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I had never heard of Harriet Tubman before so…

I must stay I found this quite interesting!

In short, Harriet Tubman was a black, Republican, gun-toting, veterans’ activist, with ninja-like spy skills and strong Christian beliefs. She probably wouldn’t have an ounce of patience for the obtuse posturing of some of the tenured radicals hanging around Ivy League faculty lounges. But does she deserve a place on our money? Hell yeah.

Fascinating.

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60 comments to I had never heard of Harriet Tubman before so…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    She sounds terrific

  • I must confess I hadn’t heard of her but if all that is true next time I am in the USA I’ll use her bill with pride.

    Better than us getting Jane Austen who I have never grokked. And I live walking distance from the pond from which Colin Firth emerged in very tight pants and set hearts a-flutter. That was Jane Austen, yeah?

    Tells ya what the next new English note ought to feature Sherlock Holmes. He is afterall the Great-great-grandfather of Eamonn Holmes.

    “Never go East of Whitechapel after dark without a pistol.”

    True then.

    True now.

    (I used to live in Stepney).

  • llamas

    And she underwent a trephine operation (surgery to lift part of the skull) in the 1890s, when her age was likely over 80. With no anaesthetic. Them folks was tough.

    Even though all of her sterling qualities will be wiped away when she makes it to the US currency, I’m still happy it’s happening – because I’ll know.

    I saw a great Photoshop the other day – instead of the grandma/Aunt Jemima figure that will inevitably make it onto the currency, it was Harriet Tubman in an action pose – in her 30’s, with a pistol in one hand and a shortsword in the other (both weapons she is known to have owned), with her arm raised up – Follow Me!

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    The dismissal of Andrew Jackson (at the start of the article) was a bit harsh – yes he did not see that the Credit Bubble “pet banks” at State level were just as vile as the Central Bank (the one he got rid of), but Andrew Jackson was a good soldier (and all great nations are founded on the shedding of blood – if one goes back far enough, and great nations only endure whilst they understand that they have enemies and make their enemies fear them) and he paid off the National Debt (no small achievement – in a time when even the deficit, let alone the debt, is too much for modern degenerate politicians).

    Still Andrew Jackson (quite rightly) believed paper “legal tender” to be unconstitutional and so it is (Congress has the power to “coin” money not to print it, Article One Section Eight, and only gold or silver coin may be “legal tender” in any State, Article One Section Ten), the Constitution was written to get AWAY from the “not worth a Continental” paper money of the Continental Congress.

    Harriet Tubman.

    Yes indeed a gun toting Republican who had a passionate (“extreme”, “fundamentalist”) religious faith.

    Odd the “liberal” left claim to like Harriet Tubman.

    Harriet Tubman would not have liked them.

  • Mr Ed

    It all comes down to how Harriet Tubman is to be ‘remembered’, as llamas notes. The motive is to rub others’ noses in the fact that the Left have the power to make the very means of commerce a political statement. Everything is political, even if the message is based on a misfire, it is a sign to all, as to who is in control. Still, she is far more worthy of being on a note (should they exist) than the dreary PC creature of the English £5 note, who, despite years of publicity, stands out like a sheep in New Zealand.

    It would also be an unintentional compliment to Jackson, who may have saved a smaller future USA the indignity of being sandwiched ‘twixt north and south Canada, to remove him from fiat money, even though he was anti-secession.

  • Julie near Chicago

    llamas, that’s interesting (and the thought makes my tummy do somersaults). I never knew that.

  • Laird

    Paul Marks, that is precisely why I approve of removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill. Indeed, his presence there has always seemed curious to me: Here is a man who so hated central banks that he permitted the charter of the Second Bank of the United States to expire (by vetoing the reauthorization legislation), and believed that fiat currency was unconstitutional, yet we put his visage on the Federal Reserve Notes? Were we trying to posthumously rub his nose in his ultimate loss in both fights? Why didn’t we name a Cherokee Indian reservation* after him, too? On the other hand, Hamilton, who was originally slated for removal in the orgy of political correctness which (fortuitously) has resulted in Tubman’s currency canonization, is entirely appropriate on the $10 bill. He was a vocal proponent of a strong central government and the banking interests. No one is more deserving of the “honor” of appearing on currency which is rapidly losing all purchasing power.

