Should Harriet Tubman Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20?

PHOTO: Harriet Tubman is one of the final four candidates that you can vote for in the Women on 20s campaign.As I’ve written about previously, the push to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 continues. The Women on 20s website announced that Harriet Tubman was the choice of those who voted in its poll. The campaign has gained a lot of media attention and has led to the introduction of a bill in the U.S. House to replace Jackson with a woman.

Dan Feller at The Papers of Andrew Jackson recently weighed in on the proposed change. The Knoxville News-Sentinel also published a piece by Feller. Unfortunately, it’s behind a subscriber firewall, but he was kind enough to send me the text. I can’t post all of it, but the gist is that Feller argues that there were many Jacksons, not just the one who supported Indian removal. There’s also the Jackson who stared down Calhoun and the nullifiers and the Jackson who battled the corporate/banking power of Nicholas Biddle and the Second Bank of the United States. As Feller concludes,

Jackson proclaimed that wealth should not rule numbers, that in a democracy every citizen, regardless of circumstance, should have an equal say in government. If that principle is worth upholding, Andrew Jackson is worth remembering.

One question that seemingly will remain unanswered is how Jackson even wound up on the $20. As a Washington Post piece pointed out, no one really knows how or why he came to replace Grover Cleveland. (A bigger question–how in the world did Cleveland, of all presidents, gain that honor?)

Kristen Burton had a good idea: why not rotate who appears on our currency?

Makes sense to me–just as long as it’s applied equally, at least as far as paper money is concerned.

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