When he sailed into New York, Bartholdi was struck by the beauty and openness of its harbor. He saw it as a symbol of the openness of America. In the harbor he found a small islandBedloe's Islandand he knew almost at once that this was where he wanted his statue to stand. On Bedloe's Island he could view rivers, ocean, and landall at the same time. Bedloe's Island belonged to the government. By now Bartholdi had a great statue in mind; he would build a statue bigger than the Colossus of Rhodes. That huge statue on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes had been built to show the power of ancient Greece. Bartholdi's woman would be a symbol of liberty and welcome, not of power.
It was the liberty-loving French people who paid for the statue. But when Lady Liberty arrived in her new home, no pedestal had been built for her, and neither Congress nor wealthy financiers seemed anxious to provide that money. What was to be done? Someone was needed to tell the story of the majestic lady and make people understand what she symbolized. A public relations genius was needed, and America just happened to have one. His name was Joseph Pulitzer. He had come from Hungary at age seventeen. Then he became a soldier in the Civil War, and then a newspaper reporter in St. Louis. Soon he owned a paper, and then another, and then the important New York World. Pulitzer cared passionately about freedom and free government. He thought Bartholdi's statue was wonderful. He used his newspapers to tell Liberty's story and to raise money for the pedestal. "The statue is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America. Let us not wait for the millionaires to give this money," he said. "Let us hear from the people!"