1849 – Emma Lazarus, born in New York City on the 22nd of July to Moses and Esther Nathan Lazarus, she grew up around New York’s vibrant Union Square.
1866 – When She was seventeen, his father privately published her first book, Poems and Translations Written Between the Ages of Fourteen and Seventeen.
1868 – She sent Ralph Waldo Emerson a copy of her first book. Over the next few years, Emerson became a trusted mentor, offering notes on her poems that ranged from enthusiastic praise to more critical demands.
1871 – Published Admetus and Other Poems.
1874 – Assumed her poems would be included in her mentor’s anthology entitled Parnassus. Instead she was surprised and angry to find her name missing from Emerson’s selections. She sent him a strong letter demanding an explanation.
– Published, Alide: An Episode in Goethe’s Life (novel).
1876 – She also completed a drama, The Spagnoletto, which was praised by friends like Thomas W. Higginson, but privately published and never performed.
1877 – Begins translations of medieval Hebrew poets from German to English.
1881 – Her translations of the German Jewish poet Heine garnered Lazarus’ best reviews yet. The Critic called her Poems and Ballads of Heinrich Heine", a copy of an artist’s work made by an artist’s hand."
1882 – "An Epistle to the Hebrew" published serially in American Hebrew and Songs of a Semite.
1883 – Wrote "The New Colossus" for an art auction "In Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund." While France had provided the statue itself, American fundraising efforts like these paid for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal.
1887 – Wrote "By the Waters of Babylon", a prose poem published in Century.
– Returns from Europe in September, terminally ill and dies on the 19th of November in New York City.
1888 – The Poems of Emma Lazarus, two volume selection published posthumously by her sisters.
1903 – Sixteen years after her death, Lazarus’ sonnet was engraved on a plaque and placed in the pedestal as a memorial. Bronze tablet of "New Colossus" is placed in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.