Biden Administration Revives Effort to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

Move over, Andrew Jackson.

Mother Jones; Getty

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

The Biden administration will resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced today.

“It’s important that our notes…reflect the history and diversity of our country,” Psaki said at a press conference, “and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that.”

The decision to replace former President Andrew Jackson with abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman has been controversial since former President Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spearheaded the effort in 2016. While it’s unclear to what extent Steve Mnuchin, who served as secretary of the Treasury under President Trump, derailed the process for getting a Tubman currency into circulation, it’s fair to say the Trump administration was not enthusiastic. In 2016, Trump called the currency swap “pure political correctness” and praised Jackson’s “great history.”

Jackson, a slaveholder and anti-abolitionist, is famous for forcibly driving tens of thousands of Native Americans from their lands in the southeastern United States in a brutal voyage known as the Trail of Tears.

Tubman had a very different life story: After escaping slavery in 1849, she guided about 70 people to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

The new bill is likely to enter circulation in the latter half of the decade.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate