In 1995 J.S.G. Boggs famously proposed Harriet Tubman for the U.S. $100 bill, picturing the early Civil Rights leader as a young girl.
Last last year the U.S. Treasury announced plans to place her portrait on the $20 bill. Time will tell if the new administration will follow through on those plans, but if B.E.P. artists are
looking for an image to base her portrait on, a good candidate may have just been found.
Sometimes the only existing portrait of an historical figure is one from their old age, as until recently was the case with Tubman. This mockup pairs the note with a portrait of Tubman taken in
her old age. What follows is an excerpt from an article about the new photo's discovery. -Editor
In the photo, Harriet Tubman is still relatively young, perhaps in her early or mid-forties. She would live into her 90s, and many of the photos of her show her as an older woman. In this
photo, which sat unknown in a photo album for decades, Tubman is in her prime, perhaps enjoying the respite from her work guiding slaves to freedom.
“This is the vibrant young Tubman just coming off her work during the Civil War. She’s building her life with her family in Auburn,” Kate Clifford Larson, a Tubman biographer, told The
Citizen, a paper based in Auburn, New York.
Before the Civil War began, Tubman bought a piece of land in Auburn. The photo was found in a photo album that once belonged to Emily Howland, an abolitionist and friend of Tubman.
The photo is being auctioned as part of an album by New York City’s Swann Galleries in March, along with checks signed by Martin Luther King, Jr., and a speech by Frederick Douglass. According to
the auction house, the photo was discovered by one of their specialists; the album includes images of other abolitionists and 19th century political figures.
The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin also suffered from this reverse age bias. Her surviving relatives pointed to a photo of her as an old crone and said "That's just what Aunt
Susan looked like!" Well, yeah, when you were kids and she was long past her days leading the Women's Sufferage movement. Maybe this "new" photo will spare Tubman that fate.
To read the complete article, see:
Found: A Long-Lost Photo of Harriet Tubman
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HARRIET TUBMAN RECOMMENDED FOR THE U.S $20 NOTE (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n20a15.html)
CONSIDERING THE CONTROVERSIAL J.S.G. BOGGS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n34a18.html)
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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