Bedlow's Island (Liberty Island)


Bedloe’s Island which Wade spells as Bedlow's eventually became Liberty Island. It was named after Isaac Bedloe. It is only a little more than 10 acres. When New York City had an epidemic of yellow fever in 1796 and 1797, Bedloe's island was used as a place to isolate fever victims.  In 1808 Fort Wood was erected in preparation for the war with Britain.

In 1875 a group headed by Edouard-Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye conceived the idea of erecting a monument in commemoration of the alliance between France and America during the American Revolution. The statue, which of course was the Statue of Liberty, was created by Bartholdi. It is 152 feet tall, weighs 225 tons and the poem on its base was written by Emma Lazarus. The Statue was dedicated in 1886 by President Grover Cleveland.

In Gotham a History of New York City to 1898, Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace tell us that when Thomas Edison was proposing ways in which his new phonograph could be used, he thought that one should be installed on the mouth of the Statue of Liberty so that she could "talk" to the ships as they arrived in New York Harbor.