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America is taking a former President off its $20 bill in favour of a woman born a slave

Harriet Tubman was a leading 19th-century abolitionist.

A campaigner with a mock-up of a Tubman $20 bill.
A campaigner with a mock-up of a Tubman $20 bill.
Image: Apexchange

AMERICA IS SET to remove former President Andrew Jackson from its $20 bill – to be replaced by Harriet Tubman, a woman born a slave.

The US Department of Treasury is today expected to announce that Tubman, a 19th century abolitionist and a leader of the Underground Railroad, would replace the portrait of Jackson, the nation’s seventh president.

The decision to place Tubman’s portrait on the $20 likely means that Lew has decided to keep Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, a victory for those who had opposed his initial plan to remove him.

An online group, Women on 20s, said it was encouraged that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was responding to its campaign to replace Jackson with a woman. But it said it would not claim victory unless Lew also committed to issuing the new $20 bill at the same time that the redesigned $10 bill is scheduled to be issued in 2020.

The $10 bill is the next note scheduled to be redesigned to introduce updated protections against counterfeiting. That redesign was scheduled to be unveiled in 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Lew had often cited that connection as a reason to put a woman on the $10 bill.

However, the effort ran into strong objections from supporters of former Treasury Secretary Hamilton, who is enjoying renewed interest with the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.

The expectation is that Lew will propose replacing the Treasury building, now on the back of the $10 bill, with a mural-style depiction of the suffrage movement.

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Associated Press

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