Stefan Hayden

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Who Does Own The Statue of Liberty?

Zach Braff had a really great monologue on SNL last night (Video) with an awesome song about New Jersey. Off hand he mentioned the Statue of Liberty and how it’s really in NJ. This is something thrown around a lot in NJ and it renewed my interest about topic.

After pouring over the Wikipedia talk page for the Statue and sorting through arguments over the original 1664 charter and interstate compacts from 1834 I think I have the wording that makes the most sense.

Liberty Island is physically located with in the borders of Hudson County, NJ. But the island itself is federal property, belonging to no state, but federally managed through the State of New York.

So really no one owns it. But it is in NJ and it can be considered part of NY since the State over sees the running of the island. So in most ways everyone is correct.


I came across your blog and I just wanted to let you know that wikipedia gets a lot of things wrong about New Jersey. I think most of it is written by either New Yorkers or people who have never been here. As for the 1664 Charter – I got into an argument with the person who wrote on Wikipedia that the 1664 Charter gave all the land in the NY Harbor to NY – it did not. I’ve tried to correct erroneous information on wikipedia – but people routinely change it back or someone else adds more incorrect information. I just don’t have time fixing up the mistakes on someone else’s website. You can read about some of Wikipedia’s erroneous information at our messageboard, I also explain the 1664 Charter there – Wikipedia and it’s Erroneous Information about New Jersey

Having said that – I do agree with your assessment. The problem New Jerseyans have is that New Yorkers try to make the world think it belongs solely to them – when it belongs to ALL Americans. It is in New Jersey waters though and New Jersey supplies all the utilities to it.

Here you can read about how maps routinely try to show Liberty Island and Ellis Island in New York waters (I’ve gotten both Google Maps and New Jersey Gazetteer to correct their maps, now I need to work on Google Earth) –
Google redefined NJ’s border


Is the Statue in New York or New Jersey? The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, federal property administered by the National Park Service, located within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York. A pact between New York and New Jersey, ratified by Congress in 1834, declared this issue.

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