Meet Harriet Tubman, First Black Woman To Feature On US Dollars


Abolitionist Harriet Tubman will become the first African-American woman to appear on United States paper currency ($20 bill) in modern times, replacing former President Andrew Jackson, while US Treasury has decided to leave Alexander Hamilton on the $10 note.

The Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew gave the official announcement during a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, April 20 2016.

“Today, I’m excited to announce that for the first time in more than a century, the front of our currency will feature the portrait of a woman, Harriet Tubman, on the $20 note. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embody the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we’ll continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency.”

This decision evolved from last year’s July controversy that erupted when Lew announced that he was considering replacing Hamilton on the $10 bill with a woman.

Lew highlighted changes that will put new cast of historic figures onto various US dollar bills that have remained static for decades. Leaders of the women’s suffrage movement will be featured on the back of the $10 bill, while civil rights era leaders and other important moments in American history will be incorporated into the $5 bill.

harriet tubman on us paper currency
Harriet Tubman

History Of Harriet Tubman A.K.A “Moses” Of the Slaves

Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and a Union spy during the American Civil War.

Born into slavery (1822) in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Labelled a fugitive she travelled by night and in extreme secrecy, guiding other fugitives farther north into Canada, and also helped newly freed slaves find work.

During the Civil War, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, which liberated more than seven hundred slaves.

And in the post-war era she became an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage (rights of women to votes).

Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave and hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.