Harriet Tubman will be face of the $20, Hamilton to stay on $10
By Kevin Liptak, Antoine Sanfuentes and Jackie Wattles
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Alexander Hamilton will stay on the front of the $10 bill, and Harriet Tubman will boot Andrew Jackson from the face of the $20.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the announcement Wednesday after months of debate and controversy.
He also announced plans for the reverse side of each bill. A montage of women involved in the American suffrage movement — Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul — will be on the back of the Hamilton-led $10.
Andrew Jackson will move from the front of the $20 to the back, making way for Tubman, a suffragist and abolitionist who brought slaves to safety on the Underground Railroad, to take over the front.
“What she did to free people on an individual basis and what she did afterward,” Lew said. “That’s a legacy of what an individual can do in a democracy.”
The redesigned $10 bill is expected to enter circulation by 2020, in time for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
The women pictured on the back of the $10 will be the first to appear on U.S. paper currency in more than 100 years.
The time frame for the $20 is not yet clear, though Lew said he has directed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to “accelerate” its redesign process.
He also announced plans for an updated $5 bill, which he says will keep Abraham Lincoln on the front, and include the portraits of individuals involved in historic events at the Lincoln Memorial on the back. He said that will include Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.
The decision marks an expansion of Lew’s plans to redesign U.S. banknotes, which started last June when Lew said that he would feature a woman on a new version of the $10 bill alongside Hamilton.
Lew promised to spend time collecting public opinion, and it turned out that Americans had plenty to say about the matter. The question of which woman should receive this particular honor was hardly the only point of contention.
Some argued that a woman shouldn’t have to share her bill with a man.
Others argued Alexander Hamilton shouldn’t have to share top billing with anyone else. He was the nation’s first treasury secretary, a key figure in the history of the American banking system, and Lew himself even called Hamilton a personal hero.
There has also been a chorus of voices calling to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20. His legacy includes the “Trail of Tears,” in which he forcibly relocated Native Americans, leading to the death of thousands.
— Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this story
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