Plans to replace the portrait of former U.S. president and known slave owner Andrew Jackson on that country’s $20 banknote are on hold until at least 2026, according to a recent announcement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
In 2016, then-Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman, who freed hundreds of slaves in the mid-19th century, would be the first woman to be on a U.S. banknote since First Lady Martha Washington in 1891.
Tubman was responsible for guiding enslaved Black Americans to St. Catharines, Ont., as part of the Underground Railroad.
Also in St. Catharines, a school – Harriet Tubman Public School – is named after Tubman.
The proposed redesign generated widespread publicity for U.S. paper money after Tubman was announced as the public’s choice in a widely publicized online campaign known as “Women on 20s.”
Despite the plans, in September 2017, Mnuchin said the proposed Tubman note “is not something I’m focused on at the moment. People have been on the bills for a long period of time. And this is something we will consider. Right now, we’ve got a lot more important issues to focus on.”