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The Baltimore Sun: Board of Public Works to vote on adding statues of Frederick Douglass and Harriet

Maryland’s Board of Public Works on Wednesday is set to vote on a contract to erect bronze statues of two abolitionist heroes to the State House.

The board — which is composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp — is set to consider a contract to design and erect statues of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass in the Old House of Delegates Chamber.

The Department of General Services is recommending The Christmas Company of Sterling, Va., be awarded the $575,000 contract to complete the work within 390 days. The project includes “structural and potential infrastructure modifications to accommodate the new statues.”

200th birthday of Frederick Douglass celebrated by historians and other fans in Baltimore

In recent weeks, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has railed against the slow pace of work on the statues contract.

Miller said he has been asking the Hogan administration for years to commission the statues. Last week, Miller told his colleagues in the Senate chamber he considered the delay in installing the statues “an example of government at its worst.”

“I’ve been asking for them for two years,” Miller said. “They were supposed to be ready and installed in March. They tell me it’s going to be another year. What kind of nonsense is that?”

Miller said he wants to see the two famous Maryland abolitionists honored in the same way the country’s first president, George Washington, is in the State House.

Tubman, Douglass statues would write new chapter of Maryland State House history

“Frederick Douglass was here right in this chamber,” Miller said. “I want them up and I don’t want to wait another year. It’s as simple as that. … Next year’s too late.”

The Calvert County Democrat, who has led the Senate for 33 years, said he wants students to see the statues when they take tours of the building.

“We want a place where students walk from the Senate chamber, have the picture taken with George Washington, walk over to the House chamber and have their picture taken with Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, which is important because — guess what — Maryland rejected the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendment,” Miller said. “They denied those rights, but we want to make sure people understand where we were then and where we are today.”

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