Mandeville, LA - Many gallons of ink have been spilled and trillions of phosphorous pixels burned over the Feds-"government shutdown inspired"- shuttering of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. I have asked the question "why" this is so seeing as how the Statue belongs to the People of the United States, NOT the government. I promised to locate the documentary history of the statue and prove this point beyond dispute. In light of this, I present to you the 1884 letter of President U.S. Grant  to wealthy citizens, seeking to raise private funds to erect the statue. Readers will note that Grant doesn't have the 21st century smarts , or more accurately, LACKS the 21st century's penchant for Constitutional perversion viz he doesn't view the Statue as the Feds responsibility nor as a make-work jobs program for Ranger Rick.

Letter courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Collection

January 1884
Tiffany and Co.
171 Broadway, New York, New York,

Patrick_Henry_American_Statesman_paperback_cover_DETAILDear Sirs; You will no doubt deplore with us the marked indifference of the citizens of New York to the munificent gift of the French People to the People of the United States – A colossal Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.
It was presented on the one hundredth anniversary of our National Independence, in
commemoration of the ancient alliance and present friendship of the two Republics. The Statue is artistically admirable, and will prove an ornament of the harbor of New York of unequalled majesty and impressiveness.
Out of $250,000 needed to erect a suitable pedestal less than half has been raised,
after many and strenuous exertions.
The threatened stoppage of work upon the Pedestal in consequence of this neglect would
produce the most unfavorable comments upon our patriotism and public spirit, not only in our own country, but throughout the civilized world.
It has therefore been suggested that twenty of the most prominent of our citizens could be named who would gladly contribute to avert so discreditable a result, and your name has been presented as one of the twenty.
Will you be kind enough therefore to inform us if you will agree to pay $5000
towards the object, provided the others do; any previous subscription to be counted as part of the sum, and no publication of the list to be made until it shall be completed.
We know that this is hardly a time to make an appeal for money, but the necessity is
imperative.
U. S. Grant
Mr M. Evarts
Jos. W. Drexel
Messrs Tiffany & Company