    Tubman was a great choice, although not for the reasons leftists celebrate her. She was an armed radical fighting against the federal government (at a time when slavery was not only legal, but when the Fugitive Slave Laws required their capture and return). Forget about her race and sex; she was a true libertarian freedom fighter. Which, of course, the leftist don’t know because they know so little of history. To them she is merely a black woman, emblematic of “women’s issues” and the fight against racism. The irony is delicious. Who says nothing good comes out of the ignorance which is the principal product of our public school system?

    * Jackson was responsible for the unconscionable “Trail of Tears” in which so many of them died.

  • Why didn’t we name a Cherokee Indian reservation* after him, too?

    Good one.

    I’m reminded of the recent plan in Austin, TX to rename a school currently named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. They decided to have a naming contest on the internet, and sure enough, a lot of people decided to tell the “good” bureaucrats of Austin what they really think.

    Among the top nominations were Donald J. Trump Elementary, and the Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance. Read the whole thing for some of the other hilarious entries.

  • Eric

    Laird,

    Agreed. We should put Jackson on the next gold coin.

  • Laird

    Nice, Ted. Thanks for the link.

    In the interest of clarity, I don’t want anyone to think I am an unconditional detractor of Andrew Jackson. Far from it. I merely approve of his removal from the $20 bill. After all, Jackson was entirely correct about the evils of central banks, and of the unconstitutionality of fiat currency. And how can you completely dislike someone who cavalierly dismissed the Supreme Court with the remark, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”? Other than the Trail of Tears I’m just fine with Jackson’s presidency.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    We have been putting a woman on our notes here in Australia for years, and no-one complained. You might have heard of her, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd? If ever we become a republic (boo, hiss!), then a politician will be depicted.

  • Thailover

    “She rejected the teachings of the New Testament that urged slaves to be obedient and found guidance in the Old Testament tales of deliverance.”

    That’s good to hear, for a change. I guess christians actually read the bible back then. (And, hell, she was illiterate).

    And BONUS, she’s replacing that low down rotten son of a bitch Jackson on the front of the $20. That’s LONG overdue.

  • Thailover

    I forgot to say that the above quote is from wiki.

  • jsallison

    I’m still trying to figure out how anyone thinks she was a republican, given that women as a whole didn’t have the vote, much less a black woman. But I’m good with her being recognized. Of course, I’d like to see Crazy Horse get his own note. We’re defined by our adversaries as much as by our countrymen.

  • Thailover

    Laird said,

    “*Jackson was responsible for the unconscionable “Trail of Tears” in which so many of them died.”

    Indeed. I live less than 10 miles away from that goddamned son of a bitch’s house, the Hermitage. Nothing would make me happier than to see it burned to the ground. The Trail of Tears was (a) illegal and (b) nothing more than a death march little better than Pol Pot’s purges of cities in Cambodia. I personally don’t give a flying rat’s fuck that he thought of central banks and paper money. That’s like concerning ourselves on what was Adolph Hitler’s favorite color.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Thailover, too easy! Hitler’s favourite colour would have been white.

  • Thailover

    jsallison said

    “I’m still trying to figure out how anyone thinks she was a republican,”

    Perhaps not technically, but the Republicans were single-handedly responsible for the abolishment of slavery. Though saying so will no doubt chap the ass of every liberal within 20 city blocks. The Democrats simply can’t escape history. They owned all the slaves, were responsible for segregation, separate but equal and Jim Crow laws, and were the folks beating blacks sitting at lunch counters during the civil rights movement in the 60’s. They were also the folks (and politicians) blocking black school kids from attending “white” public schools, and even setting police dogs on the kids and shooting them with fire hoses.
    Oh, but what about the “good” democrats like JFK, the leftists usually ask.
    JFK and Al Gore Sr voted AGAINST the ’57 civil rights act, and JFK did NOTHING while the democrats abused blacks during the movement until his inaction became an international embarassment, with even the russian Pravda mocking him twice.

    The republican party was CREATED on a platform of slavery abolishment (the abolitionist members of the then defunct whig party in America). The “radical republicans” forced through the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the US Constitution, freeing the slaves, recognizing their citizenship and voting rights. Republicans went to the south and helped blacks vote where they were being hasseled by democrats, and white republicans created about half a dozen “black” colleges and the NAACP…all very embarassing for modern “progressives”.

    So these neo-marxists deal with it the only way they know how…teaching ignorant people false history.

