Treasury Department Announces Harriet Tubman Will be on $20 Bill

The U.S. Treasury Department made its much anticipated announcement April 20th, 2016, regarding the portrait of a woman on a denomination of U.S. currency. Originally, it was intended that Alexander Hamilton would be removed from the front of the $10 bill, but Hamilton fans, helped in no small part by the Broadway musical about the first Secretary of the Treasury, were successful in keeping Hamilton. Instead, Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States who has fallen out of favor in some quarters in large part due to his forced relocation of Native American tribes of the South to what is now Oklahoma, will be replaced by Harriet Tubman on front of the $20 bill.

Born a slave in Maryland in about 1822, Tubman escaped to Pennsylvania in 1849. She became a well know abolitionist, returning to Maryland clandestinely to lead other slaves to free northern states and Canada. During the Civil War, Tubman worked as a nurse, a spy, and a scout for the Union Army. She died in 1913 in Auburn, New York.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

The new $20 bill is part of a multiyear revamping of U.S. banknotes. The new Harriet Tubman 20s are slated to go into circulation sometime in the 2020’s. Andrew Jackson isn’t going away entirely; his image will be on the back of the $20 bill, along with the White House, which is currently on the back. It’s possible that the D.C. Lafayette Square sculpture of Andrew Jackson on a horse may be the Jackson image used.



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