A historical smackdown between Harriet Tubman and John Hanson didn’t quite live up to its billing on the floor of the Maryland Senate on Friday.
A bid to replace one of 100 marble pedestals in the exclusive National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol fell short, with a compromise emerging instead. Bill supporters wanted to replace Hanson, a leading advocate of American independence, with Tubman, the famous abolitionist.
But a far-reaching amendment to the bill was announced on the floor and then adopted with no debate.
Here’s the key language:
“The General Assembly of Maryland respectfully requests that an exception be made to allow the State of Maryland to place a third statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection, in addition to the existing Maryland representatives of John Hanson and Charles Carroll, or for the third statue to otherwise be given great prominence.
“The third statue would be of Harriet Tubman, an African American woman and most notable national hero for her contributions to the history of our country.
“The General Assembly respectfully requests the members of the Maryland congressional delegation to pursue, through the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, the exception requested under this Act to allow a third statue in Statuary Hall that would recognize the significance of Harriet Tubman in the history of Maryland and the nation.”
The amended bill is likely to get a final vote in the Senate on Monday and then head to the House of Delegates.