Can the ‘Tubman Twenty’ Help Bring Americans Together?

The New Note Comes 125 Years After the Free Silver Movement Tried—And Failed—to Use Currency to Forge a National Identity

Momentum for the “Tubman Twenty” comes at a time when Americans are reexamining foundational values of equality and democracy. President Biden’s inaugural address urged national unity to heal political and social rifts, and his push to get the project—in the works since 2015 to replace Andrew Jackson’s portrait with Harriet Tubman’s on the $20 bill—back on track supposedly helps do just that.

This is not the first attempt to use currency to forge a national identity by commemorating a shared heritage. An earlier experiment 125 years ago attempted to do …