Politics

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is expected to announce that he has decided to put abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman on a new $20 bill, according to a spokesman for the Treasury Department.

The decision caps a public campaign asking for the change and months of deliberation by the Treasury to either replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill or Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

As we reported, an unofficial contest by the activist group Women on 20s gave the nod to Tubman to take Jackson’s place on the $20 bill. The campaign then sent a petition to President Obama.

As we reported:

“We’ll note that Tubman’s appearance on the $20 bill would have a special historical resonance: That’s the same amount she eventually received from the U.S. government as her monthly pension for her service as a nurse, scout, cook and spy during the Civil War, as well as for her status as the widow of a veteran.”

Jackson, it’s also worth noting, was a slaveholder.

The Treasury had previously said it would roll out a brand new $10 bill in 2020 and that it would feature a woman. But the popularity of the broadway show “Hamilton” might well have put a stop to that plan.

The New York Times reports that Hamilton will remain on the front of the $10 bill, but images of women will be put on the back of the bill. The $10 is still expected to be introduced by 2020. The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s not clear when the new $20 bill will be introduced.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” personally lobbied Lew and after a meeting last month, he tweeted that the Treasury secretary had told him “you’re going to be very happy.”

In an interview with Charlie rose in March, Lew also previewed his decision saying, “Alexander Hamilton is one of my heroes. He’s not leaving our money.”

Hamilton was the country’s first secretary of the treasury.

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