National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM
One of the most prominent rubber manufacturers and art collectors of the nineteenth century, Richard Butler was the secretary of the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty. When the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty was formed in 1877, chairman William Maxwell Evarts selected 22 members to sit on the committee. Butler was one of those chosen and served as the committee's secretary from 1877 to 1902. With his entrepreneurial capabilities and wealthy contacts, Butler was an indispensible, driving force during the committee's struggle to raise money for the construction and completion of the Statue's pedestal. He worked tirelessly planning fundraising events and even mobilized his New Jersey factory to ship statuettes to financial contributors. After the Statue's inauguration ceremony in 1886, Butler remained on the American Committee and continued to raise money for various repairs and improvements to the Statue until his death in 1902.
Did You Know?
The Statue's original torch was the first part constructed in 1876. In 1984 it was replaced by a new copper torch covered in 24K gold leaf which is lighted by floodlight at night. The original torch is currently located in the lobby of the monument. Access to the torch has been closed since 1916.