Patterico's Pontifications

5/24/2019

Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill Won’t Happen Until Trump Is Out Of Office

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:01 am



[guest post by Dana]

In 2016, Donald Trump appeared on The Today Show and claimed during an interview that replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on a $20 bill was a “P.C. move”:

“Andrew Jackson had a great history,” Trump told the Today show when asked about the president most infamous for genocidal actions against Native Americans. “I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill. Andrew Jackson had a history of tremendous success for the country.”

Asked whether he’s a fan of Tubman’s, however, the GOP frontrunner said she’s “fantastic,” but that “I would love to leave Andrew Jackson [on the $20] and see if we can maybe come up with another denomination [for Tubman]—maybe we do the $2 bill or another bill.”

Not content to end it there, Trump continued: “I don’t like seeing it. I think it’s pure political correctness. [Jackson] has been on the bill for many, many years and really represented somebody that was really very important to this country.”

Ugh. Of course, by this time in the campaign, Trump he had already successfully tapped into his base and validated their anger, frustration and belief that they had been left behind. He knew what to say to rally supporters.

Thus it was unsurprising that at the House Financial Services Committee hearing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the redesigned $20 bill with Harriet Tubman’s likeness on it would be “delayed” until 2028, long after President Trump is out of office (because we all know that it takes the most advanced nation in the world eight years to redesign a $20 bill):

The redesign of the $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman will no longer be unveiled in 2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

The unveiling had been timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Mnuchin said the design process has been delayed and no new imagery will be unveiled until 2028.

“The primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,” Mnuchin said in response to questions by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. “Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.”

Seriously?? Stop pretending we don’t see through this charade. Make the $20 bill the priority! Especially as $20 bills are in wider circulation than the $10 bill or $50 bill.

Interestingly, while there hasn’t been confirmation by officials that President Trump made the actual decision about delaying the the Tubman $20 bill, Mnuchin was apparently concerned that the President might cancel the new bill altogether:

Treasury Department officials did not say whether Mr. Trump had a hand in the decision, and Mr. Mnuchin would not say whether he himself believes that Tubman should be on the bill’s face. “I’ve made no decision as it relates to that,” Mr. Mnuchin said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in response to a question from Representative Ayanna S. Pressley, Democrat of Massachusetts.

[…]

Mr. Mnuchin, concerned that the president might create an uproar by canceling the new bill altogether, was eager to delay its redesign until Mr. Trump was out of office, some senior Treasury Department officials have said.

By now everyone has their opinion of whether Trump is a racist or just an unfiltered blowhard looking to cut his next deal, increase him status, increase his bank account and increase the name Trump . With any other president, I would say that it’s hard to see how Mnuchin’s announcement could have a positive impact on re-election efforts, and on the GOP as a whole. However, in this case, I’m sad to say that I’m not so sure anymore.

On a purely political note: There is an important election just around the corner. Trump is running for a second term, Trump needs votes and he needs to take advantage of any opportunity that comes his way to increase voter turnout and grow his support. Making the bill happen post-haste was a no-brainer. But instead of jumping on the opportunity, President Trump foolishly missed out on the golden opportunity served to him on a silver platter. Making sure that the Harriet Tubman redesign wouldn’t be unveiled during his tenure, along with his previous praise of Andrew Jackson and relegation of the famed abolitionist and freed slave to the $2 bill is a distasteful and underhanded signal to his base. Convince me I’m wrong.

Anyway, in retrospect, this naivete by Mnuchin’s predecessor is laughable:

WHEN THEN-TREASURY Secretary Jack Lew decided in 2016 to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, he knew it would be up to the next administration to implement the change. But it seemed highly unlikely that anyone would upend a plan to honor this great American hero with a currency redesign that would also include depictions of historic events such as the suffragist march on Washington. “I don’t think somebody’s going to probably want to do that — to take the image of Harriet Tubman off of our money? To take the image of the suffragists off?” Mr. Lew said incredulously.

I’ll leave you with a photograph of this powerful mural depicting Harriet Tubman. It was painted by artist Michael Rosato on the wall of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Education Center in the city of Cambridge. It was completed just this week.

Untitled

And this is for Beldar:

Untitled

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

184 Responses to “Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill Won’t Happen Until Trump Is Out Of Office”

  1. I honestly just don’t get it.

    Dana (779465)

  2. Andrew Jackson “freed” more people that Harriet S. Tubman did. He removed the wealth requirement for voting. Without that, American democracy as we know it today would not exist.

    It is all political correctness and pandering. It is not a slight to Harriet Tubman not to want to slight Andrew Jackson.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Harriet S. Tubman

    nk (dbc370)

  4. I think it’s insulting to say that it’s all p.c. pandering. Not everyone wants to see Tubman on the bill for p.c. reasons alone, nor does it have to be an act of pandering. What’s the problem with having her on the bill? Why can’t her heroism be enough of a reason, in and of itself? While of course there there is an element of p.c. pandering by the usual suspects, I think it’s wrong to ascribe that motive to everyone who supports the move. I also think that Trump has repeatedly shot himself in the foot when speaking/reacting to situations involving minorities and that the this was an opportunity to help rehabilitate the perception that he is a racist. Politics is perception, and the optics have not been good for him. This would have been a smart political move. It might be small potatoes in the bigger picture, but even small potatoes matter. He just gave the Democrats more ammunition to use against him on the campaign trail.

