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 French ship "Isere" transported the Statue of Liberty's 300 copper pieces packed in 214 crates to America. Although the ship nearly sank in rough seas, it arrived in New York on June 17, 1885. The Statue's parts remained unassembled for nearly a year until the pedestal was completed in 1886.