DescriptionFrederic Auguste Bartholdi Autograph Letter Signed Trying to Raise Funds to Build the Statue of Liberty Great content ALS "Bartholdi" in French, 3pp., 5" x 8", New York, August 26, 1876, to an unknown recipient regarding efforts to raise subscriptions to build the Statue of Liberty. He writes in part: "I am sending you the prospectus of the Franco-American Union Committee and some letters of subscription in case you find a place for them. I regret I can no longer send the discourse brochures, I had to give away the last two, for the New York Herald and to M. Perkins... If you can obtain for us any endorsements, even the most minimal of subscriptions, accompanied by a letter of encouragement to the committee, you would produce an excellent effect. A contrivance of a few dollars wrapped up in a slightly warm letter will be worth a hundred of them in Paris and would drive subscriptions. I have been promised and I hope that before long the expressions of sympathy made by the Americans will be discussed; it is absolutely necessary that we have them exonerated of the accusations of silent indifference... I am leaving for Philadelphia, where I have things to do while I am awaiting the unveiling of the statue of Lafayette..."
Although the Franco-American Union committee began its efforts to raise funds to build the pedestal on which would rest the Statue of Liberty, very little advances would be made until about the time this letter was written. People were reluctant to contribute money as they were unsure of the commitment being made by the French to actually build the Statue. Also, that the Statue would be in New York Harbor made it easy to dismiss as a New York project, not a national one.
Bartholdi threw himself headlong into fundraising, and the trip he refers to in this letter is to campaign for funds at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He had arranged to place the recently completed the statue's hand and torch on display at the Exposition. His gamble paid off, as it likely contributed heavily to the success of the formation of a Committee in Philadelphia in September of 1876. A similar committee would form in New York, chaired by John Jay; and likely inspired by Bartholdi's statue of the Marquis de Lafayette which celebrated its unveiling in Union Square Park as referred to in this letter in September of 1876.
Also included in this lot is a 5.75" x 3.25" postcard of the Statue of Liberty boldly signed by Bartholdi in the upper right corner. Both postcard and letter have mounting remnants on verso. Letter and postcard are handsomely housed in a full green Moroccan leather case with raised spine and gilt design and lettering.
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