Emma Lazarus, Poet of Exiles
How Lazarus Helped Americans Understand Immigration
Dedicating the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland thanked the French for their gift. Light from Liberty’s torch would “pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression, until liberty enlightens the world,” he said. This expressed the original idea for the statue. Yet the poet Emma Lazarus would cause Americans to see a larger message in it.