    Dana (779465)

  5. Anyone consider that the problem Trump really has is taking Jackson off the $20? To the extent Trump identifies with any US President, it is Jackson.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  6. Obviously our egotistical, narcissistic leader believes he should save a piece of our currency for his own portrait. Like it’s ever going to happen !

    The Conservative Curmudgeon (c118b3)

  7. My favored solution is for the Treasury to sell you blank bills with a programmable imbedded wire that you could charge up with any amount you choose like a gift debit card and imprint with an image of your choice. I would have a wallet full of $23 Michael Jordans. They could continue the dead Presidents for people who don’t want to pay the charge. It would be fun and raise a little money for the treasury.

    Slugger (219927)

  8. First it’ll be Jackson, then Washington, etc…

    Do you really think it stops here?

    What denomination does Cesar Chavez get?

    Munroe (fe26e8)

  9. Harriet Tubman is nowhere near, not within a mile, as significant to American history as Andrew Jackson is.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. I agree, Appalled. Trump’s base sees Trump and Jackson as strong leaders. They are different than the typical Presidents, and some people like them because of those differences and even their flaws.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. different than the typical Presidents

    Heh! I was just thinking that this all stems from Obama not looking “like the other Presidents on the dollar bill”.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. 4.Dana (779465) — 5/24/2019 @ 7:19 am

    I think it’s insulting to say that it’s all p.c. pandering. Not everyone wants to see Tubman on the bill for p.c. reasons alone,

    Harriet Tubman has been taught in the public schools and in books, for many many years now, but it creates a false picture.

    The only reason for anyone to pay any attention to Harriet Tubman is for Pc reasons. They built her up in the last 30 or 50 years.

    Now Andrew Jackson was a bad, and rather stupid, person (he created a depression in 1837, right as he=he went out of office) but he used to be a hero to the Democratic Party, so he’s on the $20 bill.

    nor does it have to be an act of pandering. What’s the problem with having her on the bill? Why can’t her heroism be enough of a reason, in and of itself?

    Is she even the most important person connected with the Underground Rairoad?

    Here, this Wikipedia article doesn’t even mention her: (it does mention a William Still and it does show her picture and gie a brief explanation in a sidebar, probably because so many people kow about her now. But she’s not in the body of the article.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

    At the end of the article, there’s a list of 36 notable people connected with the Underground Railroad or the anti-slavery movement.

    Harriet Tubman is not among them

    He just gave the Democrats more ammunition to use against him on the campaign trail.

    It might be so among people who don’t think there’s anything wrong with elevating Harriet Tubman, but then he didn’t outright cancel it.

    He helps himself in that that new bill is not seen, so his supporters are not distubed.

    This isn’t even being treated a special attempt to honor a person who isn’t so well knwon or wasn’t previously honored. It would work better if putting her in U.S. currency this was seen as deliberate promotion and not something naturally expected (although there are other candidates for that too)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  13. 7. Slugger (219927) — 5/24/2019 @ 8:17 am

    My favored solution is for the Treasury to sell you blank bills with a programmable imbedded wire that you could charge up with any amount you choose like a gift debit card and imprint with an image of your choice. I would have a wallet full of $23 Michael Jordans. They could continue the dead Presidents for people who don’t want to pay the charge. It would be fun and raise a little money for the treasury.

    It’s not abad idea but this would ahve to be something separate from currency maybe.

    ATM machines need to be abel to recognize the bils. But you could make something other than the portrait standard.

    Another problem is suitability. So Congress would have to allow only a limited number of choices, and you’d probably also want all of them to be dead. So not Michael Jordan but maybe Wilt Chamberlain.

    Altogether there could be 600 or even 6,000 images allowed. Too many and nobody would be able to afford to collect them.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  14. Harriet Tubman is not among them

    this is incorrect, she is on the list.

    kaf (0363f1)

  15. More a reader than a writer, and not to rain into your posts..but I am not sure why people have 2020 as a design goal in mind..

    Mnuchin said: “The primary reason we’ve looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,..”

    but given the logistical challenges and the difference announced (greater security in the bill), I’d say while not a priority for Trump, he is not doing anything against it.
    Looking at the EURO, the decision for the EURO was done under high political pressure in 1992, and similarly, nobody really knew how that set of new notes should look like. In the US-case, here is a great opportunity to start implementing newer safety features! Which, if one goes that way would sure make a lot of waves in many areas. And allowing this note to be the first carrying new safety features, maybe standing out a lot in terms of design as well is sure not a way to denigrate the new note.
    In 1998 there was a first prototype print series, i.e. it took the EU just alone 6 years for this step – urgently needed, where the US has a 20$ bill and no hurry..
    And on the 1. Januar 2002, the public started receiving EURO notes.. i.e.

