Thank you for using the Antiquities Act to proclaim a new national monument at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia! As you know, the Antiquities Act has been used to create monuments at Muir Woods, the Grand Canyon, and the Statute of Liberty. The rich history and natural beauty of Fort Monroe make it a worthy addition to the National Park System.
As an archaeology technician, I've traveled to work in a number of our National Historic Parks, i.e., Allegheny Portage Railroad, Hopewell Village Foundry, Fort McHenry National Shrine, Klondike Historic Park, Skagway, Alaska and the William Floyd Manor, a signer of the Declaration of Independence on Long Island where I grew up. I am glad that we have these resources and would encourage further funding for archeology and interpretation. I also work on other sites, and realize the broken laws outlawing slavery up to and during the US Civil War another part of our history that needs further research.
Because of you, Fort Monroe will be preserved for everyone. Citizens will learn how Fort Monroe initiated the decline of the institution of slavery. They will read about the imprisonment of Jefferson Davis, the nursing of the sick by Harriet Tubman, and the lives of other historical figures who spent time at Fort Monroe. Families will walk along its beautiful beaches and bird watchers will enjoy the view.
The Antiquities Act is a critical tool that can be used to ensure that special places like Fort Monroe are honored and protected for all time. I thank you for this wonderful new monument and ask that you look for other opportunities to use the Antiquities Act to protect other special parts of America.
May you and family have a wonderful holiday and as they say, good luck in the new year.
- National Parks Conservation Association Thank you letter