Erect a Memorial to Harriet Tubman on Fort Monroe

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Fort Monroe is a sacred site for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is the place the very first African slaves landed in August 1619.  Centuries later it was the place where escaped slaves could find freedom thanks to the brilliance of General Benjamin Butler who cleverly used the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 to declare runaway and escaped slaves contraband of war, therefore refusing to return them to their “owners” or hand them over to Confederate forces. 

American slavery began right here on Fort Monroe and it also began to end here on Fort Monroe. This is a part of American history that is grossly overlooked and under-taught. 

In 1861 General Butler recruited Harriet Tubman, by then a conductor on the Underground Railroad and a Union Spy, to Fort Monroe. Ms. Tubman lived and worked here for months, tending to the newly freed and soon to be free slaves. She was a cook. She was a nurse. She was a trusted advisor to the officers despite her role being unofficial.

Harriet Tubman embodies all that Fort Monroe should be known for. She is an American hero and deserves to be honored with a memorial in this special place.