Harriet Tubman's image to be placed on $20 bill

April 21, 2016

Harriet Tubman will be depicted on the front of the $20 bill, the Treasury Department an­nounced April 20.

The move will make the abolitionist and Under­ground Rail­road conductor, who was an un­abash­ed Chris­tian, the first African American to be portrayed on the front of a bill.

Tubman was born in slavery around 1820 in Maryland and died free in 1913. After escaping in 1849 to Philadelphia, she returned to the South more than a dozen times, helping to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom, which earned her the name Moses.

She said of her faith, “I always tole God, ‘I’m gwine to hole stiddy on you, an’ you’ve got to see me through.’”

Tubman had visions throughout her life that she understood as being from God. She relied on them to lead her and others out of slavery and into the North.

“I never met with any person, of any color, who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul,” wrote Thomas Garrett, an abolitionist and Quaker.

Tubman was active in the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Zion in Auburn, New York.

In addition to featuring Tubman on the front of the $20 note, the Treasury Department plans to change the reverse side of the $10 and $5 bills. The former will pay tribute to the women’s suffrage movement. The $5 bill will add images of Martin Luther King Jr., Marian Anderson, and Eleanor Roosevelt to commemorate civil rights events at the Lincoln Memorial. The Treasury Depart­ment anticipates the notes will be unveiled in 2020, though it will take longer for the bills to show up in circulation. —Religion News Service staff and added sources

This article was edited on May 10, 2016.

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