    10 years for a new set, but with already extensively used safety features, urgently needed.. versus
    12 years, a non-urgent redesign, that wants to introduce (using an opportunity, surely then as well prepping for that in other notes) new safety features together with a redesigned note.

    Trump’s inaction on one topic does not conclude that there is malice..

    Martin (b90dc8)

  16. “Trump’s inaction on one topic does not conclude that there is malice..”
    Martin (b90dc8) — 5/24/2019 @ 9:07 am

    Don’t even try to suggest there might be good people on both sides of this issue.

    Munroe (cd8bd5)

  17. Andrew Jackson “freed” more people that Harriet S. Tubman did. He removed the wealth requirement for voting.

    I agree. He also liberated thousands of Indians from their lands.

    Rip Murdock (db4a44)

  18. I agree with The Dana Who’s Dana.

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. 16 “Trump’s inaction on one topic does not conclude that there is malice..”
    Martin (b90dc8) — 5/24/2019 @ 9:07 am

    Don’t even try to suggest there might be good people on both sides of this issue.

    Munroe (cd8bd5) — 5/24/2019 @ 9:22 am

    Wait… you mean people actively engages the practice of taking the worst of the worst of someone’s words?

    My shocked face —–> (*_*)

    whembly (fd57f6)

  20. He removed the wealth requirement for voting. Without that, American democracy as we know it today would not exist.

    All that Howard Zinn would have us remember is the “Trail of Tears” and that he was a slave-owner, but Jackson was transformative. He completely smashed the political system of his day, leading the 1824 election in both popular and electoral votes, only to have it taken from him in the House of Representatives, then coming back with a decisive victory in 1828. This sundered the one-party state that had existed since the 1816 election, and resolved itself into the Democrat Party and the anti-Jackson forces which moved to the National Republicans and then the Whigs.

    The expansion of voting to nearly all white males between the two elections gave Jackson a big advantage, and he became the first President from a state other than MA or VA.

    Besides the Indian removal policy, he attempted to remove long-standing bureaucrats but his system eventually devolved into the “spoils system.” OTOH, he didn’t have bureaucrats undercutting him.

    He also paid off the national debt, the only time it has ever been done.

    Jackson also stared down a Southern attempt to “nullify” federal law, over a high tariff, but the attempt had more to do with Southern concerns over federal slavery laws. Jackson correctly viewed it as an organizing attempt aimed at “southern confederacy”, which he strongly opposed.

    Trump obviously sees himself as a second Jackson, tearing the Establishment a new orifice, and sees replacing Jackson with a negro Harriet Tubman to be demeaning. I have no doubt he despises Jefferson as the epitome of the Elite, so for that and, um, other reasons he’s OK with putting Tubman on the Two.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  21. “Harriet Tubman is nowhere near, not within a mile, as significant to American history as Andrew Jackson is.”

    – nk

    Andrew Jackson personifies the soul of America much more accurately, as well.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  22. I suspect changing the honoree on the $10 or the $50 would be less fraught. Hamilton founded the Federalists, but they’ve been disbanded for 200 years. Grant was a great general, oversaw Southern Reconstruction, the great railroad boom, and the beginning of the USA as a continental power. But he’s been derided for a century or more for the corruptness of his administration, if much of that came from Confederate sympathizers.

    If not Tubman, then Fredrick Douglass or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or both. They’d both LOOK better on a bill than old miss grumpy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. Andrew Jackson personifies the soul of America much more accurately, as well.

    One side of it anyway. Woodrow Wilson might typify the other, high-minded idealistic side. Obama chose to get rid of Jackson for very Obama-esque reasons.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  24. It was news in April 2018 that the Treasury Department’s Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee had determined that a new $10 bill was the highest priority, followed by the $50 bill, and then the $20 bill.

    So this controversy old news resurrected due to questions asked of Mnuchin in the House Financial Services Committee hearing by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, who of course knew the answer before she asked the question.

    The movement to put Harriet Tubman on the 20 was a grassroots push to honor the centenary of women’s suffrage, with essentially no input from the treasury until the previous administration decided it was a good idea and announced it. They initially wanted to replace Hamilton on the $10 first to keep to the priority order, but of course by then the musical Hamilton had become popular and it would not have been P.C. to pull his face off the currency.

    It may be that Trump’s love of Jackson had some influence on the decisions of the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, or Trump’s purported antipathy towards honoring Tubman. But to assert that this wasn’t driven by counterfeiting needs and by not wanting to upset Hamilton fans is disingenuous.

    DOuglas2/Unknown (4be40b)

  25. “One side of it anyway. Woodrow Wilson might typify the other, high-minded idealistic side. Obama chose to get rid of Jackson for very Obama-esque reasons.”

    – Kevin M

    I was talking about the geno-side.

