Maryland Senators Cardin, Mikulski Say Now Is Right Time To Create National Historical Parks Honoring Harriet Tubman

Feb 14, 2013 -- 11:26am

Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin were joined by Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in introducing The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park and Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park Act in the Senate last week. Senator Cardin says that now is the right time to pass the bill to honor the most famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a woman known as "Moses," who reportedly never lost a "passenger" to bounty hunters as she led slaves to freedom in the North.

Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1820, and lived there as a slave until she escaped in 1849. She returned to the Eastern Shore to begin leading slaves to freedom. She eventually settled in Auburn, New York, where she lived out her later years until her death on March 10, 1913. Before she died, she founded an African Methodist Episcopal Church and an old-age home for African-Americans in Auburn. Senator Cardin says this is the right time to pass the bill because it's currently Black History Month, and the 100th anniversary of her death is fast approaching.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park would include landmarks related to Tubman in Dorchester, Talbot and Caroline Counties. The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park would include the church and old-age home, along with the Fort Hill Cemetery, where she's buried. The bill is being sponsored in the House of Representatives Andy Harris of Maryland and Dan Maffei of New York.

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