I wonder what it feels like to have a famous ancestor. Some of my ancestors were left on the other side of the Atlantic and the ones who came over on the boat lived ordinary lives in places like Schenectady and Cleveland.
No one made it to The President’s Gallery by Madame Tussauds as did Harriet Tubman, one of my favorite historical figures.
The wax likeness of Tubman, a real character in my second historical fiction novel, Wixumlee Is My Salvation, was added to the Gallery last February in honor of Black History Month. On hand for the occasion were her great-great-grand nieces and great-great-great grand nephew.
Tubman, born a slave on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, escaped in 1849. She then dedicated her life to leading slaves from the South to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Notorious for her tough stand against fugitive slaves who balked during an escape, Tubman displays the same take-no-prisoners attitude in Wixumlee Is My Salvation.
I can imagine the pride Tubman’s descendents felt as they viewed their brave ancestor’s statute at its unveiling at the Washington, D.C. museum.