Brandeis, Louis D.
Lehman, Herbert H.
Levy, Uriah P.
Magnes, Judah L.
Santangel, Luis de
Seixas, Gershom M.
Singer, Isaac B.
Straus, Isidor & Ida
Torres, Luis de
by Gerta Ries Wiener (1983), Emma Lazarus, Statue of Liberty
a Pedestal Art Loan Exhibition was held to raise funds for the
Statue of Liberty's pedestal. Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and others
contributed original manuscripts, but the highest bid of $1,500
was received for a sonnet "The New Colossus" written just a few
days earlier. The immortal words were penned by young Emma Lazarus,
soon after her return from a European trip where she had seen
the persecution of Jews and others first hand:
the brazen giant of Greek fame,
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-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
It was not
until 1888 that the Statue of Liberty assumed her majestic place
in New York's harbor. Sadly, Emma Lazarus didn't witness this
historical event since she died of cancer a year earlier, when
she was only 38 years old.
Emma's poem might have been forgotten, but for the efforts of
Georgiana Schuyler, who had the words inscribed on a tablet and
affixed inside the Statue of Liberty in 1903. In 1945, the tablet
was moved from the second story landing to the Statue's entrance,
where it can be seen today.
to her own writings, Lazarus - who hadn't studied Hebrew until
her 34th year - made scholarly translations of Ben Ezra, Gabirol
and Halevi. She even found time to help establish the Hebrew Technical
Institute of New York.
Here to Take Emma Lazarus Quiz
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