Posted by: Ann Corcoran | August 19, 2011

Harriet Tubman makes the news twice this week

Harriet Tubman, one of the fabled leaders of the Civil War era ‘underground railroad’ to help slaves escape to their freedom, became the subject of an exchange between Rep. Allen West and Laura Ingraham on the Bill O’Reilly show earlier this week.

Watch it here and see West take on the liberal whites and their black helpers (like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) charging that the likes of Jackson and Sharpton help “pacify” the black community and keep it in line with its ‘liberal’ overseers.

West likens himself to Tubman leading the slaves to freedom (from the Left and its failed policies that have destroyed the black family!).

Here is West:

So you have this 21st Century plantation where the democrat party has forever taken the black vote for granted and you have established certain black leaders are nothing more than the overseers of the plantation. And, now the people on that plantation are upset because they’ve been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about. So I’m here as the modern day Harriet Tubman to kinda lead people on the underground railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”

Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot Counties, Maryland landowners beware!

West’s statements gave us all a chuckle, but here is Tubman again making news across the country (just google and you will see this story went everywhere) as the Federal tax payer will pay $8.5 million in these troubled economic times for a visitor’s center near Cambridge, MD as a sort of core for a possible new National Park to honor Tubman.

From AP:

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday announced the state has received an $8.5 million federal grant to build the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Dorchester County, the final grant needed to create the $21 million project.

Construction will support as many as 225 local jobs over the course of a year, the O’Malley administration said. Harriet Tubman State Park, where the center will be located, will directly support 10 full-time employees.

We can quibble about whether this project will ever create enough jobs or generate enough tourism to help the Eastern Shore economy (projections of tourism dollars are always inflated), and we can challenge the politicians on whether this is even a role for the federal taxpayer—sending money to a state government for this purpose—but we can be sure that this is a sop to black voters in the state of Maryland and around the country.

More importantly (please pay attention!) this is an effort to put more land and land use control into the hands of the federal government!

The visitor center will be about 10 miles south of Cambridge. The center is part of an effort to create a scenic byway and national historical park honoring Tubman, who led slaves to freedom during the Civil War and was born on the Eastern Shore. The visitor center is scheduled to be completed in 2013, 100 years after Tubman’s death.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., has introduced legislation to create a national historic park on the Eastern Shore in Tubman’s name. It would include land in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties.

I’ve told you about this before, here.  It may sound nice and benign, but it isn’t.   Once a National Park boundary has been placed in your landscape, all surrounding land is doomed to be controlled by the federal government (or in cahoots with the state government).  It is like the beginning of a cancer that will grow over time.

The National Park Service will say they only take land from “willing sellers,” but it’s a big lie!  Once you are inside a federal boundary they have the right to take your land by eminent domain at any point they wish.  And, no private buyer in his right mind will ever buy your property.  I’ve watched it up close and personal at the Antietam National Battlefield in Washington County for 25 years.

Another thing you will hear is that ‘the feds will not have enough money to buy it all.’   They may not immediately but over time they wear landowners down or, and this is critical, they work with local and state governments to control what they call the “viewshed” of the park—that means everything one can see from anywhere inside the federal boundary will be controlled with other forms of land use restrictions.  Once restricted, the land will be cheaper for the federal government to purchase!

Oh, and do you see that phrase “national scenic byway” in the article above.  That means the “park” will be long and linear so more surrounding land will be controlled with land use restrictions and zoning (environmentalists call that “greenlining”).

No doubt Harriet Tubman was one tough lady who deserves a place in history, but there is no reason that couldn’t be confined to one old restored house in Dorchester County somewhere to serve as a museum for the few visitors who will be stopping by on the way to the beach in the summer!

Incidentally, the National Park plan to “honor” Tubman includes more than 5000 acres—that is larger than the entire Antietam National Battlefield!

I guess Allen West is right—the Left doesn’t do anything that really helps blacks, just sends them symbolic gestures like this one to keep them on the plantation.   LOL! this project is a twofer for the Left and people like Senator Cardin—make no mistake, first and foremost it’s about controlling the land, with the extra added benefit of “honoring,” with millions of taxpayer dollars, a black historical figure without doing anything really for black unemployment and the troubled black family.



  1. It’s interesting to point out that land in that area was originally going to be developed into a several-thousand home golf course subdivision as recently as five years ago (link: But the environmentalists raised enough of a stink that the project was pulled, and now we’ll have to pay 10 people with state money for a park which will have an ugly but “green” building. (

    And Dorchester County misses out on another opportunity.

    • Thanks Michael….it’s the same pattern. Big bad developer thwarted by the Preservationists. Do you know that way back in the early ’70’s the Nature Conservancy actually created a dummy development company that supposedly planned to develop some of the Virginia Barrier Islands into resorts, and then they rode in to save the day and bought the islands themselves to “save” them! The plan ultimately was to then re-sell the “saved” islands to the federal government—US Fish and Wildlife Service. I don’t know what ever happened to the plan. But, TNC got a big PR boost.

      By the way, land trusts like the Nature Conservancy or the Conservation Fund for years actively bought land (probably still do) in advance of a state park (or federal park) in Maryland. With insider knowledge, they knew where a federal or state agency wanted a park or preserve and would buy the land from usually a developer who had run out of money (too many govt. regulation hurdles!). The land trust might hold the property for as little as weeks until it was repaid with government funds for the property AND A HOLDING (OR FINDERS FEE!) ON TOP OF WHAT THEY PAID FOR IT! Back in the late 1980s I actually poured over land deals at the Maryland DNR (with a PIA request) and took notes on such deals.

      Folks in the path of this massive park should really get to work researching the land deals involved with the planned National Park—I’ll bet there is lots of cronyism involved. Possibly funny-money stuff involved with the earlier development plan. Cardin’s office probably deeply involved in the background.

  2. […] Last week I tried to tell readers about what a threat the National Park Service (NPS) is to places like Dorchester County, MD due to Senator Cardin’s scheme to get a national park created there to honor Harriet Tubman. […]

  3. […] as much as you admire Harriet Tubman, you folks anywhere near the proposed National Park on the Eastern shore need to beware.  Once the feds have the park boundary secured, any land within […]

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