CINCINNATI — You’ll soon start seeing Harriet Tubman’s face on your money. Coins featuring the abolitionist are moving forward with the help of some Ohio historians.
The design hasn't been revealed just yet, but the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati has been getting ready for it for the last two years.
The history of Harriet Tubman is a part of Stephanie Lampkin’s job.
“Her life really is a symbol of determination, bravery,” said Lampkin.
Lampkin is a curator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center who oversees the museum’s exhibits.
She said it’s important to show how Harriet Tubman found freedom, helped other former slaves do the same, and continued in her mission well after.
“Moving on to become a scout, and a nurse and a cook in the union army during the Civil War and finally towards the end of her life when she opened her home in New York as a nursing home,” said Lampkin.
That’s exactly what Woody Keown, the Freedom Center’s president, hopes to capture in a series of coins.
“It’s gonna be a commemorative coin, there will be a silver dollar, a half dollar, and there will be a gold coin,” said Keown.
He’s been a part of a committee providing historical information to the government to use in the design of the coins.
“We want them to consider that she was a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted leader,” said Keown.
“It’s gonna be all original. In fact, the process and the laws require that for a coin of this nature, it be all original, can’t even use existing art or anything,” said Keown.
They started working on the coins in 2020, right after lawmakers put a decade-long delay on replacing former President Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
“I think some people may have felt we might be able to get this coin done faster and we’re gonna prove them right,” said Keown.
Lawmakers recently approved the Harriet Tubman coins, but they’ll be commemorative, collector’s items, out just in time to mark her 200th birthday. It's something that, along with the coins, they’ll be teaching at the Freedom Center.
“We learn from the example of people like Harriet Tubman through her words and her action and her faith, and it’s that spirit that we want the capture,” said Lampkin.
The official coin design is expected to be revealed in the next six months, and by 2024, you can buy one of those Harriet Tubman coins.
The Freedom Center’s president said the Harriet Tubman coins are only expected to be made for one year, so you’ll only be able to get one in the year 2024.