March 10, 2021

Van Hollen, Cardin, Klobuchar Reintroduce Legislation To Bring Harriet Tubman Statue To U.S. Capitol

Bill Reintroduction Coincides with Harriet Tubman Day

In recognition of Harriet Tubman Day, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are announcing the reintroduction of their legislation to honor Harriet Tubman with a statue in the United States Capitol.

“Harriet Tubman is an American hero and Maryland is proud to call her a daughter of our great state. Every American should know her name – and her conviction and courage in fighting the evil of slavery. During the Civil War, she served as a Union nurse and spy, and later in life, she was a strong advocate for women's suffrage. Bringing this statue to the United States Capitol will help honor her heroic fight for freedom and equality and ensure more Americans know her role in our history,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation today, in recognition of Harriet Tubman Day, and I will keep pushing until the Harriet Tubman statue is placed in the Capitol.”

“Harriet Tubman is an iconic figure in our nation’s history, for whom liberty and freedom were not just ideas. Her courageous story is one that must be told in the halls of Congress and with every visitor to the U.S. Capitol from across the country and around the globe,” said Senator Cardin. “I can think of few greater examples of bravery and valor about which to teach our future generations. Harriet Tubman’s legacy is an essential part of American history that recognizes the importance of African Americans and women in creating the fabric of our nation.”

“We’d also like to recognize the loss of a great Marylander, Linda Mahoney, who long championed the fight to properly recognize Harriet Tubman in our nation’s capital. Linda passed away just this week, and we know her passion and commitment to service will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with her friends, family, and loved ones at this difficult time. We will move forward on this effort in her memory,” Senators Van Hollen and Cardin added.  

“Harriet Tubman spent her life fighting for liberty and equality. She repeatedly risked her life for the freedom of others and to bend the arc of our moral universe towards justice. The images that we present in the Capitol reflect who we are and who we hold to be the most important figures in our country’s history. There is no question that a statue of Harriet Tubman should be in the Capitol,” said Senator Klobuchar.

In 2012, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation creating the Harriet Tubman Statue Commission to fundraise and commission an artist to sculpt a statue to donate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building. Congress must pass legislation in order to accept the donation, and this bill is the critical next step in the process. It will direct the Joint Committee on the Libraries, which manages art in the U.S Capitol Building, to enter into an agreement to accept the statue after it is completed.

The full text of the legislation is available here.