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Libertarian Concerns

July 2024
1min read

Did you know that Liberty almost wound up on the bottom of the Atlantic instead of on her pedestal? Or that the young French naval lieutenant who brought her safely through an ocean storm eventually became an American citizen?

Nineteen-year-old Rodolphe Victor de Drambour commanded the small steam-and-sail gunboat Isère that carried the dismembered statue to this country. Because none of the ship’s hatches were big enough to admit the cases, he cut a hole in the vessel’s side and shoved them in as best he could, with no means of proper stowage.

On the voyage the ship ran into a heavy storm. For seventy-two hours young Drambour never left the bridge as the wildly shifting cargo threatened to capsize the gunboat at any moment. Two days after his twentieth birthday he anchored safely off Sandy Hook. When or why he left France I do not know, but in 1936, at the time of Liberty’s fiftieth anniversary, he had long been a U. S. citizen and was living in the Bronx.

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