Opinion: Andrew Jackson should be the one who faces removal

Andrew Jackson in 1824. Painting attributed to Thomas Sully. Image from U.S. Senate

Columnist Mary Kramer explains why former president Andrew Jackson, who forced tribes to leave their homelands and walk the Trail of Tears, should be removed from the $20 bill:
Entrepreneur Andra Rush likes the idea of seeing an important American woman on paper money, but even more important is getting Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill.

Rush founded three companies — one trucking and two manufacturing — in metro Detroit. Her Native American heritage is through her grandmother, a member of the St. Regis tribe within the Mohawk nation, with roots in New York state and Ontario.

When the dust-up over the name of the Washington Redskins football team started picking up steam a couple of years ago, it was Rush who told me that many Native Americans were more incensed about Jackson's visage than mascot and team names.

Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forced American Indian tribes to leave their homes and property in southern states to make way for white settlers and cotton. More than 100,000 Indians living between Florida and Louisiana and north to Michigan were forced west between 1830 and 1850 — sometimes at bayonet or gunpoint, sometimes in chains.

It was called "Trail of Tears" for a reason: Thousands died — from starvation, disease or simply freezing to death. Small wonder many Native Americans resent having to look at Jackson's face on their $20s. "One elder told me it was like putting Hitler's face on your money," Rush said.

Get the Story:
Mary Kramer: For our money, it's Andrew Jackson who deserves to be ousted (Crain's Detroit Business 8/16)

Also Today:
Alaska Native civil rights leader suggested for new $10 bill (AP 8/14)

Related Stories
Poll shows support for placing image of Sacagawea on $10 bill (08/06)
Albert Bender: Andrew Jackson doesn't deserve to be on $20 bill (07/14)
Editorial: A woman belongs on $20 bill instead of Andrew Jackson (7/6)
Treasury Department announces plan to put woman on $10 bill (06/18)
Women on 20s campaign announces winner of national vote (05/12)
Winner of Women on 20s ballot to be announced on May 12 (5/8)
Opinion: Let's place a different Cherokee leader on the $20 bill (5/5)
Widower of Wilma Mankiller 'excited' about Woman on 20s effort (04/20)
Bill introduced in Senate to support placing woman on $20 bill (4/15)
Wilma Mankiller generates interest for Women on 20s campaign (4/8)
Wilma Mankiller added to final ballot to place woman on $20 bill (4/7)
Another suggestion for Indian woman on $20 bill -- Sakakawea (3/25)
Column: Replace an Indian killer on $20 bill with Wilma Mankiller (3/18)
Albert Bender: Don't honor Andrew Jackson's genocidal legacy (03/16)

Join the Conversation