  • Thailover

    Nicholas Gray said,
    “Hitler’s favourite colour would have been white.”

    LOL.

  • Thailover

    LLamas wrote,

    “And she underwent a trephine operation (surgery to lift part of the skull) in the 1890s, when her age was likely over 80. With no anaesthetic. Them folks was tough.”

    The brain has no pain sensors, but cutting through the scalp probably smarted a bit.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Indeed. I live less than 10 miles away from that goddamned son of a bitch’s house, the Hermitage. Nothing would make me happier than to see it burned to the ground. The Trail of Tears was (a) illegal and (b) nothing more than a death march little better than Pol Pot’s purges of cities in Cambodia. I personally don’t give a flying rat’s fuck that he thought of central banks and paper money. That’s like concerning ourselves on what was Adolph Hitler’s favorite color.

    There’s a Hebrew quote to the effect of: what you can see from there you can’t see from here.

    If the Indian Removal Act had not been passed and enforced there would have very likely been either a genocide or an otherwise less favorable outcome for those Native American tribes than what Jackson wrought. If the national government did not make all/most of those lands available to white settlers then either the people or states (which were then sovereign) were going to do so with force and the provision of payment and new lands further West would not have been offered – and genocide was a real possibility. The real problem, as usual, was the American people who were racists who fully expected the Native Americans’ lands to be theirs. Nobody reading this thread in Andrew Jackson’s position and with his powers would have been able to convince the American people to let the Native Americans live on their lands in peace. Doing nothing as President probably would have led to a worse outcome for the Native Americans.

    I know we like to pat ourselves on the back for courageously opposing difficult decisions made centuries ago, but sometimes there are no peaceful solutions and doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening. Implying that Andrew Jackson was as evil as Hitler strikes me as slightly hyperbolic.

  • john malpas

    You all benefit from
    Jackson’s deeds.
    What great nation is not built on blood.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Shlomo, do you have a source for that? I have read a somewhat similar account, but I don’t remember where.

    You wrote,

    “…[S]ometimes there are no peaceful solutions and doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening.”

    It would be awfully nice if people could bear this in mind.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Shlomo, do you have a source for that?

    A source for what part specifically?

    My understanding of the situation at the time in general is a result of several sources – some of which are not online.

    http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Jackson-His-Life-Times/dp/1400030722

    I am also guided by a bit of common sense.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The Democrats simply can’t escape history. They owned all the slaves, were responsible for segregation, separate but equal and Jim Crow laws, and were the folks beating blacks sitting at lunch counters during the civil rights movement in the 60’s. They were also the folks (and politicians) blocking black school kids from attending “white” public schools, and even setting police dogs on the kids and shooting them with fire hoses.

    The Democratic and Republican parties have mostly switched sides in terms of their constituencies and interests they represent.

    There’s a reason you don’t see modern day Democrats upset that the Confederate flag is getting taken out of state houses in the South.

    The republican party was CREATED on a platform of slavery abolishment (the abolitionist members of the then defunct whig party in America). The “radical republicans” forced through the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the US Constitution, freeing the slaves, recognizing their citizenship and voting rights. Republicans went to the south and helped blacks vote where they were being hasseled by democrats, and white republicans created about half a dozen “black” colleges and the NAACP…all very embarassing for modern “progressives”.

    So these neo-marxists deal with it the only way they know how…teaching ignorant people false history.

    Um. Republicans did these things, yes. Then their biological/”intellectual” descendants became Democrats.

  • If I am allowed to be pedantic the “Confederate Flag” is actually their “Battle Banner” and it’s removal from being on, for example, the State Flag of Georgia is not quite as it might seem because the Confederate part of it was only added in 1956. The current flag is much closer to earlier Georgia flags. Odd how people forget.

    “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.”

    Yeah, that’s ticket. Let us fight for “moderation”. It’s not exactly Henry V at Agincourt is it? And that is how one gets Jimmy Carter.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks, Shlomo. I’ll have a look.

