Fuck off, Andrew Jackson. According to The Politico’s Ben White, the United States Treasury will announce this afternoon that America’s seventh president is being thrown to the back (see update) of the $20 bill in favor of Harriet Tubman.
Dramatic changes to our currency have been brewing for some time. Last July, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew revealed that Alexander Hamilton would be replaced by a woman on the $10. So why is Jackson getting the boot instead? The popular theory is that the success of the Broadway play Hamilton made the founding father newly popular enough to keep him on our money. The Treasury more or less confirmed this in a New York Times story about Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s meeting with Lew, praising “renewed interest” in Hamilton in the same breath as a confirmation that Hamilton would indeed remain on the $10.
“On Monday, Secretary Lew welcomed Lin-Manuel Miranda to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Secretary and Miranda talked about the enduring mark Alexander Hamilton left on our nation’s history, and the Secretary provided a brief tour of Hamilton’s possessions and portraits on display at the Treasury Department.
“The Secretary thanked Miranda for the ingenious way in which he has been able to tell Hamilton’s story and ignite a renewed interest in one of our nation’s founding fathers. Secretary Lew also reiterated his commitment to continue to honor Alexander Hamilton on the 10 dollar bill.”
So it’s Jackson who is shit out of luck. Sorry, man. You are being replaced by the first African American and third ever woman (after Martha Washington’s short stint on a one-dollar note, and a brief appearance by Pocahontas on the $20) to be printed on American paper currency. You should feel good about this. Per The Politico’s White, Lew will also announce “changes to the $5 bill to depict civil rights era leaders.”
This occasion also allows us to look back at the immortal moment from a Republican primary debate in September 2015, in which each candidate was asked which woman they would put on the $10. It’s stunning that the Treasury rejected Mike Huckabee’s suggestion of “my wife.”