Urban News Staff Reports
Legislation, which would designate the Howell House in Cape May as the official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum, passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee today. The bill is sponsored by Senator Ronald Rice and Senator Shirley K. Turner.
“Most folks in New Jersey do not realize the history Cape May County played in Underground Railroad, let alone that Harriet Tubman once called it home,” said Senator Rice (D-Essex). “Tubman is giant of American history and I am proud to sponsor the state’s dedication of this house to her legacy. I want to thank Senator Testa and Assemblyman McClellan for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this historic piece of legislation.”
“Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, a shero and the conductor of the Underground Railroad that ran through New Jersey, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. Ever since they began renovating the Howell House, there has been mounting excitement around the new museum, even being highlighted as one of the most anticipated museum openings of 2020 by the Smithsonian Magazine,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “While the opening has been delayed due to coronavirus, I look forward to touring the museum once they are able to open their doors. I hope that this formal designation may serve as a small token of our gratitude for the work their team is doing to memorialize Harriet’s time in New Jersey.”
The Macedonia Baptist Church in Cape May was organized in 1895 to create a place of worship for African American residents. The congregation has owned the Howell House, one of the oldest houses in the city, since 1909. Starting in 2018, the house has been renovated into a museum to honor Harriet Tubman, who lived in Cape May during the 1850s.