Harriet Tubman Arrives at The Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds

Harriet Tubman Arrives!

Meet the conductor of the Underground Railroad!

In celebration of Black History Month, ten direct descendants and family members of historic icon Harriet Ross Tubman, including Charles E.T. Ross (great-great-great nephew) and Valery Ross Manokey (great-great niece) 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 pivotal role in the history of the United States, cementing her status as a true American icon.

Tubman (born Araminta Ross, calling herself Harriet later in life) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian and spy for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she reportedly freed more than 300 slaves via the elaborate network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

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. Tubman now stands proudly among the many incredible figures you'll encounter along your journey through American History!

Madame Tussauds studio artists in London worked tirelessly to create this entirely new wax figure of Harriet Tubman. The figure-making process is incredibly intricate and took four months from start to finish. For example, artists insert each strand of hair individually; creating just the head of the wax figure can take up to five weeks alone. Materials such as red silk are used to create the veins on the eyeballs and it can take technicians almost four days to make a set of teeth. In order to make the figures as lifelike as possible, Madame Tussauds artists study hundreds of photographs and when available, hours of video footage. Of course in some cases, the artists do not have the luxury of photographs or videos (as with the Tubman figure) and need to rely on historical accounts, even paintings.

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