Anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman to become first African-American to appear on US paper currency

Apr 22, 2016 16:06 IST

Harriet TubmanThe U.S. Treasury Department announced on 20 April 2016 that the image of an American abolitionist and anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman will appear on a new series of US $20 bills.

With this, Tubman will become the first African-American and the first woman in more than a century to appear on U.S. paper currency.

Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, to appear as the portrait gracing the US $20 bill.

Who was Harriet Tubman?

Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War.

She was born as a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland. She was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. In 1849, she escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family.

She made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends. She used the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad to rescue the families.

She also helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry.

When the Civil War began, she worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy.

The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves.

She died on 10 March 1913.

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