February 13, 2012 | Issue #116

Direct Descendants of Harriet Tubman Help Unveil Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds

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In celebration of Black History Month, ten direct descendants and family members of Harriet Ross Tubman, including Charles E.T. Ross and Valery Ross Manokey visited The Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds to help unveil a new wax likeness of the renowned abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad.

"Harriet Tubman was an incredible woman whose accomplishments and contributions played a pivotal role in the history of the United States, cementing her status as a true American icon," said Dan Rogoski, General Manager of The Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds. "We are honored to have Harriet Tubman's descendants with us today for the unveiling and induction of her wax figure into our expanding Presidents Gallery — an interactive journey through America's history."

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian and spy for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from slavery she reportedly freed more than 300 slaves via the elaborate network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Tubman was born in Dorchester County, M.D., an area from which many of the descendants and family members attending the event currently reside, including Charles E.T. Ross and Valery Ross, who live in Cambridge, M.D.

"We are ecstatic and overjoyed to see Aunt Harriet being celebrated and receiving recognition for her contributions to humanity, which is long overdue," said Charles Ross.

Children from Washington D.C.'s Harriet Tubman Elementary School were also on-hand to witness the unveiling of the figure of the historic woman for whom their school is named.