Harriet Tubman Honored with Maryland National Monument
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - President Obama signs an order today establishing the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Monument on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Tubman was a slave who escaped, and then helped free fellow slaves as well.
Kristen Brengel, legislative director with the National Parks Conservation Association, said the Eastern Shore is where Tubman helped free others before they could be sold, by working with coded messages through a freed black who could read.
"So, that particular site of the Jacob Jackson home is going to be preserved in her honor, to be able to tell the whole story of how the Underground Railroad operated and what an amazing figure Harriet Tubman has been in our history," Brengel said.
Tubman spent nearly 30 years as a slave. After escaping, she repeatedly returned to the area to help rescue others and get them to freedom.
With that extensive story and history, Brengel said, future plans for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument include a visitors' center.
"So people can actually go to and physically get an interpretive tour, and learn a little bit about the history of Harriet Tubman," she said. "So, once the unit comes into the National Park Service, then they'll work with the state of Maryland to make sure that all the interpretation is done really well down there."
A key 480-acre property for the monument site was donated to the National Park Service by The Conservation Fund, according to its Maryland Director, Bill Crouch.
"You know, I can't begin to describe the courage that she exhibited. The landscape - really, the story is really told through the Dorchester County landscape, celebrating Harriet Tubman's life as one of America's greatest heroes."
Today's other national monument designations are the Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico; the San Juan Islands in Washington state; the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio; and the First State National Monument in Delaware.
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