ASSEMBLY, No. 4503

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED AUGUST 10, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman †CAROL A. MURPHY

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman† VERLINA REYNOLDS-JACKSON

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Asks Joint Committee on Library of Congress to approve replacing NJ statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny in National Statuary Hall Collection with statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

 


An Act to provide for the replacement of the New Jersey statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny in the National Statuary Hall Collection of the United States Capitol with statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

 

Whereas, In 1864, the United States Congress established the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Old Hall of the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol and authorized each state to contribute to the collection two statues to represent important historical figures from that state; and

Whereas, New Jersey currently has on display in the National Statuary Hall Collection statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny given by the State in 1888; and

Whereas, In 2000, the United States Congress enacted legislation authorizing states to request that the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress approve the replacement of a statue the state had provided for display in the hallís collection; and

Whereas, Despite the significant contributions of Statesman Richard Stockton during the Revolutionary War and General Philip Kearny during the Civil War, it is important for New Jersey to highlight different icons over time in the National Statuary Hall; and

Whereas, Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist, Civil War scout, emancipator, and suffragist, is a significant historical and civil rights figure; and

Whereas, Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman escaped and later risked her life numerous times to rescue, emancipate, and aid in the emancipation of approximately 140 enslaved persons, utilizing the antislavery Underground Railroad; and

Whereas, While living in New Jersey in the early 1850s, Tubman used her earnings working in Cape May to help fund her expeditions and missions; and

Whereas, Tubmanís legacy of emancipation and abolitionism in New Jersey will be immortalized with the Harriet Tubman Museum of Cape May; and

Whereas, During the Civil War, Tubman enlisted into the Union Army as a scout and spy, and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war when she led the raid at Combahee Ferry, freeing over 700 enslaved persons; and

Whereas, Alice Paul, a womenís rights activist and suffragist, is also a significant historical and civil rights figure who was born in Moorestown, New Jersey; and

Whereas, Paul became involved in the womenís suffrage movement in the United States in 1910, and worked two years with the National American Woman Suffrage Association, cofounded the Congressional Union seeking a federal constitutional amendment for womenís suffrage, and in 1916, formed the National Womanís Party; and

Whereas, Paul was instrumental in the 1919 passage and 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibited denying any citizen the right to vote on the basis of sex, penned the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and continued to advocate on behalf of women until her death on July 9, 1977; and

Whereas, Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul, due to their extraordinary contributions to the State of New Jersey and the United States, are worthy of recognition in the National Statuary Hall Collection; now, therefore,

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† The State of New Jersey requests that the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress approve the replacement of the New Jersey statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny in the National Statuary Hall Collection with statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

 

†††† 2.††† The New Jersey Secretary of State shall submit to the United States Architect of the Capitol for his or her review for completeness a written request from the Governor to approve the replacements.† The Governorís request shall also include a description of the locations in New Jersey where the replaced statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny will be displayed after the statues are transferred and a copy of this act requesting such replacements.† After such review, the Governor and Legislature shall call on the architect to forward the request to the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress for its approval or denial.† If the request is approved by the committee, the architect and the Secretary of State, acting on behalf of the State of New Jersey, shall enter into an agreement pursuant to 2 U.S.C. 2132(b).

 

†††† 3.††† a.†††† There is created the National Statuary Hall Selection Committee.† The committee shall be temporary and consist of seven members, appointed as follows:

†††† (1)†† two members appointed by the Governor, upon recommendation of the Senate President, not more than one of whom shall be from the same political party;

†††† (2)†† two members appointed by the Governor, upon recommendation of the Speaker of the General Assembly, not more than one of whom shall be from the same political party;

†††† (3)†† the New Jersey Secretary of State, or the designee thereof; and

†††† (4)†† two members appointed by the Governor, not more than one of whom shall be from the same political party.

†††† The members of the committee shall select a member of the committee to be the chair and a member of a different political party to be vice chair.† Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.† Members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

†††† The chair shall appoint a secretary to the committee, who need not be a member of the committee.

†††† A quorum of the members shall be the majority of the members.† The members shall be appointed within 45 days following the enactment of this act and shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of the majority of its members.

†††† b.††† Upon approval by the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress and pursuant to the agreement provided for in section 2 of this act, the committee shall:

†††† (1)†† select a sculptor or sculptors to create the statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul to be placed in the National Statuary Hall Collection, and review and approve the plans for the statues; and

†††† (2)†† identify a method to obtain the funding necessary to pay for the following items:

†††† (a)†† the sculptor or sculptors for designing and carving or casting the statues;

†††† (b)†† the design and fabrication of the pedestals;

†††† (c)†† the transportation of the statues and pedestals to the United States Capitol;

†††† (d)†† the removal and transportation of the replaced statues;

†††† (e)†† the temporary placement of the new statues in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol for the unveiling ceremonies;

†††† (f)†† the unveiling ceremonies; and

†††† (g)†† such other expenses that the committee determines are necessary to incur to replace the New Jersey statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny with statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

†††† c.†††† The committee shall complete its work within one year of its initial organizational meeting and terminate upon completion of a written report on its activities.† Copies of the report shall be transmitted to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly, and any other official required to receive reports pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).† Copies of the report shall also be made available to the general public.

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† The purpose of this bill is to request that the New Jersey statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol be replaced with statues of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

†††† Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, Civil War scout, emancipator, and suffragist.† Tubman was born into slavery, and after risking her life to escape to the north, she embarked on numerous missions to liberate dozens of other enslaved people.† Tubman was instrumental during the Civil War as a scout and spy and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the war.† Tubmanís legacy has extended throughout the United States, including the Harriet Tubman Museum of Cape May, which is set to open this year.

†††† Alice Paul was a womenís rights activist, suffragist, and principal leader of the early 1900ís campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.† She was born on January 11, 1885, in Moorestown, New Jersey.† Alice Paul was instrumental in the passage and ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibited denying any citizen the right to vote on the basis of sex.

†††† The bill enables the State, following the procedure established in federal law, to formally ask the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress to approve the replacement of the statues of Richard Stockton and Philip Kearny the State had provided for display in the National Statuary Hall Collection.† If approved by the Joint Committee, the new statues would be of Harriet Tubman and Alice Paul.

†††† The bill establishes a temporary, bi-partisan, seven-member committee made up of:

†††† (1)†† four members appointed by the Governor, upon recommendation of the Senate President and the Speaker of the General Assembly;

†††† (2)†† the New Jersey Secretary of State, or a designee thereof; and

†††† (3)†† two members appointed by the Governor.

†††† The committee will select a sculptor or sculptors for the statues and determine how to fund its completion and transportation to the United States Capitol.