The U.S. Treasury will announce this afternoon that a campaign to keep Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill has been successful, as has been one to replace the slave-holding, Native American-killing Andrew Jackson with a new figure.
Getting her shot at long last will be Harriet Tubman, architect and engineer of the underground railroad that helped slaves make their way north to freedom. According to several accounts leaked in advance of the official announcement, new currency designs will include more women as well as civil rights leaders. The designs will be announced in time for the 2020 centennial of woman’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. None, including a new $5 note, will reach circulation until the next decade.
No comment yet from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, but the timing of the announcement is auspicious, coming the week when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical Hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A massive hit whose impact is being felt well beyond the Theater District. The show makes a powerful case for the legacy of the country’s first person to hold Lew’s office, an immigrant who came to New York and made good, big time, before being killed in an infamous duel with rival Aaron Burr.
The change also follows protests from many women’s and civil rights groups demanding the representation — any representation — of American women on U.S. currency. Jackson, in increasingly bad odor, history-wise, now will have to take his place outside the room where it happens.