The U.S. Department of the Treasury has selected abolitionist Harriet Tubman to replace former President Andrew Jackson in new designs for the $20 bill, according to an open letter from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew issued Wednesday. Lew also announced plans for the reverse of the new $10 to feature an image of the historic march for suffrage that ended on the steps of the Treasury Department and to honor the leaders of the suffrage movement: Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul. The front of the new $10 note will maintain the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, while the reverse of the new $5 will honor events at the Lincoln Memorial with individuals such as Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. The reverse of the new $20 will feature images of the White House and President Jackson.
"Looking back on her life, Tubman once said, 'I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted,'" Lew wrote in his letter. "And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embodies the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we will continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency."
"Tubman led hundreds of African Americans to freedom as a conductor on the Underground Railroad after escaping the bonds of slavery herself as a young woman in the early 1800s," according to a biography posted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. "During the Civil War she served as a spy, a nurse and a cook for Union forces and, in 1863, she helped free more than 700 African Americans during a raid in South Carolina."