There Has Been a Woman on a Dollar Bill, Y’all!!

I have been obsessively following the Women on 20s Campaign since they started earlier this year. If you aren’t aware, the campaign is to get a woman’s portrait – a real woman, not “Victory” – on the U.S $20 bill by 2020. There was a nationwide online effort and the winner was Harriet Tubman. Now, its off to DC to make it happen. Finger’s Crossed!

As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of online chatter about permanently putting a woman on a dollar bill. Again, this would be permanent. Goodbye Andrew Jackson.

So, I was thrilled to read this recent article about all the different bills issued over the decades and learn that Martha Washington was featured on a commemorative series with her husband on the reverse side. Read the full article, especially for some of the historic bills that are so beautiful and artful. And here’s the bit about good ole’ Martha:

Given the politics of the time, the 19th century was pretty innovative when it came to depicting women on currency. Martha Washington appeared alongside her husband George on the reverse of the $1 Educational series note. But that wasn’t even her debut: years earlier she appeared—by herself—on the front of both the 1886 and 1891 $1 silver certificates.

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The 1886 $1 silver certificate, featuring Martha Washington. (Photo: National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution)
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