  • CaptDMO

    Here’s how it works.
    Harriet Tubman…because VAGINA! Oh wait, because vagina and NEGRO!
    “OK, good choice. Harriet Tubman was a black, Republican, gun-toting, veterans’ activist, with ninja-like spy skills and strong Christian beliefs.”
    Oh wait…that’s NOT what we MEANT!
    All just in time to celebrate the transition from cash to Electronic Credit Transfer, and the subsequent “extra service fee” for doing so.
    Thanks to inflation, and taxes, I already use the commonly circulated bill with “President Benjamin Franklin” on it for cigarettes and a tank of 10% adulterated gasoline based fuel. The Indians (cymbal, not drum)seem a bit taken aback every time they see one.

  • Paul Marks

    SM – the Cherokee removed by the Indian Removal Act were not savage nomads. They were settled farmers – with their own houses and churches (they were Christian) and so on. The Cherokee “trail of tears” can not be justified – indeed the Supreme Court ruled against it (leading to Jackson cynically saying “the Supreme Court has made its judgement – now let it enforce it”).

    Although Jackson was complicated – after all, de facto, also adopted an Indian as his own son and sent him to Harvard.

    David (“Davy”) Crockett was no peace-and-love hippy, but he thought that Jackson and Calhoun had done wrong (because they had done wrong) – Crockett became an anti Jackson man (although he had no love for the other party either) and in the end rejected politics and went seeking something new (I suspect that he was seeking an honourable death – which he found). And Sam Houston followed a different policy in Texas – although his successor as President of Texas rejected the policies of Houston making (rather unsuccessful) war on the Indians and engaging in wild government spending.

    The wild government spending bankrupted Texas and led to it becoming a State – and Governor Sam Houston opposed secession in 1861. Partly on practical grounds (the war was hopeless) partly on moral grounds (slave owners giving non slave owners lectures on “freedom” and “independence” is a bit daft – to have a moral case the Southerners would have had to first give up their slaves, then the world would have rushed to recognise their new nation).

    Laird – agreed on all points, accept when Harriet Tubman was actually fighting (not hiding and so on) she was actually fighting for (not against) the Federal Government.

    As for the vile words “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in Consequence of any law Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service may be due” (Article IV Section 2 – Constitution of the United States).

    Battle and war on one thing – but this is cold blooded slow tyranny, condemning vast numbers of people (and their children and children’s children) to slavery (cruel and perverted abuse) over their whole lives.

    I could not have signed or supported a document that included the paragraph that ends Article IV Section 2.

    They are made void by the 13th Amendment – but they existed and they must not be forgotten.

    Freedom did not peak in the United States in the 1700s – it peaked in 1876. The year the young Woodrow Wilson denounced everything.

    The “Gilded Age” of Grant in the White House and the so called “Robber Barons”.

    And in 1877 the KKK and the Redshirts (by a reign of terror and murder) put freedom into retreat.

    It has (generally speaking – not in all things) been retreating ever since.

  • Mary Contrary

    Per llamas, This is a great design for what the Tubman $20 bill should look like. Sadly, it won’t.

  • Paul Marks

    The “spirit of the age” does not really help Article IV, Section 2.

    After all a slave turning up in England or Wales (even years before the United States Constitution was written) was automatically free – even if they came from one of Britain’s own colonies or had swam ashore from a ship.

    Common Law reflected Natural Law – and under Natural Law (as even Roman Empire legal thinkers admitted) “slavery” is actually a series of crimes – assault, false imprisonment and so on.

    The question was could the “positive law” of a State legalise a series of crimes (the “institution of slavery”) – perhaps it could (Roman lawyers would say “yes”).

    But a State could not impose its (perverse and vile) laws on other States – as soon as a slave crossed a State line to a Free State they should have been automatically free. Regained their natural freedom that had been taken away from them by perverse statutes of the State they were in.

    This was not only in accordance with the Mansfield judgement of the early 1770s but the judgements of Chief Justice Sir John Holt almost a century before.

    Indeed some 16th century Common Law judgements indicate the same thing.

  • pst314

    “I had never heard of Harriet Tubman before so…”
    I learned about her in grade school, but then I live in the States. On the other hand, I believe that most Americans do not know who William Wilberforce was and his role in the antislavery movement.

  • Laird

    Paul, as you well know, the language in Article IV, Sec. 2, which you quoted, just like the other slave-related provisions of the original Constitution (the 3/5ths rule, the 30-year delay in banning the slave trade) were all compromises necessary to achieve consensus. Without them there would have been no Constitution and, likely, no United States. The draftsmen were intent on creating a new nation, and in all such endeavors compromises have to be made. You can’t read 21st-century sensibilities into an 18th-century document or the people who created it. Slavery is as old as mankind, even if some legal scholars (ancient as well as contemporary) rejected it, and in it fact persists to this day. Some of those draftsmen opposed slavery, too, and fully appreciated the inconsistency of proclaiming “freedom and equality” on one hand while denying it to a whole group of people. But above all they were practical men and did what was necessary, however personally distasteful they may have found it.

