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6 reasons Harriet Tubman deserves to be on the $20 bill.

  • When Harriet Tubman was a young teen, she defended a fellow slave from an overseer, who struck her in the head with a metal weight. Tubman suffered from bouts of narcolepsy for the rest of her life.
  • Between 1850 and 1860, Tubman made 19 trips as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping to liberate over 300 slaves. She told Frederick Douglass that she “never lost a single passenger.
  • Because of her contributions to the raid on Harper’s Ferry, John Brown nicknamed her “General Tubman.” She also earned the nickname “Moses.”
  • Tubman worked as a nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. Many of her patients were suffering from dysentery, but thanks to Tubman’s herbal medicine remedy made from pond lily roots and wild geranium, her patients recovered in a day.
  • Under the command of Union Colonel James Montgomery, Tubman helped lead the Combahee River Raid in which more than 700 slaves were rescued during the gunboat’s passage up the river. It was the “first and only time in the Civil War, or for that matter any American conflict before this century, a woman (and a civilian at that) played a decisive role in planning and carrying out a military operation,” according to Paul Donnelly.
  • In addition to freeing slaves, Tubman toured the country giving speeches in favor of women’s suffrage rights.