African American abolitionist Harriet Tubman is slated to grace the $20 bill. Tubman helped rescue hundreds of slaves during the Civil War era, and will replace slave owner and former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
Initially, the Treasury Department had said a woman would be on the $10 bill. Alexander Hamilton, the first American treasury secretary, was to be replaced with a woman on the $10 bill.
However, that plan has changed because of recent interest in Hamilton after the success of a Broadway rap musical carrying his name. When the play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama earlier this week, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda pressed for Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill where he will now remain, according to the NY Times.
This change of plans led to the introduction of Tubman for consideration to be placed on the $20 bill.
The bill with Tubman, along with other currency which is expected to feature other women and civil rights leaders, will be created by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Some bills will become public in 2020. The timing for those bills has been chosen to coincide with the centennial of woman's suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed American women the right to vote.
However, the new $20 bill featuring Tubman will not be issued until at least 2030, after going through an approval process with the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence steering committee. The steering committee is made up of members of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Secret Service.
Tubman is to be the first woman to appear on American paper money in more than 100 years. Between 1891 and 1896, former First Lady Martha Washington appeared on the $1 silver certificate. Between 1865 and 1869, Pocahontas appeared in a group picture on the $20 bill.