Confederate Statues Make Way for Abolitionist Hero Tubman

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March 11, 2018

Harriet Tubman's name now graces an area that once housed statues honoring heroes of the Confederacy.

Baltimore officials in August 2017 removed from the area statues honoring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson along with three other monuments, so that a tree-filled area of Wyman Park Dell can be named Harriet Tubman Grove.

The ceremony took place on the 105th anniversary of Tubman's birth, now celebrated in Maryland as Harriet Tubman Day. Ernestine Jones-Williams, who is descended from Tubman, addressed the gathering, which featured more than 200 people.

Tubman grew up enslaved in Maryland and endured a life of slavery in the South before escaping to tne North. Rather than staying with her family, however, she returned to the South again again, helping dozens of slaves escape to freedom. She became one of the most well-known "conductors" on the Underground Railroad. She also worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War and later advocated for women's right to vote.

The area had also been home to a statue honoring Confederate women and to a statue of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, who is most well-known for being the author of the Dred Scott Decision, which attempted to solve America's slavery "problem" by declaring that slaves could never be citizens.

Also named after Tubman is a nearby state park, which opened in 2015.

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