Harriet Tubman in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol Building
The Montgomery County Maryland Chapter of the National Organization for Women (MCNOW) strongly supports the effort to place a statue of Harriet Tubman in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. That hall is a place where each state honors their heroes/heroines. Out of 100 statues (2 per state), only nine are women. We believe American women deserve more representation and respect.
MCNOW joins with many prominent individuals and organizations from throughout the state in urging Maryland legislators to make Harriet Tubman one of Maryland’s representatives and ambassadors in our Nation’s Capitol by passing the enabling legislation HB 455/SB 351.
Maryland is currently represented in the National Statuary Hall collection by John Hanson and Charles Carroll. John Hanson was honored with a statue in 1903 for his one-year term as presiding over the First Continental Congress.
We believe it is time to update Maryland’s contributions to our nation’s history with a nationally-renowned icon. Harriet Tubman is a well-known figure of courage, forbearance and resolve.
As most school children in Maryland and many from around the country know, Tubman escaped slavery herself, only to return to the South nineteen times to usher other slaves to freedom along the ‘Underground Railroad’. Tubman’s contributions should not be counted solely base on the more than 300 slaves she helped free from bondage. Tubman was, and continues to be, an inspiration for people in Maryland and around the world who have struggled for liberty and equality. As the abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson recounted: "Her tales of adventure are beyond anything in fiction and her ingenuity and generalship are extraordinary. I have known her for some time -- the slaves call her Moses."
MCNOW proudly joins with individuals and organizations from throughout Maryland in urging our legislators to make Harriet Tubman one of Maryland’s representatives and ambassadors in our Nation’s Capitol by passing the enabling legislation HB 455/SB 351. We support the concept of bringing John Hanson’s statue back to Maryland, to honor him in the state capitol.
The contributions of African-Americans and women have too long gone unheralded in the iconography of our nation’s history. Let’s give Harriet Tubman and her achievements the audience and the respect they deserve. We respectfully request that our state legislators work for passage of the bill during the 2011 session.