    One more example of Trump inadvertently helping America be honest with itself.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  26. Wilson who introduced jim crow into DC, who gave brackenridge long his start in politics

    Narciso (29c306)

  27. I was talking about the geno-side.

    Of course you were. Focused as you are.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  28. Wilson who introduced jim crow into DC, who gave brackenridge long his start in politics

    Nobody’s perfect. He also attempted to achieve world peace and is probably the most idealistic president on foreign policy since Jefferson.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  29. Wilson’s racism was part and parcel of the elitism of that era. Jackson’s racism was part and parcel of the populism of his era. The more things change …

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  30. What geno-side? He redistributed millions of acres of land controlled by a few feudal chiefs to individuals, both white and Indian, in 160 acre parcels that they could farm or otherwise develop, thereby providing them with a guaranteed minimum income; and further introduced socialism to those Indians who wanted an alternative to the foregoing individually-owned 160 acres, by giving them commonly-owned collectives in Oklahoma. And in both instances, let them keep their black slaves.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. One other problem with Jackson was his warmongering. Among other things, he basically kicked the Spanish out of Florida on his own authority, and ignoring what everyone in Washington thought.
    He is, I believe, the only POTUS to have personally killed someone outside of a military encounter. His ego certainly matched if not exceeded Trump’s. He managed to marry another man’s wife (unintentionally–they thought the divorce had already been finalized). He had all the virtues, but also all the flaws, of the stereotypical alpha male, which is why Trump admires him.
    But he’s not necessarily the sort of role model you would want your kids to emulate. (Nor, for different reasons, was Hamilton.)

    kishnevi (496414)

  32. Nor, for different reasons, was Hamilton.

    Hamilton is second only to Washington in the pantheon of founders, as far as I’m concerned.

    Jefferson was a Jacobin-hugging hack (and founder of today’s Democratic Party).

    Dave (36d848)

  33. Hamilton is second only to Washington in the pantheon of founders, as far as I’m concerned.

    I take it you’re not real big on libertarians then.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  34. I note that the mural has whatever might be in her other hand conveniently out of view.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  35. 29. Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/24/2019 @ 11:01 am

    29.Wilson’s racism was part and parcel of the elitism of that era.

    Of the elites in the Deep South.

    While almanacs will tell you that Woodrow wilson wass born in Virginia, his father moved to Georgia wjem he was very young and he was present in Georgia during the Civil War. That’s where he grew up.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  36. Kevin,

    One of my college-era apartment roommates was a libertarian who like Alexander Hamilton way before it was “cool”…and he was somewhat unapologetically white.

    and to your 34, what do you expect? its Maryland.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  37. Thanks for posting this, Dana. It’s a good post, and it’s right, another harangue that just makes sense.

    With genuine respect to my friend nk, the question is not whether Ms. Tubman was “as significant as Jackson” to American history. Dwight Eisenhower very arguably saved the world; if that’s the standard, why isn’t his face on a bill?

    No, almost every way in which Jackson was significant was a noxious, repulsive way. His face should be removed — regardless. Like Charles Lindbergh, Jackson was once considered a a great American hero, albeit mostly by Democrats who thought slaughtering Native Americans and breaking solemn treaties with them was a good thing. But Lindbergh was as close as he could have been to an outright Nazi without wearing the damned armband; we’d neither permit his face on our currency in this era nor suffer it to remain if it were already there.

    I also dispute that this is “political correctness.” I’d say, instead, “political symbolism” — which inheres in putting anyone’s face on any bill. Ditto for that matter with putting people’s faces on postage stamps, or naming aircraft carriers after them.

    The issue, then, is whether we want the symbolism of having someone’s face on the $20 bill who was a genocidal jerk (charitably put, but undoubtedly the worst one in American history), or someone who is widely and justly perceived, in and out of the black community, as a hero of the struggle for freedom undertaken by the Party of Lincoln during the Civil War. That she’s female, and that we’ve had no female faces at all on any denomination of American currency, ever, is also appropriate to consider in deciding what symbolism we want as a nation to now promote.

    Politically this was a no-brainer — meaning that even our brainless, utterly narcissistic POTUS should still have been able to get it right. The Obama Administration handed him a pile of straw with this decision, which the spinning wheel of American politics could easily have spun into political gold that would help every member of the GOP in 2020. And it would help not just among black voters and women voters (where Trump and the GOP more generally undoubtedly need help), but among everyone who recognizes (as even Jefferson did) that slavery — its enshrinement in the Constitution — was America’s Original Sin. “I tremble for my country when I know that God is just.” I humbly submit that that’s about 100 times as wise as anything Andrew Jackson ever did, said, or wrote, and certainly prescient.

    All Trump needed to do, literally, was point one of his short little fingers at this mockup, and say, “Mr. Treasury Secretary, use this one: a strong, vocal, active black Republican woman — an active practitioner of the Second Amendment! — pictured while literally fighting behind the lines in the struggle against slavery.” Trump could have announced it on June 4, 2019 — the hundredth anniversary of the ratification by Congress of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

    The graphic rendition of Ms. Tubman in this particular mock-up is based on the cover art from this 2007 edition of a popular student-level biography of Ms. Tubman, Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by the late Ann Petry, an African American. Her book was named a New York Times Outstanding Book and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. In other words: The artwork comes from as close to a bullet-proof source as any Republican could ever hope for. Not even Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) could voice a legitimate complaint: What’s she going to say, “Ms. Petry visited me in a dream last night to object!”

