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You have no idea how hardcore Harriet Tubman really was

Historians in the News
tags: Harriet Tubman



The woman who will be the face of the new $20 bill, Harriet Tubman, was a daring and principled fighter. Her dramatic career included defying slaveowners, smuggling dozens of slaves to freedom as part of the Underground Railroad, leading raids in the Civil War, and fighting for women's right to vote -- all of which she accomplished with a disability.

Basically, Tubman was as tough as nails. The former slave risked her life countless times, and even performed an ad hoc dental surgery on herself while on the road for the Underground Railroad, knocking her front tooth out with a pistol, says biographer Catherine Clinton.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that Tubman would be the new portrait on the $20 bill, booting former president Andrew Jackson, a slaveowner with a controversial legacy, to the back. I spoke with Clinton, the author of the 2004 biography of Tubman, "Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom," about Tubman's remarkable story, and what the choice to put her on American money means.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that Tubman would be the new portrait on the $20 bill, booting former president Andrew Jackson, a slaveowner with a controversial legacy, to the back. I spoke with Clinton, the author of the 2004 biography of Tubman, "Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom," about Tubman's remarkable story, and what the choice to put her on American money means.

What do you think of the news that Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill? 

It’s a great day for those interested in history. We’re quite used to seeing chiseled features of dead white presidents on the money, so to put a woman of color who had such a significant role in redefining freedom and America fulfilling its promise of independence is really exciting. Having someone like Harriet Tubman signifies that Americans are finally recognizing the contributions of women and African Americans to building our nation. ...

Read entire article at The Washington Post


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