Frederic A. Bartholdi (1834-1904) who conceived its design while on a visit to America.  As his ship sailed into New York, Bartholdi had a vision of a woman standing on a pedestal, holding a torch and welcoming immigrants to a new life in a free land.  Along with Brother Bartholdi, Brother Gustave Eiffel was also responsible for the statue.  Brother Eiffel designed and built the frame work which holds the copper sheeting in place.

  Frederic Bartholdi was one of the early members of Lodge Alsace-Lorraine, Paris (Oct. 14, 1875) which was composed of prominent intellectuals, writers and government representatives.  When his famous statue "Liberty Enlightening the World" was achieved, Bartholdi convened his Lodge to review it, even before the statue was shown to the U.S. committee.  On June 19, 1884, the Lodge, as if it were a pilgrimage, went in a body to review his masterpiece.  On July 4th, 1884 the finished statue was presented to the American Ambassador in Paris, Levi Morton.  On August 5th, 1884, the then Grand Master of Masons in New York, William A. Brodie laid the cornerstone of the pedestal of the statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" with full Masonic ceremony.  On November 13, 1884 Bartholdi delivered a lecture and gave the Lodge a report on the history and various methods used in the execution of the statue.  Again the Lodge witnessed his emotion when he came back from his visit to the United States in 1887, and he told them of the ardent welcome he had received and of the wide enthusiasm created by his work. 

  Lady Liberty was the focal point of waves of immigrants, who came (and still come) to the shores of the United States from all over the world.  Their first glimpse of the Statue was one they never forgot, for it meant the end of poverty and oppression and the beginning of new hope.  The "melting pot" of America was created by millions of immigrants, who knew that freedom and opportunity were open to them in the new land, which they helped settle and build from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  France provided $400,000 for the 151 ft 1 in. (46.05 m) statue, and a fundraising drive in the United States netted $270,000 for the 89-foot pedestal.

The Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus saw the statue as a beacon to the world. A poem she wrote to help raise money for the pedestal, and which is carved on that pedestal, captured what the statue came to mean to the millions who migrated to the United States seeking freedom, and who have continued to come unto this day.


"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From 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 to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
 

Statue of Liberty Centennial Medallions

    

 

This gorgeous Medallic Art Co. bronze calendar paperweight was minted for the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Statue of Liberty. The obverse has a recessed view of the Statue of Liberty's face and it says "1986".  Around her are the calendar months.  The reverse shows an immigrant couple with their child and it says "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 TO ME.  I LIFT MY LAMP BESIDE THE GOLDEN DOOR."   Around the rim is "1985 MEDALLIC ART CO. DANBURY, CT. BRONZE".   It measures 3" in diameter.

      

Just above is another beautiful high relief bronze medallion.  This one was  issued by the Paris Mint commemorating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.   The medal measures 80 mm across and weights approximately 480 grams.

 

         

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