When Harriet Tubman replaces Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, will she be depicted carrying a gun?
That’s what conservatives hailing the decision want to know, pointing to the Republican abolitionist’s use of a personal pistol while conducting runaway slaves through the Underground Railroad.
“Harriet Tubman carried a small pistol with her on her rescue missions, mostly for protection from slave catchers, but also to encourage weak-hearted runaways from turning back and risking the safety of the rest of the group,” notes Tubman biographer Kate Clifford Larson. “Tubman carried a sharp-shooters rifle during the Civil War.”
But the freedom fighter employed more than just arms in her war against slavery. Tubman, like many abolitionists, was a devout Christian, who saw the conflict not just in terms of bullets and ballots, but as a spiritual war for the American soul.
“Acknowledging Harriet Tubman’s place in history does more than honor Tubman herself, it honors the great spiritual struggle for freedom and equality that this country fought with itself in the middle of the 19th century, which is right and proper to do,” wrote Leon H. Wolf at RedState.
“Harriet Tubman was a woman of faith who was not afraid to act on her beliefs to fight for justice,” said Kristina Arriaga, executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Her incredible moral and physical courage is an example to all Americans, as is her willingness to act on her Christian faith. She is an icon of religious liberty.”
The decision to put Tubman on the paper currency is even more of a boon for conservatives because of whom she is replacing: American’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson, who, among other things, helped to found the Democratic Party.
“Breaking: Treasury throws founder of the Democratic Party off $20 bill, replaces with gun-toting Republican,” David Burge wrote Wednesday on Twitter.