There should be no argument about Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

I’ve yet to hear anything resembling a valid argument against it.

Don’t spend the money to design it? Seriously? New designs happen every few years (we just keep the same people).

Only presidents? Like Hamilton and Franklin?

Jackson deserves to stay? Ask the Cherokee.

But, honestly, littleĀ of that even matters. Historically, we’ve featured non-presidents often on our paper money and our coinage.

To put it bluntly: if you are opposed to Harriet Tubman being featured on any denomination of American currency or coinage you are out of step with our history. It has only been recently that the front-side images of our paper money have remained static for so long.

Here’s one of my new favorite bills. The $5 Silver Certificate bill featuring Running Antelope (1899):

running antelope $5 bill

Never seen a woman on a bill? Look no further than Martha Washington.


There have been dozens of people on American currency: presidents, military men, inventors, explorers, senators, and the like.

What about coins? There have been a ton, widely varied.

Lady Liberty has appeared on numerous coins and in numerous looks. We’ve had boats and buffalo. A Native American Indian has been obverse on the penny, the nickel, and the gold dollar coin. Non-president Ben Franklin on the half-dollar. All kinds of scenes and memorials on the reverseĀ of the quarter. Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea obverse on dollar coins.

The Tubman debate is no debate at all. The announcement should have been met with acclaim from all sides. It is a mystery to me why it was not.

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Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Jerry Grose

    Simple logic should always prevail! Good article.