Financial History Issue 118 (Summer 2016) - Page 24
Martha Washington on a $1 silver certificate, United States of America, 1886.
WOMEN ON AMERICAN MONEY
Although women have regularly appeared
on money around the world, historic
women have rarely been included on
money issued by the US government.
Since the federal government began issuing paper money in 1861, male historic figures have almost exclusively enjoyed this
honor. Pocahontas and Martha Washington are the exceptions, with both appearing on US paper money for a relatively
short period in the 19th century. Susan
B. Anthony and Sacagawea made similar
appearances on the one dollar coin in the
late 20th century, but their coins are not as
widely used as the one dollar note depicting President George Washington.
In 2015, a social movement called
“Women on 20s” brought the limited
appearance of women on American
money to the attention of the public. This
grassroots organization helped to initiate
a national conversation about the role of
women in American history and galvanized public support for the Treasury’s
planned redesign of US banknotes.
In April 2016, Secretary Lew announced
that the new $5, $10 and $20 notes will
feature eight historic American women.
Abolitionist Harriett Tubman will be featured with a portrait on the $20 note;
suffragists Lucretia Mott, Sojourner
Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Alice Paul will appear marching together on the $10 note; and Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt will
be depicted on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial the $5 note.
22 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Summer 2016 | www.MoAF.org
Sacagawea on the face of the $1 coin,
United States of America, 2000.