    So I very much doubt that you would not have “signed or supported” such a document, given the place, time and circumstances. It’s easy to make that claim now, but if you were creating a new nation out of whole cloth you likely would have done precisely what they did. I certainly would have.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Paul,

    “The Cherokee “trail of tears” can not be justified”

    And yet the fact remains that sometimes doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Clearly there are people who know much more about US history than i do, but for the record, i agree with Paul Marks about the Trail of Tears, and with Laird about Article IV, Sec. 2. It seems to me a blatant shame that someone responsible for ethnic cleansing should be honored, whatever his other merits*; while i certainly do not think that signing the US Constitution, warts and all, disqualifies people from being honored by the US Government.
    Even slave ownership, by people born into the system, is not as morally repellent as ethnic cleansing; though i have warmer feelings towards Ben Franklin and John Adams because they did not own slaves.

    * and what about Jackson’s other merits? his monetary policy was sound, but it is hypocritical for a government that repudiated it, to honor Jackson for it. As for preventing the formation of a Southern Canada (as Mr Ed puts it): if that had happened, then the Brits would have had to deal with the issue of slavery, which might (or might not) have been to everybody’s benefit.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I got into a bit of a discussion on Jackson v. Tubman in our local paper that wandered off, as this one has, into a debate about Jackson himself. I’m going to quote it here as showing Jackson in a somewhat better light:
    —–
    —–
    Me:
    —–
    Jackson’s “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it,” was, I think, good constitutional law in a bad cause. The Court was intended to be the weakest branch of government, with feeble or no powers of enforcement. That weakness was cited as the reason we could safely permit the Justices to hold life tenure. The doctrine of judicial supremacy over the two other branches of the federal government, which Marshall was acting on, turned that on its head, giving the Court the whole power of the government whenever it chose to command it.

    We are living today with the consequences of Marshall’s ultimate success, one of which is that the whole future direction of the country now depends on a single, yet to be chosen, appointed-not-elected, Justice.
    —–
    To which a member of the po-faced class replied:
    —–
    I agree it was a bad cause. But I think you’re wrong when it comes to constitutional law. If the the Supreme Court is to have “feeble or no powers of enforcement,” why bother to have one? And if the highest court in the land is to be ignored, why not ignore all of the lower courts as well? If the decisions of the courts can’t be enforced, why have any laws? Why bother with the constitution? Jackson thought he was above the law, and that’s a dangerous precedent.
    —–
    Me:
    —–
    From Federalist #78:

    “Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.”

    [Emphasis added]

    Note also that while the Court doesn’t answer to the public, the Congress and the President do. Judicial supremacy simply means that the country is governed by a nine-person junta, or by the other branches only with the junta’s permission.
    —–
    —–
    So you can see that Jackson was actually on firm ground in telling the Court to get stuffed.

  • Dom

    Schlomo: “And yet the fact remains that sometimes doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening.”

    What “worse thing” was prevented?

  • Darrell

    Not to ruffle any English/British feathers, but slavery in the US was in decline until Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which made American cotton very attractive to British weaving interests, and helped drive the proliferation of slavery.

    Also, Jackson whipping the Brits at the Battle of New Orleans did not exactly hurt his popularity with American voters.

  • Douglas2

    jallison – perhaps “Republican” because abolitionism, but also her ties to Lincoln’s secretary of state, US Senator and former New York State Governor William H. Seward.

  • Rich Rostrom

    While the Republican Party did the heavy lifting against slavery, the battle could not have been without the support of some Democrats. They supported Lincoln’s war for the Union against the rebel “slaveocracy”. It was Massachusetts Democrat Ben Butler who came up with the idea of treating escaped slaves as “contraband of war”, and thus free of previous ownership, a policy which liberated tens of thousands. (Butler became Republican; he had earlier tried to get Jeff Davis the 1860 Democratic nomination.) The 13th Amendment passed Congress with Democrat as well as Republican votes, and the Democrat votes were necessary. (Lincoln bought some of them, but they were cast.)

