Harriet Tubman, who rescued about 70 slaves on the Underground Railroad over more than a decade, will replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of a redesigned $20 bill, news outlets reported Wednesday. Alexander Hamilton, whose place on the front face of the $10 bill had been imperiled, will stay on the currency, joined by women leaders on the back face of the same bill.
The expected announcement, first reported by POLITICO, reverses Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s suggestion last year that he would select a woman to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill. The proposal provoked outcry from supporters of the nation’s first Treasury Secretary and suggestions that the Treasury instead boot Andrew Jackson, who ordered Native Americans be forcibly removed from their own land during his presidency. In response, Lew backpedaled in July.
“I work under a life-size portrait of Alexander Hamilton,” Lew said at the time, according to POLITICO. “I’ve probably read more about Alexander Hamilton than a lot of the people who are now jumping up and being his defenders. He’s one of my heroes. He will be fully honored.”
Hamilton has become more popular as the subject of the eponymous award-winning hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama Monday. Tubman will be the first woman of color to grace modern American paper currency.
Correction: This post originally misidentified Alexander Hamilton.