News and Commentary

5 Reasons Harriet Tubman Is An Awesome Choice For The $20

The 20-dollar bill will no longer feature former President Andrew Jackson on the front, as the Obama administration announced on Wednesday that Harriet Tubman will replace Jackson on the front. If Jackson was to ultimately be replaced, then Tubman is certainly an awesome choice to on the front of the bill. Here are five reasons why this is the case.

1. She was a pro-gun and an incredibly religious Republican. Ironically, Tubman’s values were completely antithetical to hard-left radicalism that has infested the Obama administration. Tubman typically was armed with some sort of firearm, whether it was a pistol when she conducted rescue missions or a sharp-shooter rifle that she carried during the Civil War, and even carried a sword. found a couple of tweets to illustrate this point:

Tubman even echoed the “Live Free or Die” or mantra.

“I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive,” Tubman said. “I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.”

Tubman was also a devout Christian, as she helped build a church after the Civil War and was known for her strong faith and belief in God as the “source of her strength.”

“I always tole God, ‘I’m gwine [going] to hole stiddy on you, an’ you’ve got to see me through.'” Tubman said.

Tubman also fought for women’s suffrage as well as equal treatment of black Civil War veterans and supported Republican politicians.

2. Tubman helped free slaves through the Underground Railroad. Tubman is most well-known for her role in the Underground Railroad, where she was among figures who helped guide slaves to freedom. Tubman, herself an escaped slave, is believed to have led around 300 slaves to freedom, including her family, although Tubman herself put the number as closer to 70 slaves. She made 19 trips to the slave-holding South to free slaves, and at one point changed the Underground Railroad route to Canada after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Acts that made it illegal for slaves to escape to the North.

3. She was a valuable asset to the Union Army and was one of the leaders of the Combahee River raid. What is less well-known about Tubman is how she aided the Union Army during the Civil War as a spy. According to National Review‘s Eli Lehrer, Tubman had “hundreds of intelligence contacts and could establish new ones — particularly among African Americans — when nobody else could,” which is what made her such a key asset to the Union Army.

Tubman also led the Combahee Ferry raid, establishing herself as among one of the first black women to lead a large amount of troops in battle. Here’s how describes the raid:

Tubman’s reconnaissance work laid the foundation for one of the more daring raids of the Civil War, when she personally accompanied Union soldiers in their nighttime raid at Combahee Ferry in June 1863. After guiding Union boats along the mine-filled waters and coming ashore, Tubman and her group successful rescued more than 700 slaves working on nearby plantations, while dodging bullets and artillery shells from slave owners and Confederate soldiers rushing to the scene. The success of the raid, which had also included the brave service of African-American soldiers, increased Tubman’s fame, and she went on to work on similar missions with the famed Massachusetts 54th Infantry before spending the final years of the war tending to injured soldiers. describes the raid as “one of her greatest achievements.”

4. Tubman was fantastic at staying hidden. One of the more awesome aspects of Tubman was her uncanny ability at being a “master of disguise,” as IJ Review aptly puts it. For instance, she would hide herself with a book when people would talk about her wanted posters since they noted she couldn’t read. There’s also this:

On another occasion, Tubman disguised herself as an old woman buying chickens. After seeing her old master on the street, she would ‘lose’ the chickens and scramble after them. The whole town would be distracted by loose poultry and she would make her escape.

This is also what made her such a great spy for the Union Army.

5. Tubman overcame enslavement and long-lasting injuries to be an important figure in American history. This is what makes her accomplishments all the more impressive, as she was raised as a slave and eventually escaped on her own. Tubman also suffered a serious head injury in her early teens when a slaveowner threw a weight at her head because he was searching for an escaped slave and she wouldn’t cooperate with his efforts. As a result, throughout the rest of her life she dealt with periodic seizures, narcoleptic episodes and excruciating headaches that became progressively worse as Tubman aged. Eventually, Tubman received brain surgery without anesthesia.

When taking into account what she had to overcome, it puts in perspective why Tubman was such a remarkable figure in history and why she is a fantastic choice to be on the $20 bill.