Who should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

This lesson can be used with The United States: An Open Ended History, a free online textbook.  Adapted in part from open sources.

All of these fighters have monuments – why not someone else?

Imagine that our class is a committee appointed by Congress to select one reformer from the Antebellum (pre-Civil War) era to replace nasty old Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill and to simultaneously celebrate the US’s rich history of forward-thinking individuals.  You should base your decision on your knowledge of what these people accomplished in their lifetimes, as well as the lasting impact they have had on our overall society.  You will need to research what these people did using your textbook or the Internet.  You may use whatever criteria for inclusion that you choose, however, you may not just say you’re voting for some guy because he’s rich or fat or some such reason that lacks historical substance.  (Remember this is a history class.)


William Lloyd Garrison

David Walker

Frederick Douglass

Nat Turner

Harriet Beecher Stowe



Margaret Fuller

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau


Women’s Rights

Sarah Grimke

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Catherine Beecher

Other Reformers

Dorothea Dix

Horace Mann

Neal S. Dow


Religious Leaders and Communalists

Charles G. Finney

Brigham Young

Mother Ann Lee Stanley

John Humphrey Noyes

Robert Owen


You will compose a brief 3 paragraph essay – a brief biographical overview, an explanation of their accomplishments, and an argument about why this person deserves to be the face of the 20 dollar bill – supporting your opinion with facts as well as a suitable portrait for use on the bill.  Make sure you cite your sources!