    Indeed, this image reminds me of the promotion of female characters for the Marvel Comic Universe — it’s gripping, it almost literally reaches out to the viewer. Historically the faces on American currency have looked grim, passive, and constipated. This artwork, though, sings to me: “Follow me if you want to live!” I’d love to have a wallet-full of these bills; I’d grin every time I looked at one. Tens of millions of Americans would have that same reaction.

    And the fact that Ms. Tubbs is brandishing a pistol — while beckoning to someone in the imagined foreground, presumably to one of her charges on the Underground Railroad, and but metaphorically now to everyone everywhere, not just in America! — would, as Kevin M observed yesterday, make the heads of every gun control nut in the United States simultaneously explode. Mnuchin might warn him, “Mr. President, I like this design too, and our friends at the NRA and other pro-Right to Keep and Bear Arms organizations will love this, but most Democrats will have a cow.”

    “Let them have their cow, the rest of us will eat it, ground up into Big Macs,” Trump could have replied in their Rose Garden press conference. (TV personalities always script their jokes in advance, ya know.)

    Instead Trump took the pile of straw, and sh@t upon it. The coward sent out Mnuchin to hand the Democratic Party, on behalf of Donald Trump, another piece of evidence, similar to the “good people on both sides” comment from Charlottesville, that is utterly consistent with the Democrats’ meme that Trump’s a stone-cold racist, which Democrats running for every state and federal office in the country can use to browbeat their Republican opponents. Mnuchin’s laughable excuses probably were dictated to him by Trump, I’m guessing: They’re “dog ate my homework” lame, insulting to anyone who isn’t brainless. Of course the new bills would have to incorporate the latest anti-counterfitting techniques, but that’s true for every change; if he’d started the work at the beginning of his administration in 2017, it surely would be done by now. And he nevertheless could demonstrate the mock-up now, even if it would be two or three years before the notes went into circulation.

    Dana, thank you for including in your post the lovely Maryland mural. I think the artwork from the Petry book was also its inspiration, but if so, its artist chose to omit the gun, thereby rendering it less, rather than more, historically accurate. Can I therefore implore you to also include in the main post, as an additional graphic, the design our host (and others on the internet, including folks at National Review and even Talking Points Memo (!), had also posted in 2016? I’ve used more than my thousand words here, and I still haven’t adequately described that picture.

    And Patterico is surely due a pat on the back (so to speak) from us all for his April 20, 2016, post on this mock-up.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  38. 4 years from now after Joe “Hands” Biden passes away in office, Stacey “M1A1″ Abrams will ascend to the office of President of the United States. Make the $20 bill a little longer and put her on it. Maybe a nice engraving of her racing across the Iraqi desert during Desert Storm.

    I’m not against putting Tubman on the bill except for the tradition that has us using political leaders attached to the government on our bills. “Render unto Caesar..” at tax time

    steveg (354706)

  39. 14. Harriet Tubman is not among them

    this is incorrect, she is on the list.

    kaf (0363f1) — 5/24/2019 @ 9:04 am

    Right. It’s in alphabetical order, and I think I must have looked at “Troy” and “Truth” and somehow thought that was past “Tubman” I lookd at this list very fast.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  40. Trump could have announced it on June 4, 2019 — the hundredth anniversary of the ratification by Congress of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. June 4, 1919 was when it was sent to the states by the 66th Congress. It was ratified August 18, 1920.

    I don’t think Democrats would like that drawing of her, all alone, waving a gun around without any context.

    They’d say That encourages violence. That encourages murder. It’s dangerous. Children and teenagers shouldn’t see it. It would be like a portrait of someone on U.S. currency smoking a cigar or a cigarette.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  41. Seriously though, I think the key to getting Tubman on the bill was for Trump to think it was his idea.
    Since it was an idea that came to Trump through the office of Jack Lew…. a nobody as far as Trump is concerned, it never had a chance.
    Kanye and Kim should take it to the WH and pitch to Trump in a way that makes Trump think “yeah, that was my idea… its bigger, bolder, better, making America greater and making me looking like the genius I am”
    Then Trump can bounce Salmon P Chase off the $10,000 and put himself on it

    steveg (354706)

  42. Sammy, the wikipedia page on Tubman contains a link to this memorial *from 1914*:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Harriet_Tubman_plaque_Auburn%2C_NY.jpg

    Her reputation isn’t new, or something which has been invented out of whole cloth in recent decades.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  43. I have a hard time understanding this. So, anyone who doesn’t want Harriet Taubman on the $20 bill is a racist? Well alrighty then!

