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Harriet Tubman’s face to adorn the $20

By Claes Bell ·
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Posted: 2 pm ET

Andrew Jackson is getting the heave-ho from the front of the $20 bill.

A portrait of antislavery activist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman will adorn the front of the $20, replacing Jackson's face, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said today.

Jackson will be relegated to the back of the bill.

The face of Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10, after objections from Hamilton's fans. The Broadway musical "Hamilton" has become a smash hit and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama this week.

"The front of the new $10 will continue to feature Alexander Hamilton, our nation's first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our economic system," Lew said.

Still, Lew acknowledged that the women's movement will have a place on that bill.

"The new $10 design will depict that historic march and honor Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul for their contributions to the suffrage movement," he said.


Afro Newspaper/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images

New designs coming in 2020

Other depictions of women and civil rights leaders also will be part of new currency designs, the secretary said.

The new designs will be made public in 2020. None of the bills, including a new $5 note, will reach circulation until the next decade.

Before Tubman, only the Sacagawea $1 coin, the Susan B. Anthony $1 coin and the 2003 Alabama quarter (which has Helen Keller on the back) featured women.

The Tubman move can be traced to 2014, when President Barack Obama remarked in a speech that he thought it was a good idea to put a woman's face on a U.S. bill.

Tubman, a famed abolitionist

Tubman was famed as an advocate for abolition and for her ingenuity in guiding escaped slaves from Maryland to free states in the North after escaping from slavery in the South herself.

An advocacy group called Women On 20s had petitioned the Obama Administration to honor Tubman on the $20 note after she emerged as the winner of an online contest in which hundreds of thousands voted to select her.

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