“I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.” – Harriet Tubman
Published April 21, 2016
WASHINGTON– In a letter to the American people, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Wednesday announced plans for the new $20, $10 and $5 notes, with the portrait of Harriet Tubman to be featured on the front of the new $20.
Jackson will remain on the back of the $20 along with a photo of the White House.
The change is scheduled to go into effect in 2020.
This directive from Treasury Secretary Lew is a shift from what he proposed last year that was to have a woman replace Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill.
“Since we began this process, we have heard overwhelming encouragement from Americans to look at notes beyond the $10. Based on this input, I have directed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to accelerate plans for the redesign of the $20, $10, and $5 notes,” writes Secretary Lew in his letter.
“The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy.”
American Indians have long held that Jackson is not deserving to be on the $20 bill because of the his policies towards American Indians that resulted in many of their deaths during his presidency. Among the American Indians, Jackson is referred to as the “removal president.”
Principal Chief Bill John Baker
After yesterday’s announcement by the Treasury Department, Cherokee Principal Bill John Baker released the following statement:
“Andrew Jackson defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and forced the removal of our Cherokee ancestors from homelands we’d occupied in the Southeast for millennia.
His actions as president resulted in a genocide of Native Americans and the death of about a quarter of our people. It remains the darkest period in the Cherokee Nation’s history.
Jackson’s legacy was never one to be celebrated, and his image on our currency is a constant reminder of his crimes against Natives. It’s been an insult to our people and to our ancestors, thousands of whom died of starvation and exposure and now lie in unmarked graves along the Trail of Tears. This is a small but meaningful vindication for them, and for our tribal citizens today.
The Cherokee Nation applauds the work of Oklahoma Senator James Lankford, the U.S. Treasury and all those who recognized the injustices committed at the hands of President Jackson and worked to replace his image with the image of Harriet Tubman, whose legacy represents values everyone can be proud of.”