    First, we put Presidents on our bills – or important founding fathers. We don’t Affirmative action dollar bills – or shouldn’t. And what pray tell did Taubman do that makes her more important than President Andrew Jackson, who won the battle of New Orleans, got us Florida, and stared down the SC secessionists? If you want to put a black on the $20, use MLK – we got a holiday named after him. If you want a woman, go with Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Here’s what Trump should do. Put Claire Booth Luce on the $20. And anyone who objects hates Catholics and Women. Right?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  44. And sorry, unlike the Liberal Left and the cowardly right, I actually care about American History & I’m not interested in supporting crazy revisions of the currency so I can proclaim how “Woke” I am or how i’m not a racist – unlike all those “racist” lower-class whites who STILL think Andrew Jackson is OK. Heavens, those peasants haven’t gotten the message.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  45. I’m not sure that Jackson himself would mind being taken off the $20 bill.
    When he replaced Grover Cleveland on it, $20.00 represented one ounce of gold.
    Today, one ounce of gold is $1,280.00.
    That’s like Jackson now being worth 1/64th of what he was then.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. Reasonable people understand that it is possible to want Tubman on the bill for non-PC reasons as much as it is possible to want Tubman on the bill for PC reasons. Because someone supports her being on the bill doesn’t mean they are revisionists, PC, liberal, or the usual suspects. Because someone doesn’t want her on the bill doesn’t mean they are racists or consider women second-class citizens. However, when we are discussing a very public figure like Trump, and consider his historical past with regard to issues, we can make a better informed opinion of him concerning the $20 bill.

    Dana (779465)

  47. First, we put Presidents on our bills – or important founding fathers.

    Sez who? Is there a statute which says that? Something in the Constitution? Or is this another instance of “rcocean decrees ….”?

    I’d say we put American heroes on our currency, which include, but isn’t limited to, founding fathers and some former presidents. Obviously Jimmy Carter is going to have a long wait; so’s Andrew Johnson. You’d rather see one of them on the $20? You suggest Eleanor Roosevelt, a political hero of the Democratic Party. I don’t believe you want to see her on the $20 either, rcocean.

    “Taubman”? Well, let that go.

    Your straw man argument (“anyone who hates”) is risible.

    What’s your substantive argument, if you have one?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  48. That’s like Jackson now being worth 1/64th of what he was then.

    Sounds about right to me, nk. 😉

    Beldar (fa637a)

  49. he was the president of the common man, vs. the northeastern brahmins, he was for free trade, some irony,

    narciso (d1f714)

  50. Dana, I retract my accusation that it is “It is all political correctness and pandering”.

    Having seen that Jackson replaced Grover Cleveland in 1928
    Grover!
    Cleveland!
    1928!
    I amend my comment to: It’s the l’air du temps [and I don’t mean Nina Ricci], and I’m taking my dog and going home.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Jefferson was a Jacobin-hugging hack (and founder of today’s Democratic Party).

    Very difficult to blame a man who died nearly 200 years ago for the out-of-control party of today.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  52. Tubman my a$$. Obviously Jackson should be replaced with Obama. Duh…

    lee (f8d029)

  53. …so’s Andrew Johnson.

    You mean Lyndon Banes. And yah, he is going to be well down the list.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  54. Also tear down all the statues. Every old white guy must be purged from America. I mean, how offensive can ya get!

    lee (f8d029)

  55. Need to change the names of schools while painting over murals too.

    Also street names.

    And about those airports…

    lee (f8d029)

  56. What tradition goes next?
    Naming Tanks, fighting vehicles after the LBTGQ community?
    The Manning non-Fighting Vehicle has a ring to it.

    Ah to heck with it, if it doesn’t cost us any money, put Tubman on it.
    But watch what happens next. Someone earlier asked what about Cesar Chavez in jest, but that may some day be floated out there

    steveg (354706)

  57. Wouldn’t it make more sense historically to put her on a newly created 3/5 $ bill?

    Munroe (f20152)

  58. Well Steve, for sure CVN-73 should be renamed Kunta Kinte.

    lee (f8d029)

  59. You guys don’t know Trumps decision is because he’s racist. Maybe he’s just platforming Tubman because of her anti-trans views.

    lee (f8d029)

  60. That would make him a modern hero, am I right?

    lee (f8d029)

  61. Oh, that should have been DE-platforming…

    lee (f8d029)

  62. Hey, CC actually was against illegal immigration and organized groups of UFW(?) to pounce on “wets” down on the border.

    urbanleftbehind (a9ef3a)

  63. Hm, I should didn’t address my comment at 46 to specifically to rcocean, as intended. He said:

    I have a hard time understanding this. So, anyone who doesn’t want Harriet Taubman on the $20 bill is a racist? Well alrighty then!So, anyone who doesn’t want Harriet Taubman on the $20 bill is a racist?

    To which I replied:

    Reasonable people understand that it is possible to want Tubman on the bill for non-PC reasons as much as it is possible to want Tubman on the bill for PC reasons. Because someone supports her being on the bill doesn’t mean they are revisionists, PC, liberal, or the usual suspects. Because someone doesn’t want her on the bill doesn’t mean they are racists or consider women second-class citizens. However, when we are discussing a very public figure like Trump, and consider his historical past with regard to issues, we can make a better informed opinion of him concerning the $20 bill.

    The operative word here being reasonable.

    Dana (779465)

  64. #37 outstanding comment Beldar

    Creepy Dude (6d4d74)

  65. @37. Dwight Eisenhower very arguably saved the world; if that’s the standard, why isn’t his face on a bill?

    Because it was on a U.S. coin in general circulation from 1971 to ’78: the ‘Eisenhower Dollar’ – popular in the slot world of Vegas back in the day but a little too bulky for the public to pocket given the ‘peace dollar’ size of it. Collectors are into them now, particularly the silver proof series.

