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Harriet Tubman Coming to the $20 Bill

by Prince Of Petworth April 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm 43 Comments

Big news from Politico:

“Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce plans to both keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and to knock Andrew Jackson off the front of the $20 in favor of Harriet Tubman, sources tell POLITICO.”

  • NH Ave Hiker

    It’s about time. I wonder if the popularity of the musical had anything to do with this.

    • uberfeets

      I doubt it. I bet they wanted to replace the $10 (rather than the $20) because it needed to be redesigned (security-wise) anyhow, and was thus more convenient. But when it comes down to which man should be represented on United States currency, the bank-founding Hamilton obviously beats Jackson, who effectively tried to destroy the Fed.

    • I would guess more the fact that people pointed out how little Jackson would have ever wanted to have his face minted on currency to begin with, and that Hamilton was the first Treasury secretary. There was probably a push to have it on a more “relevant” bill as well, so that it didn’t seem quite so conciliatory (because let’s be honest, this changes nothing really).

    • PettyShabazz

      The creator of Hamilton directly lobbied Jack Lew to reconsider replacing Hamilton. May or may not have anything to do with the final switch, but would not be surprised if it were related.

  • Tsar of Truxton

    The comments to the politico article are terrible. It is amazing what people will say behind the “wall” of a computer.

    • brob626

      omg! I thought it was just me. I expect that level of hatred on youtube comments but really politico?

      • stacksp

        The silent majority

        • V

          exactly. people are going to LOSE THEIR MINDS…

    • [rrrrr]

      Glad someone else noticed! Like what gives? How do you hate Harriet Tubman?

  • bruno

    Excellent!

  • anon

    I’m glad to see Jackson’s removal. Personally I think Sequoyah would have been more fitting (nothin against HT)

    • timtim

      Sequoyah was a man. Wasn’t the whole point of this to put a woman on one of the bills? Where did Sequoyah come from anyway? Just randomly thought he was the most worthy person in line? Really just curious.

      • CVR

        Maybe they meant Pocahontas?

        • bruno

          Probably means Sacajawea. She is already on a dollar coin. And Susan B. Anthony is on a dollar coin too so… it’s not 100% accurate to say there are no women on currency. (There are currently women on currency!) However, this is a great move. Beautiful engraving too!

          • CVR

            I bet you’re right!

          • I’m pretty sure the above image is just a photoshop superimposed graphic someone did, not what the actual bill will look like.

        • timtim

          If so that might be just as ridiculous.

      • Duponter

        Yes, that was the point. But I think he is suggesting Sequoyah to replace Jackson since Sequoyah was a Cherokee who was involved in negotiating the land on which the Cherokee tribes were moved by Jackson in the heinous policy of Indian removal under Jackson’s presidency. I think the point was it would be a better slap in the face to Jackson, who should have been removed from our money years ago.

        • anon 118

          this^

    • CODEL

      Uhh… Sequoyah’s a man so maybe he is not the best candidate to be the first woman on currency.

      • Naming random people I know about in history to sound cool

        Personally I think Winston Churchill would be more fitting.

        • bruno

          He was an honorary American citizen. And his mother was an American. And he refused a noble title….

          • Naming random people I know about in history to sound cool

            Was an actual British man though so….pretty much the opposite of what they were looking for.

    • anon

      He was a valued member of one of the Cherokee tribe that was forcefully removed from their home by Jackson during what is now known as the trail of tears. He created the first written form and alphabet of a native language, an ambassador of the tribe to Washington etc. I understand that we need to have a female on currency but I personally would have liked to have seen Jackson removed and replaced by someone that he had once removed.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoyah

      Basically, Sequoyah was Cherokee Indian and Jackson was pretty shitty to all the natives so replacing him with an Indian would be a bit of poetic justice.

      Don’t get so upset it’s just an opinion. Again, I know that they were selecting women, I think Wilma Mankiller was an option, SHE would have been more fitting to me.

  • Anon

    Awesome news!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Good news, but I will miss Jackson’s crazy hair.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    That is fantastic! So happy about this!

  • bruno

    Sort of an aside, but what woman appears most frequently on US stamps?

    • Emmaleigh504

      Lady Liberty

      • bruno

        The Virgin Mary (all those Christmas stamps she’s on). Almost every year!

  • Anonymous

    If only that rap musical about the life of Andrew Jackson had gotten off the ground.

    • skj84

      While Jackson doesn’t have a rap musical, he does have a rock musical! It’s called “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson”. It played at the Studio Theatre a few years ago.

  • IDontGetIt

    I voted for Clara Barton. Oh well.

  • jcm

    Really excited to hear this. Harriet Tubman was a badass.

  • Anonymous is Probably better

    I really think Harriet Tubman was a great person, brave and a great representative of a cause and a people, etc., BUT and yes I mean BUT if we are probably going to only put one black person on dollar bills (I doubt we go beyond this, right?, because to be crass it is political/tribal, of course) would you make Harriet Tubman your one person? I have no doubt she’s in a top 10 or 20 of legendary great African-American figures – but is she really number 1?

    And as an aside, if you read things like Jacksonland (or probably any recent Jackson bio) you should have no problem dropping him off of U.S. currency.

    • bruno

      What about the Jackson statue in Lafayette Park? Melt it down?

    • Timebomb

      What a useless comment if you’re not going to propose an alternative. Who could ever be objectively #1? If that’s the standard, we should probably just stop putting faces on bills altogether. Or cycle faces like with the presidential dollar coins (or the state quarters, which aren’t as great an example since they only varied on the reverse).

    • Well the goal was to put a woman on the bills (since they make up 51% of the population versus the black population of 13%). This particular woman also happens to be black, but that wasn’t the original stated intent.
      (see: embarrassing Republican debate question http://www.vox.com/2015/9/17/9347307/gop-debate-woman-ten-dollar)

  • bruno

    So I was just reading the treasury.gov website. Seems there will be lots of other changes to the “backs” of the 10 and the 5 dollar banknotes. Pictures of the suffragette movement, etc. The Harriet Tubman portrait is just the biggest change, but there are others. Cool-o!

  • Bruce

    Still kind of looks like a dude.

    • Bluce

      Right…because your opinion of how she looks is far more important than what she accomplished. Got it.

  • tke98

    From comments folks have made on my FB feed, Harriet Tubman is not permanently replacing Jackson, they are just adding her to it. Here’s a link about the other added changes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/us/mlk-eleanor-roosevelt-susan-anthony.html?_r=1

  • tke98

    The comments below were made by a good friend of mine, a brilliant lawyer and History Professor. I am reposting them here to provide some context to those who are foolishly wondering, “Why Harriet Tubman?”

    “When you look at her face on the rendering of that bill, remember how they didn’t even want to give her a $20/month widow’s pension. And how they refused to recognize her wartime service after she reconn’ed the Combahee River Raid and rode down the river on the ship into battle LIKE A SOLDIER. And how she died penniless and nearly destitute because, notwithstanding her service and heroism, she was a woman and she was black.”

    More info can be found at: http://www.harriet-tubman.org/compensation-for-civil-war-services/

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