We went to visit my daughter and her family in New England. Our grandson was elated that Drew and I would be there for his first Little League game. But, Mother Nature had her own agenda and the game was cancelled due to rain, leaving us with a big hole in the jam-packed itinerary that is commonplace for our far-too-few visits with them.
It was decided that we would visit Quincy, Massachusetts. The residences and personal library of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams are found on the properties, which were donated to the National Park Service and are now restored and open to the public.
Side note: if you don’t pronounce Quincy “Quinzee,” they know you are not from around there.
Did you see the HBO mini-series “John Adams”? It is based on the wonderful book of the same title, authored by David McCullough. The majority of his research came from the actual letters written between John and his wife Abigail. In many instances, McCullough quotes directly from their letters. Beautiful prose, descriptive and filled with emotion and purpose provided a detailed account of how our nation came to be, including vivid descriptions of our founding fathers.
When we were in Quincy, I heard that Andrew Jackson, our seventh president, would no longer be the face of the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman, the former slave turned American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the Civil War, would replace Jackson on the face of the bill. For those Jackson fans, fear not, he will still be on the bill, but you’ll have to turn it over to see him.
For years there has been much talk of a woman or person of color being immortalized on one of our forms of currency. Tubman is a perfect pick. The cynics might say the Treasury effectively “killed both birds with one stone.”
I read that Jackson was not the initial target for ouster from the face of a bill. It was Alexander Hamilton that was to lose his spot on the $10 bill. While Hamilton was never a president, he was a very influential and, some say, essential Founding Father and, lest we forget, he was one half of the famous dynamic duelers early in our nation’s history.
But something happened on Broadway that shifted the Treasury’s initial decision. The musical “Hamilton” exploded onto the scene. A true fan favorite, it 16 Tony nominations and has recently been awarded the coveted Pulitzer Prize. Not a ticket is to be had, not only for the Broadway show, but for the touring production arriving in Chicago later this year. So, in response to a flood of “anti-ousting Hamilton from the ten” sentiment; it is Jackson that is getting the ax.
I don’t know who should be on what bill, face or back, but there is “poetic justice” in the fact that former slave-owner Andrew Jackson will now take a back seat to former slave Harriet Tubman.