    And although Lindbergh does not appear on ‘legal tender’ currency, his likeness has been ‘stamped’ out by the U.S. Mint in a 1928 medal- restrikes still available for purchase today from the mint; and he was ‘honored’ w/a U.S. Air Mail stamp[s] by the United States Post Office, issued in 1927 featuring his name and an engraved likeness of the Spirit Of St. Louis. And again in 1977 by the USPS on the 50th anniversary of his solo trans-Atlantic flight.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. Apparently, some people are stamping Tubman on their $20 bills:

    Minutes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that he was delaying the new Harriet Tubman $20 bill until 2028, a New York designer tweeted: “We’ll see about that.”

    Dano Wall, 33, has created a 3-D stamp that can be used to superimpose a portrait of Tubman over Andrew Jackson’s on $20 bills. Wall said he has sold out of the stamps and is hurrying to produce more.

    “My goal is to get 5,000 stamps out there,” said Wall. “If there are 5,000 people consistently stamping currency, we could get a significant percent of circulating $20 bills [with the Tubman] stamp, at which point it would be impossible to ignore.”

    Wall began manufacturing the stamps in 2017, soon after President Trump took office, and Mnuchin refused to commit to the Obama administration’s plan to put Tubman on the $20 bill.

    Dana (779465)

  67. Currency is a fickle thing. Perception an ‘feel’ has lot to do with it. The Lincoln one cent piece is totally obsolete and not very cost-effective to mint today yet people still like to keep it in circulation. Same w/t Washington dollar bill– they don’t last long in circulation either while a dollar coin does and is much more cost effective but the perception and ‘feel’ of ‘folding’ money beats out the economic rationale for a coin of equal value every time. Yet the $2 bill was never all that popular- Jefferson’s on that. But his nickel survives. FDR’s honored on the dime– polio ‘March of Dimes’ thing… Still, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin failed; even after down-sizing from the Ike dollar, though it was often confused w/a quarter; the change to a more brassy metal didn’t make it popular, either.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  68. @67. Postscript. If memory serves, one of the few times a ‘dollar-value’ coin in the modern era successfully replaced a piece of paper currency was the beautifully designed seven-sided 50P coins the Brits introduced in ’71 to replace their old 10 shilling notes as they went ‘Decimal’ — which at the time were roughly equivalent to a buck ($1.20US) in value at the exchange rates of the time.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. DCSCA

    Tubman already has a nice postage stamp

    steveg (354706)

  70. @ C. Dude (#64): Thanks!

    @ Ice (#58): No, Washington — first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countryman — belongs on the $1 and on CVN-73.

    With due respect to the officers and crew, past and present of CVN-74, however, John C. Stennis’ (D-MS) name should be sandblasted from the hull, stricken from the names in the Naval Vessel Registry, and replaced with someone, damn near anyone. other than one of the multi-decade ringleaders of the Senate Segregation Caucus in the Senate, who, with his buddies like Dick Russell (D-GA), did more to block civil rights reform than anyone else. That he was a strong supporter of the Navy is great. But it makes me nauseated to think of that name representing the United States in ports around the world. He was a wicked, hateful man.

    @ steveg (#56): Is making up ridiculous counterfactuals your best substantive argument? No one — except, apparently Trump superfans whose last, best resort is weak sarcasm, is proposing any of that. Seems to be. Have you got another?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  71. @ Munroe (#57): You have confirmed my very worst impressions of you in this comment. Are you waiting for the South to Rise Again, sir?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  72. Beldar, I thought that joke was actually rather witty.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  73. What’s your substantive argument, if you have one?

    I’m not the one who wants Taubman on the $20 Bill. I’m fine with the status quo. What is the substantive argument for changing it, other than Trump doesn’t want to?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  74. Isn’t stamping a bill a crime?
    Plus no business would be obliged to take it

    steveg (354706)

  75. I for one, would love to see Ike on the $50 bill. Grant’s had his time in the spotlight. Lets’ give Ike the $50. He wasn’t a better General, but he was a better President.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  76. @ Kish: What’s the non-racist interpretation that you found witty, my friend? I genuinely can’t see one.

    Seems to me that it boils down to: Each black person was counted for apportionment purposes as 3/5ths of a person; therefore, now, in 2019, we should re-stigmatize all black people, yuk yuk. Is there more to it than that? Is there just something inherently funny about counting people as 3/5ths of a person? Never mind the non sequitur — we don’t issue currency in fractional amounts, talking about a 3/5ths-of-a-dollar bill. Just tell me the neutral, non-racist interpretation you had in mind when you chuckled. I’m eager to be convinced.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  77. @ rcocean (#74): Aaaaaand … it’s “Taubman” again. Are you trying to make a point with that, and if so, what?

    “I’m fine with the status quo” is not a substantive argument, it’s a statement of personal preference, or, actually indifference. Why is the status quo — promoting to all Americans, and others all over the world, a POTUS who was a genocidal, warmongering scofflaw — better than promoting a hero of the struggle against slavery.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  78. If all this isn’t about PC, then lets put Tubman on the $20, and General Lee on the $5.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  79. What is the substantive argument for changing it, other than Trump doesn’t want to?