    It should also be noted that a lot of slaves were owned by Southern Whigs, not just Democrats.

    Finally, the Republican Party was established to oppose the expansion of slavery, not to seek abolition. This was a very important distinction, and it is doubtful if the Republicans could have become the plurality party if they had been abolitionist. (But nearly all Abolitionists were Republicans.)

  • Shlomo Maistre

    What “worse thing” was prevented?

    See my first comment

    There’s a Hebrew quote to the effect of: what you can see from there you can’t see from here.

    If the Indian Removal Act had not been passed and enforced there would have very likely been either a genocide or an otherwise less favorable outcome for those Native American tribes than what Jackson wrought. If the national government did not make all/most of those lands available to white settlers then either the people or states (which were then sovereign) were going to do so with force and the provision of payment and new lands further West would not have been offered – and genocide was a real possibility. The real problem, as usual, was the American people who were racists who fully expected the Native Americans’ lands to be theirs. Nobody reading this thread in Andrew Jackson’s position and with his powers would have been able to convince the American people to let the Native Americans live on their lands in peace. Doing nothing as President probably would have led to a worse outcome for the Native Americans.

    I know we like to pat ourselves on the back for courageously opposing difficult decisions made centuries ago, but sometimes there are no peaceful solutions and doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening. Implying that Andrew Jackson was as evil as Hitler strikes me as slightly hyperbolic.

  • jsallison

    Thailover @1:50 AM,

    Nothing there I’d disagree with. Also D2 @12:28 am.

  • Ok, this might sound a little pretentious, but I am astonished at those acknowledging they have never heard of Ms (I know, an anachronism in using that title) Tubman. That being the case, I suspect many will never have heard of Frederisk Dougless as well. Might I suggest, for interest and completeness sake, you look him up? He didn’t just go from slave to internationally famous activist, but he had a firm commitment to the US Constitution as well. He argued that the universality of the rights promised in that document were the greatest hope for a path to abolition.

  • Thailover

    Shlomo, the “idea” that the dems and Republicans changed sides is a popular leftist lie. The republicans that don’t want the confederate flag to go by the wayside is because they’ve bought hook-line and sinker the absurd notion that the civil war wasn’t about slavery and that the “bars and stars” represents “southern tradition”. I’ve argued with enough of these idiots to say this with confidence. Of course, all one needs to do in that situation is to read the reasons the ‘states’ gave for leaving the union and forming the confederacy.

    And, if you read about Jackson, the man, you can easily glean that he didn’t give a damn about doing a bad thing to prevent a worse thing from happening.

  • Frederisk Dougless

    Frederick Douglass

  • Thailover

    Shlomo said,
    “Um. Republicans did these things, yes. Then their biological/”intellectual” descendants became Democrats.”

    Uh…no. The republican position has always been one of helping you (if need be) to help yourself. The democrat position has always been one of tax you to extremes and expecting the government to hold your hand like you’re 6yrs old. (Don’t think that I’m arguing that republicans are ACTUALLY for “small government”, they’re not.) I’ll refrain from posting here ver-batim what LBJ’s personal biographer quoted LBJ saying about having the ‘ni&&*^s’ voting democratic for the next 200 years. That’s easily googled, and I’ve cursed enough already in this thread, LOL. Simply put, the objective of at least some of the dems was to raise crops of dependent voters.

  • Laird

    “good constitutional law in a bad cause” (per PfP)

    I agree, which is why I posted that quote with approval way back up in this thread.

  • Thailover,

    Actually, I think you are both right, but only partly. The Dems have picked up the black vote, after it having pretty solidly GOP for decades up to the ’60’s, while abandoning the white working classes in favour of a coalition of the bien pensant products of academia and the minority groups.

    The claim that Republicans have adopted the Klan supporting racism of the old Southern Dems, well, I agree, that is a leftist lie. The Dems have flipped on that one, maintaining their old obsession with race while merely altering which races they favour, but the GOP has pretty much maintained its original position throughout.

    For an example of the arguments you are referring to, have a look here: http://www.countingcats.com/?p=18417

    I ask you compare my position and comments with those of pretty much everyone else who comments. First class example of what you are referring to.

  • Ok, this might sound a little pretentious, but I am astonished at those acknowledging they have never heard of Ms (I know, an anachronism in using that title) Tubman.

