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Harriet Tubman Wins Contest to Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill

Ellen Zacarias

Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

Womens on 20s Campaign Hopes to See Harriet Tubman Bills in Circulation by 2020

On Tuesday,  people voted on the Women on 20s campaign website for the woman they felt should replace Andrew Jackson as the new face of the United States $20 bill. Over 600,000 votes were submitted to a poll on the Women on 20s website.

Final round candidates included Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller (Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation).

The Winner: Harriet Tubman

The winner chosen was Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), an escaped slave who became one of the most well-known abolitionists of the time. She is famous for her work as the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses leading escaping slaves to freedom in the North.  

Eleanor Roosevelt followed Harriet Tubman as a close second. 

Why the $20 bill?

The Women on 20s campaign has been gaining popularity over the past few months, popping up on social media feeds and news outlets. The campaign’s reasons for choosing the $20 bill include the fact that although Susan B. Anthony and Sacagaweas were used on dollar coins, those coins are rarely used except at transit stations (and have a small circulation of Sacagaweas coins of about 3 million by 2012), 

In contrast, the $20 bill is widely used in circulation in wallets, ATM machines, and other places. 

Why Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

The Women on 20s Campaign cites two reasons:

  1. Andrew Jackson helped gain Congressional passage of the “Indian Removal Act of 1830”, which drove Native American tribes of the Southeastern United States away from their homes and into Oklahoma so that white people could settle on their lands and use their resources. This brutal mass relocation of Native Americans was called the “Trail of Tears”. Many women, children, and others died during the process of being driven off their land from disease, starvation, and exposure. 
  2. Andrew Jackson was never a big fan of paper money. He preferred to use gold and silver money (“hard currency”) over paper currency. 

When Will Harriet Tubman Be On the $20 Bill?

The Women on 20s campaign hopes that Harriet Tubman $20 bills will exist by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

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