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Harriet Tubman Statue

STATUS UPDATE: The statue bill passed, but we have a lot of work to do. IT’S TIME TO MOVE HARRIET TUBMAN TO HER PROPER PLACE – in the U.S. Capitol! And we will need YOUR help!

What can you do? Stay tuned! It will take a lot of advocates to get the statue funded and in place.

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Initiated and coordinated by Maryland NOW, the Harriet Tubman Statue Project caused legislation to be passed in the 2012 session of the Maryland Legislature which will donate a statue of Harriet Tubman from the citizens of Maryland to the nation to be placed in the U.S. Capitol. Hers will be the first full statue of an African-American woman in the Capitol. Her commemoration will represent a great step forward for our nation, and her statue will stand as a beacon of inspiration for the millions of Americans who visit the U.S. Capitol each year.  Maryland NOW partnered with EVE (Equal Visibility Everywhere) and coordinated the grassroots support from groups and individuals throughout the state for this enabling legislation.

We sincerely thank Del. Susan Lee and Sen. Catherine Pugh for their extraordinary leadership and support of this enabling legislation.

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A commission to do private fundraising will be appointed by Governor O’Malley, who also advocated for this legislation.

The Harriet Tubman Statue bill HB 1429/SB 1069 passed and was signed by the Governor.

This is only one step further toward putting Harriet Tubman in the U.S. Capitol. Hers would be the first full statue of an African-American woman in the Capitol,* and one of very few images of women. This commemoration of Harriet Tubman would also aid in representing contributions by Maryland’s women and minorities to our nation’s development.

Maryland NOW thanks all the coalition partners who generated the grassroots support to pass the enabling legislation in the Maryland General Assembly’s 2012 Legislative Session.

We are extremely appreciative of the ongoing leadership on this legislation by Del. Susan Lee and Sen. Catherine Pugh. We also thank the many, many cosponsors in the House of Delegates and in the Senate during both the 2011 and 2012 sessions.

*The Sojourner Truth commemoration is a bust.

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About the Project

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) was one of the all-time great American heroes. Born a slave on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, she became one of the most daring conductors on the Underground Railroad, personally leading dozens of fugitive slaves to freedom. Cool, resourceful, and enormously brave, she “never lost a passenger.”

The Maryland NOW Statue Project is committed to putting Harriet Tubman in the U.S. Capitol.

Maryland NOW is coordinating this project with EVE and the other organizations which supported the legislative efforts, and we are actively inviting other groups in Maryland to join with us as we work with the Governor’s Commission to fund the statue. Please contact Chair of the Harriet Tubman Statute Commission, Linda Mahoney for more information or take other supportive actions above.

Legislative Background

The 2011 legislation, which would have removed the John Hanson statue (one of the two official representatives of Maryland) from the National Statuary Hall collection met with powerful opposition which is still in the Maryland Legislature. Rather than wait perhaps another decade or longer to fund and erect the statue, lead groups conferred with legislators to arrive at this compromise

About Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, in about 1820. In 1849 she fled north to freedom, where she joined the secret network of free African-Americans and white sympathizers who helped runaways escape—the Underground Railroad. She became a conductor on the Railroad, risking her life time and time again to return to Maryland and lead slaves to freedom. Known as “the Moses of her people,” she was so successful that furious slaveholders put a huge price on her head.

When the Civil War began, Tubman became a Union spy, organizing an espionage network of slaves and freedmen who operated behind Confederate lines. On several occasions she led military raiding parties, and she also tended the Union wounded as an army nurse. After the war she devoted herself to women’s suffrage, the care of orphans and invalids, and the establishment of freedmen’s schools in the South.

The Harriet Tubman Statue Project was endorsed in the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions by:

  • Governor Martin O’Malley
  • Women Legislators of MD (Women’s Caucus)
  • Legislative Black Caucus of MD
  • National Organization for Women [NOW] Equal Visibility Everywhere [EVE]
  • American Association of Retired Persons [AARP] Maryland
  • Emmart Pierpont Safe House
  • Harriet Tubman Museum (Cambridge)
  • Maryland Commission for Women
  • Maryland Women’s Heritage Center
  • Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women [MLAW]
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Maryland
  • National Congress of Black Women, Inc (Maryland)
  • Organization of Chinese Americans DC/MD
  • University of Maryland – Universities at Shady Grove
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Theta Omega Omega Chapter, Montgomery County
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Eastern Shore chapters
  • American Association of University Women – Howard County
  • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Cambridge)
  • Coordinated Council of Chinese American Associations
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Baltimore County Alumnae Chapter
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter
  • Heritage Theatre Artists’ Consortium (Baltimore)
  • Korean American Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Korean American Association of Washington Metropolitan Area.
  • National Council of Negro Women Inc. – Prince George’s County Section
  • National Council of Negro Women Inc. – Potomac Valley Section
  • National Conference of Puerto Rican Women Inc., DC Metro Chapter
  • National Organization for Women – Montgomery County MD Chapter
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council – Montgomery County Chapter (MCNOW)
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority – Eta Pi Zeta Chapter, Montgomery County