Harriet Tubman, an American slave who escaped bondage, became a leading abolitionist in the period before the Civil War. In April of this year the U.S. Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the 20 dollar bill. On The Point, Mindy Todd hosts a discussion of the life and work of Harriet Tubman; she's joined in the studio by Karen Hill, president of the Tubman Home in Auburn, New York; and Kate Larsen, author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. The Harlem Fine Arts Show will sponsor a brunch and lecture about Harriet Tubman on Martha's Vineyard on Saturday, August 13th.
After this program was recorded, we heard from historian Fran Karttunen of Nantucket, who tells us Harriet Tubman will not be the first woman on USA paper currency. Kartunnen writes: "Pocahontas was on the $20 bill right after the Civil War, 1865-69. Since Pocahontas is so important to Virginians, I suppose featuring her on currency right after the war was a gesture of reunification of the Confederate states with the Union. Then 1886 and 1891-96, Martha Washington was on the $1 silver certificate. USA $1 coins have featured Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea.Interesting that two of the four women were Native Americans."