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20 Apr, 2016 16:42

Hello, Harriet! Andrew Jackson to lose face of $20 bill to Tubman

Hello, Harriet! Andrew Jackson to lose face of $20 bill to Tubman

Former slave Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce on Wednesday.

There will also be changes made to the $5 bill to depict civil rights-era leaders and on the $10 for the suffragette movement, Politoco reported, citing sources.

Alexander Hamilton, who created the Treasury Department, was originally targeted for replacement, but will remain on the $10 bill after public outcry.

Critics called for Jackson to be replaced based on his decision to violently remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands as well as the fact that he was a slaveowner. He is likely to remain on the back of the bill, according to Politico.

Hamilton has gained popularity recently, thanks to the Broadway hit musical based on his life. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and stars in ‘Hamilton’, was a leading lobbyist for the former Treasury secretary to remain on the $10.

The back of the bill will be updated, however, with a mural honoring the suffragettes who fought for the women’s right to vote replacing the US Treasury building, the Washington Post reported.

The back of the $5 bill will also be overhauled.

“We’re not just talking about one bill. We’re talking about the $5, the $10 and the $20. We’re not just talking about one picture on one bill,” Lew told CNBC recently about the department’s planned changes for the currency. “We’re talking about using the front and the back of the bill to tell an exciting set of stories.”

Tubman was born a slave on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1820. She escaped from bondage in 1849, but returned many times to lead other slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. She became the most famous “conductor” of the elaborate network of secret safe houses between the southern slave states and Canada, and was one of the leaders of the abolition movement. During the Civil War, she worked for the Union as a cook, nurse, armed scout and spy. Tubman was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war during the Combahee River Raid that liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina. She eventually died of pneumonia in 1913 at a home for the aged named in her honor in Auburn, New York.

The movement to place a woman on the $20 bill began in 2015, when organizers of an online campaign called Women on 20s nominated 15 women. Their hope was that a woman would become the new face of the $20 bill by 2020 to celebrate the centennial of women’s right to vote, according to the Washington Post. However, the Treasury Department wasn’t planning on updating the $20, but was planning on redoing the $10 bill. After an online uproar, Lew walked back his original plan to replace Hamilton.

“If recent reports are true that the $20 bill is back on the table, then the Women on 20s campaign deserves a lot of credit,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), who introduced legislation in 2015 supporting the goals of the viral campaign, told the Post. “They’ve done an incredible job of rallying voices across this country, and I hope that Treasury puts forward a proposal that appropriately honors the contributions that women have made to this country.”