What most people don’t know is that there are broken shackles and chains at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. These symbols of state-sponsored bondage and human cruelty remain there on the Statue of Liberty as a permanent reminder of the slaves that contributed to the building of the United States.

Because the height of the pedestal built to support the statue makes it impossible to see the chains and shackles from the ground, most people visiting Liberty Island remain unaware of them.


The connection between the Statue of Liberty and slavery was denied and hidden for 125 years. 


Before the end of 2011, the United States would not acknowledge the true history of the Statue of Liberty and it’s relationship with slavery. After 2011 the U.S. Park Service publicly acknowledged the true history and corrected visitor documentation.


The Statue of Liberty is the brainchild of noted Frenchmen, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye, a man dedicated to the eradication of slavery in all societies. In 1865 he shared this idea with Auguste Bartholdi, who later became the designer of the statue.

The Statue of Liberty exists specifically to honor the emancipation of slaves in America. 

Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. I first heard about this three or four years ago. I found it interesting, at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Slavery & genocide will be taking up more of a higher place in examination of conscience of the American collective in future I hope. It has soul survival value I think. The darkness & evil have no real ability to last! Only love, justice, truth have any reality that is eternal. A work of art like the statue of liberty reflects that to people who have hope of a good future!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I didn’t know that. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aren’t the chains broken to represent that you can’t chain library down


  5. But we are also all masters in one way or another

    Just a thought

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] Fact: The Statue Of Liberty Has Slave Chains And Shackles At Her Feet […]


  7. The statue does depict a slave. However, it was originally designed for the Suez Canal in Egypt. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with slavery in America.


    • Your opinion on American history is challenged by written history:

      “In 1886, The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of democratic government and Enlightenment ideals as well as a celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Edouard de Laboulaye, the French political thinker, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist, who first proposed the idea of a great monument as a gift from France to the United States was a firm supporter of President Abraham Lincoln and his fight for abolition. Laboulaye saw abolition not only as a way to eliminate immorality, but also as a way to protest repressive tendencies in France.

      As an abolitionist, Laboulaye was an honorary member of the Philadelphia branch (founded in 1862) of the Union League Club. The Union league Club was a group of people who were dedicated to the new Republican Party, the Union’s cause in the Civil War, and the abolition of slavery. Additionally, Laboulaye was a cofounder and president of the French Anti-Slavery Society. This society was founded in 1865. In essence, it called upon all nations to abolish slavery. Additionally, the members also raised money that was then given to newly freed slaves in the United States.

      With the abolition of slavery and the Union’s victory in the Civil War in 1865, Laboulaye’s wishes of freedom and democracy were turning into a reality in the United States. In order to honor these achievements, Laboulaye proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the face of a repressive monarchy.

      When Laboulaye’s Statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” was completed, it not only represented democracy but also symbolized American independence and the end of all types of servitude and oppression. A broken shackle and chain lie at the Statue’s right foot. The chain disappears beneath the draperies, only to reappear in front of her left foot, its end link broken. “



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About Lander7

Making Clear What Is Hidden In Plain Sight


Knowledge Is Power