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Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “The New Colossus” helped the Statue of Liberty greet millions, but still reflected her experience of the mixed welcome that minorities faced in America.

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Emma Lazarus was born in 1849 to Moses and Esther Nathan Lazarus, descendants of the pioneering group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who settled in New Amsterdam in the mid 1600s.

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Emma Lazarus

One of the first successful Jewish American authors, Lazarus was part of the late nineteenth century New York literary elite and was recognized in her day as an important American poet. In her later years, she wrote bold, powerful poetry and essays protesting the rise of antisemitism and arguing for Russian immigrants' rights. She called on Jews to unite and create a homeland in Palestine before the title Zionist had even been coined.

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Emma Lazarus dies at age 38

November 19, 1887

Emma Lazarus, author of the "The New Colossus," the poem that has come to represent the voice of the Statue of Liberty, died at age 38.

Emma Lazarus writes "The New Colossus"

November 2, 1883

Emma Lazarus wrote her famous poem, "The New Colossus," which has become indelibly associated with the American ideal of freedom represented by the Statue of Liberty.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Emma Lazarus." (Viewed on October 25, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10363>.

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