The Statue of Liberty
Designed by Brother Frederic A.
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.
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!"
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.