A female face will soon grace the $20 bill, keeping U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton on the $10 note, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce late Wednesday.

The historical woman chosen to go on the bill: Harriet Tubman, the African-American abolitionist most famous for her role in helping slaves escape through the “Underground Railroad.”

Tubman, a former slave, will be replacing Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president and a former slave owner.

A Treasury spokesperson announced that Lew will make the announcement Wednesday, after markets close.

The original plan for getting a female face on U.S. currency has changed drastically in recent months.

The agency was initially expected to announce which woman would be appearing on the $10 bill by the end of last year – a move that drew fierce backlash in part because of Alexander Hamilton’s recent popularity.

How I Imagine the Discussion of Placing a Woman on U.S. Currency Went
  • Obama: So have we figured out which woman we're going to put on U.S. currency?
  • Treasurer: Yes! I believe that Harriet Tubman is our best option.
  • Obama: Great! We'll put her on the 10 dollar bill. She'll replace Alex-
  • Treasurer: No. Mr. President, we can not do that. *Whispers* Alexander Hamilton has received a recent cult following. I strongly advise against that.
Alexander Hamilton, as the musical opening for previews on Broadway this week reminds us, has much to recommend him: he was the immigrant son of a single mother who became a founding father and the architect of our financial system. Why take him off the ten, and leave Andrew Jackson, who brutalized Native American communities, defended slavery, and opposed a national paper currency, on the twenty? A group called Women on 20s had already been organizing a drive to get Jackson off and a woman on. Harriet Tubman won the group’s online poll of who that woman should be, and she seems to be the leading choice all-around.
Treasury's Lew to announce Hamilton to stay on $10 bill
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce a decision to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and put leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote on the back of the bill, sources tell POLITICO.

But more to the point: “Treasury will also announce that it plans to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the sources said.“

Treasury’s Lew to announce Hamilton to stay on $10 bill


Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce a decision to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and put leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote on the back of the bill, sources tell POLITICO.

Treasury will also announce that it plans to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the sources said. There will also be changes to the $5 bill to depict civil rights era leaders.

The announcement will come after Lew’s decision to replace Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary and a pop-culture icon following the Broadway musical that bears his name, with a woman on the front of the ten met with major resistance.

Lew told POLITICO last July that Treasury was exploring ways to respond to critics. “There are a number of options of how we can resolve this,” Lew said. “We’re not taking Alexander Hamilton off our currency.”

Former slave ousts noted slave owner from the $20 bill

U.S. currency is getting a serious—and let’s face it, much needed—makeover, as NPR reports that famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Unfortunately, the updated bills won’t be in circulation until the next decade, though their designs will be made public by 2020.

More at avclub.com

Female Leaders in Economics and Finance Say #SaveHamilton

Bloomberg Business has published an article, “Fresh Fact on the $10 Bill? Not so Fast, Say Hamilton’s Female Fans” in which female leaders of the financial and economic world speak out against the decision to target the $10 bill instead of the $20 to place a women on currency. 

Even as Alexander Hamilton is celebrated in a hit Broadway musical, he soon may have to share his space on the $10 bill with a woman. Not so fast, says a surprising group: prominent women in economics and finance.

Abby Joseph Cohen, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Global Markets Institute, and Carmen Reinhart, a Harvard University professor of the international financial system, both said Hamilton shouldn’t be diminished on the currency. They joined a chorus of observers this month who want the Treasury Department to put a female image on the $20 note instead.

“There should not be a woman – or anyone else – on the $10 bill because Alexander Hamilton deserves to retain his place,” Reinhart said in an e-mail. “Hamilton is a towering figure in American finance and his success offers the positive role model that a penniless Caribbean immigrant can change the course of world events.”

The Obama administration announced earlier this year it will put a woman on the $10 bill because that note is next in line for a redesign and needs more protection against counterfeiting. The new currency will appear in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women.

Lew, who said July 29 he would make the decision “in the very near future,” held roundtable discussions about the new $10 with students at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and local community members in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Roosevelt, Tubman

He’s also talked to historians including Doris Kearns Goodwin, a biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Catherine Clinton, who has studied Harriet Tubman, the escaped black slave who became one of the country’s leading abolitionists in the years before the Civil War.

Cohen and Reinhart are echoing criticism from former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who said he was “appalled” the Treasury was planning to demote Hamilton, America’s first Treasury secretary. He too said a woman should instead replace Andrew Jackson on the more widely circulated $20.

Lew, who has said the new $10 bill will honor both Hamilton and a woman, may have a difficult time pleasing everyone given the constraints of the currency redesign schedule.

“Hamilton has long been one of my heroes for his prescient economic and political leadership at the founding of the nation,” Cohen said. “Why not keep Hamilton on the $10, and put a deserving woman on the $20 bill in place of Jackson?”

First Lady

Hamilton established an economic and banking system that supported the growth of the young nation, according to Cohen, who favors Roosevelt – first lady from 1933 to 1945 and an activist for women, human rights and civil rights – instead of Jackson on the $20.

“The financial structures he put in place, which were inappropriately denigrated by Andrew Jackson, have stood the test of time,” she said of Hamilton. “One cannot say the same for Jackson’s legacy, which includes the horrific treatment of Native Americans.”

The criticism of the plans for the $10 bill comes mostly from financial professionals, said Clinton, an American history professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“You have so many people in the financial community who might well want to worship at the altar of Alexander Hamilton,” she said. “Women need to take these gestures and seize on the moment when they can.” [Article source]

Ladies’ 4-in-hand-club [Harriet Alexander driving] (LOC) by The Library of Congress on Flickr.