I Lift my Lamp Beside the Golden Door
The Statue of Liberty in Paris, France, 1886
A gift from the people of France, the Statue of Liberty was constructed by
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in Paris.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek
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!"
The Golden Door
Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, July 2, 1887, pp. 324-325
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Emma Lazarus 1849-1887
Born on July 22, 1849 in New York City to a wealthy sugar refining family of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descent, Emma Lazarus was the poet who wrote "The New Colossus." Aside from writing, Lazarus was also involved in charitable work for refugees. At Ward's Island, she worked as an aide for Jewish immigrants who had been detained by Castle Garden immigration officials. She was deeply moved by the plight of the Russian Jews she met there and these experiences influenced her writing. (Source: National Park Service)