    Why are you astonished? As pst314 pointed out in his comment:

    I learned about her in grade school, but then I live in the States. On the other hand, I believe that most Americans do not know who William Wilberforce was and his role in the antislavery movement.

    Although Tubman sounds like a very admirable character, in the final analysis she is a minor figure in the history of a foreign country, whereas what Wilberforce did had effects internationally.

  • Comparing Harriet Tubman with Florence Nightingale (on the £10 note for most of my life) raises the only possible negative issue AFAIAC. Everyone in Britain knew of Florence Nightingale long before she appeared on a banknote. She appeared on a banknote _because_ she was famous; she did not become famous through appearing on a banknote. If the same were true of Harriet Tubman on the far side of the pond, then she’d be an OK choice. My impression is that this is not so much the case, but I note one comment above “I learned about her in grade school” (in the US; I would gladly learn I am wrong.

    (FYI, I did know the name of Frederick Douglas in the US, James Sutton – formerly just Sutton – in the UK, etc. I suspect most Britons do not know either.)

    In 2008, either Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams wrote a sensible article about Obama. He listed the first black college student, the first black major leagues pitcher, and a host of others, noting in every case that they were above average – time after time, the first black (whatever) had had to be better to be as good. By contrast, Obama’s skin was black, but his CV was as white as a blank sheet of paper as regards any evidence he had a clue how to run a country – even by the undemanding standards of presidential politics, Obama was not better, was not average; it was astonishingly how much worse than average Obama was. He deduced from this that whereas all those other firsts had been good for the status and advancement of blacks, this first black president would be bad.

    A banknote is far less important and Harriet Tubman appears an achieving person in her sphere, so in comparison it is all very trivial. It is better if the person honours the note than the note the person. IIRC, the Bank of England line-up when I first noticed money was Isaac Newton, The Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale, William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Fry. Maybe Harriet Tubman could stand comparison with Elizabeth Fry (she was on the rare £50 note).

    jsallison April 26, 2016 at 1:26 am wonders in what sense Harriet Tubman was a republican, since women did not vote (before 1870 in Wyoming, later in other states). Parties back then had various kinds of female involvement. Leaders of the women’s organisations that provided nursing support during the civil war received respectful treatment from men as variied as General Sherman and Abraham Lincoln, for various reasons but not least because they were politically powerful. (At the other extreme, the convention which nominated Lincoln in 1860 ruled that non-delegates had to be accompanied by a lady to enter the hall. Certain women of the town – Chicago IIRC – did a brisk trade escorting journalists in, though occasionally the doorwards ruled, “She’s no lady”.) It is perfectly possible that Harriet Tubman was recognised as a republican supporter in a fairly formal sense. It woudl certainly be normal for her to attend a range of party events.

  • Mr Ed

    Elizabeth Fry is on the current £5 Bank of England note, for PC reasons. Sir Isaac Newton (former Master of the Mint) was on the £50 note, despite his greatness, as were Sir Christopher Wren and the 1st Duke of Wellington (when a fiver was still worth picking up if you dropped it).

  • The person we need is a great female political leader on our money. I nominate Margaret Hilda Thatcher for the next time the face changes.

  • It is of course “James _Somerset_ “, not James Sutton – the combination of my typos and the spell-ckecker struck again in my post above (embarrassingly, just where I was saying “I do know the name …) 🙂

  • IIRC, Newton was on the £1 note when there were Bank of England £1 notes. I suppose he went to the £50 when the £1 disappeared. In terms of relative importance, Elizabeth Fry belongs more on the £50 than the £5; I daresay Mr Ed is right to say her move to the £5 reflects some PCish preference since, while she was very religious, and her Quakerish disapproval of certain forms self-indulgence would be hated by PC types), her prison-reform activities make her very more acceptable to them than the Duke of Wellington.

  • Rosenquist

    Shlomo, the “idea” that the dems and Republicans changed sides is a popular leftist lie.

    Indeed, I am sure were she alive today Harriet Tubman would be right behind the likes of Donald Trump.

  • Laird

    Niall, your point that one should be famous before appearing on a banknote, rather than after, is a good one, but to be fair Tubman is very well known in the US. She is “studied” (to the extent our public schools convey any meaningful information!) by all schoolchildren, and I would be very surprised if there isn’t at least one elementary school in some inner city named after her. I’d wager that more know her name (which is not to say anything significant about her) than know the name of Andrew Jackson. Perry is correct that she is a minor historical figure, but then so is Betsy Ross* and everyone (over here) knows her name, too.

