HomePaper MoneyBoys Keep Swinging: Hamilton to Stay on $10

Boys Keep Swinging: Hamilton to Stay on $10

Andrew Jackson to be replaced on the $20 bill

By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
In May of 2015, the single-issue lobbying group Women On 20s presented President Barack Obama with a petition seeking to get Treasury Secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew to redesign the $20 Federal Reserve note to replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson with a woman by 2020. The purpose is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed women’s right to vote in the U.S.

Women On 20s conducted a successful social media campaign and garnered a lot of mainstream press by allowing people to vote for their choice for a woman on the $20 bill. The voting was conducted in a bracketed tournament style, with abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman ultimately winning. Tubman was the woman suggested to the president in the petition.

And after another month of keeping the issue in the news via Facebook and Twitter, Secretary Lew announced that the Department of the Treasury would be redesigning the $10 bill in time for a 2020 release and that a women would feature prominently on its front.

Of course, this wasn’t quite what Women On 20s was hoping to achieve.

But now the Treasury Department appears to be making an about-face.

According to various sources–including Women On 20s, who released a press release on Friday, April 15–Secretary Lew will announce his plans for a new $10 bill design sometime this week. The redesigned bill will continue to have Alexander Hamilton on the front and any imagery involving female leaders of the fight for women’s suffrage will be placed on the back. Many suggest that the success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “hip-hop” Broadway musical Hamilton and Miranda’s subsequent meeting with Lew at the White House may have helped change the Secretary’s mind regarding the treatment of Hamilton.

Andrew Jackson and the $20 bill, however, is a different story.

Lew is also expected to say that President Andrew Jackson, a man who many revere as the hero of the War of 1812 and many others revile as a persecutor of genocide against Native Americans, will be replaced on the $20 by an African-American woman representing the struggle for equal rights. It is unclear at this time if the woman is, in fact, Harriet Tubman, but Secretary Lew’s announcement should confirm or deny whether she is or is not going to appear on the $20.

The new $20 note would be released into circulation in 2030, a full 10 years after the 2020 anniversary.

This does not sit well with Women On 20s, who are amping up their social media campaign against this latest half-measure.

Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker
Hubert Walker has served as the Assistant Editor of CoinWeek.com since 2015. Along with co-author Charles Morgan, he has written for CoinWeek since 2012, as well as the monthly column "Market Whimsy" for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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