“The New Colossus” was a poem written by American Jewish Poet Emma Lazarus in 1883. Ms. Lazarus was asked by fundraiser Maxwell Evarts to write a poem for an art and literary works auction. The aim of the auction was to raise money in order to build a pedestral at the statue of liberty. Although Ms. Lazarus originally refused, when she was told by her friend that the “statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor,” she finally conceeded. As a result Ms. Lazarus wrote a sonnet comparing the statue of liberty to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and bidding welcome to the millions of immigrants that would flock Ellis Island. In 1903, with much efforts by her friend Georgina, “The New Colossus” was mounted on a plaque on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated “Liberty Enlightening the World” on October 28th, 1886. It’s origin was the idea of French educator and author Edouard de Laboulaye in response to the assasination of President Lincoln. At over 150 ft tall, the structure stood as a symbol of American freedom and the alliance between France and the United States.