    A side note: you address the sense in which Tubman was a Republican, noting that at the time women did not vote. That is certainly true, but there are a variety of ways in which political power can be wielded, and in many respects voting is the least important of them. I would offer Elizabeth Powel as an example of this.

    * She allegedly sewed the first US flag during the Revolution.

  • Thailover

    Niall, Harriet Tubman is a well known abolitionist in the states. Of course, our public schools (i.e. government schools) didn’t delve very much into her story, at least in my time, because they don’t delve…period. Everything in government school history is a sound bite. Very little is strung together, which IMO is necessary to get a real sense of history. At least a sense of history…as it’s presented. Tubman is a great political choice for a number of reasons. The left will love her because she didn’t have a penis and she was a “person of color” (but don’t say colored person, that would be racist, lol). And the right wing will love her because she was a fighter, challenging the odds against an all powerful oppressor that considered itself beyond notions of mere good and evil. (Funny that the right wing don’t like that plucky underdog Satan, lol).
    Both sides will ignore that she more or less said screw the New Testament and it’s instruction to resist not evil, invite slappers to slap your other cheek also, and that slaves should be content and serve their masters well…to make christianity look good of course.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The republican position has always been one of helping you (if need be) to help yourself. The democrat position has always been one of tax you to extremes and expecting the government to hold your hand like you’re 6yrs old.

    Actually no. In the beginning of its existence the Republican Party sought to expand federal power at the expense of liberty and at the expense of states’ powers. The Republicans in the 1860s funded the transcontinental railroad, the homesteaders, a national currency, a system of tariffs, and the state-funded university system. These were all EXPANSIONS of federal power that the Democrats (who were in the South mostly like the Republicans of today) opposed.

    Simply put, the objective of at least some of the dems was to raise crops of dependent voters.

    Of course that’s true. Just as the Democrats are now trying to make illegal immigrants a sector of voters loyal to the Democratic Party the Republicans did the same with blacks. Then blacks followed those Republicans to the Democratic Party as the Democrats and Republicans switched sides.

    And, if you read about Jackson, the man, you can easily glean that he didn’t give a damn about doing a bad thing to prevent a worse thing from happening.

    I have to confess that I’m more than a little skeptical that you know a damn thing about Jackson’s intentions. Whether you are right or not, though, it’s a red herring and not the core matter at issue. The reality is that (regardless of Jackson’s intentions) if the Indian Removal Act had not been passed and enforced then a worse fate was likely to come to those Native American tribes, such as potentially genocide. I know we like to pat ourselves on the back for SO COURAGEOUSLY condemning difficult decisions made centuries ago, but sometimes doing a bad thing prevents a worse thing from happening.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The republicans that don’t want the confederate flag to go by the wayside is because they’ve bought hook-line and sinker the absurd notion that the civil war wasn’t about slavery and that the “bars and stars” represents “southern tradition”.

    Even if you were right about this (and you’re not) the fact remains that the Democrats in the late 1800s were pro-states rights vis-a-vis the Republicans of the time by opposing such things as the transcontinental railroad while the Republicans of today are more pro-states rights than the Democrats of today. This is yet another way in which the Republican and Democratic Party switched sides so I thank for bringing it up to help support my thesis.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Just to clarify my last comment – I meant even if you are right that the Civil War was not about the South’s culture of states’ rights the fact still remains that Southerners were more likely to be Democrats (like the Republicans of today) and were still more pro-states rights just as the GOP is today as compared to the Democrats of today. Hope that’s clear now.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Shlomo: 1) Harriet Tubman would not be such a fool as to fall for Trump’s carnival act.

    2) In the mid-1800s, all political factions wanted to build a railroad ro California. In 1853, Southern Democrat Jefferson Davis (then Secretary of War) engineered the Gadsden Purchase (the slice of territory forming southern New Mexico and Arizona) to provide a viable southern route for a railroad to California.

    In 1854, Illinois Democrat Stephen Douglas put forward the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened Kansas Territory to slaveowner settlement and possibly becoming a slave state. He did this in return for Southern Democrat support for a central route for the railroad to California, which would connect to Chicago and boost his real estate holdings there.