    Tubman, a person who fought to free others at the risk of her own life

    Jackson, a person whose only good character trait was a deep and abiding love for his wife, but otherwise was a despicable human being whose main accomplishment was stealing land from the Indians and British whom he didn’t kill, and whose second main accomplishment was throwing the country into a depression.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  80. Ah to heck with it, if it doesn’t cost us any money, put Tubman on it.

    It IS going to cost $$$. They’ll have to create a whole new $20 bill with a new design, and then make new plates to print them. Bills are designed not just ascetic reasons – but to prevent counterfeiting.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  81. therefore, now, in 2019, we should re-stigmatize all black people, yuk yuk

    I didn’t find it racist because I don’t see that implication you see. Munroe did after say it would make sense “historically”.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  82. Jackson, a person whose only good character trait was a deep and abiding love for his wife, but otherwise was a despicable human being whose main accomplishment was stealing land from the Indians and British whom he didn’t kill, and whose second main accomplishment was throwing the country into a depression.

    Are you an American? Living in America? If so, why are you living on land “stolen from the Indians”? That silliness aside, Andrew Jackson, had another great love – his country. That’s why he’s on the $20 Bill. Plus, he threatened to shoot anyone who kept him off it.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  83. 81
    As I understand it, they would be redesigning the bills for anti-counterfeiting purposes anyway, so replacing the face would be onlyna marginal increase in cost.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  84. If so, why are you living on land “stolen from the Indians”?

    In cold hard fact, the treatment of Native Americans has a much better claim to be our country’s original sin than slavery.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  85. @70. Well, the way of the world w/currency is it’ll either catch on or people will refuse them or ask or two tens instead– or more likely, simply tear them which will force banks to remove them from circulation– which – as my late grandfather banker told me- was one of the ways the public helped pull still working paper U.S. currency in the 1950’s which did not have ‘In God We Trust’ on them- before they made it to the banks for removal.

    @75. Technically, if memory serves, there are some legalities about defacing U.S. currency–but hey, how many dollar bills have been signed by people as keepsakes or spent w/Suzie Q’s phone number on them. Thing is, if you have some old currency– like the ‘big bills’ from the ’20’s or 3/4 of a bill w/t serial numbers, if memory serves, the Treasury will give you a new bill of equal value.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. a POTUS who was a genocidal, warmongering scofflaw — better than promoting a hero of the struggle against slavery.

    My, you sure don’t like Andy Jackson. Andrew Jackson committed “Genocide”, you mean like Hitler? Prove that one.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  87. In cold hard fact, the treatment of Native Americans has a much better claim to be our country’s original sin than slavery.

    You avoided the question. You said the land was stolen. So why are you living on stolen land? Have yo made amends -personally – to the neighboring tribe?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  88. Anyway, that’s enough US History for the night. Adios.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  89. 87
    You have heard of the Trail of Tears, or more formally Indian Removal?
    That was at the very least a concerted series of ethnic cleansings which AJ started.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  90. I don’t understand what that means, Kish — “makes sense historically” — in this context. Yes, there was a time when the Constitution treated slaves as 3/5ths of a person; that’s a historical fact. But other than as a demonstration of just how pernicious that practice was, what about that historical fact “makes sense”? What does it have to do with putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill now? I have a hard time laughing at jokes which celebrate evil. Nevertheless, thanks for the civil response, as always.

    Re America’s Original Sin: Suppression, even deliberate extermination, of indigenous peoples was by no means unique to America. That’s not a defense at all; and no American practiced it more consequentially or enthusiastically than Jackson, I think we’d agree. But enshrining into the founding legal document of the new nation the concept that some people were forever to be treated as nonpersons offends me far more. Both peg my “awfulness” meter, though, so I don’t want to try to build an empirical or moral case here regarding which was worth.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  91. Politicizing paper can go to the extreme; keep in mind the Koch Bros., manufacturer toilet tissue. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  92. @ rcocean (#87): Yes, like Hitler. He used blankets deliberately innoculated with smallpox rather than Zyklon-B, but that’s just a reflection of the differences in technology. Yes, I dislike him. I even dislike people who celebrate him, rcocean.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  93. In cold hard fact, the treatment of Native Americans has a much better claim to be our country’s original sin than slavery.

    I really feel no guilt for either. At the time, MY people were being starved to death by the British on land stolen from THEM.

    History has pain enough for everyone. Let it go.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  94. Yes, there was a time when the Constitution treated slaves as 3/5ths of a person

    Which, as you know, was 3/5ths too much. The slaveowners should have gotten ZERO votes for their slaves.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  95. @82: Thank you, Kishnevi.

    Good Lord Beldar, don’t wait until a Tubman $20 becomes available to invest in a sense of humor.

    I’m happy to accept your senseless epithets, but you should know Kish well enough by now to be at least halfway cognizant that your slinging is way off aim.

    Munroe (01ad30)

  96. Further to #93: Some casual googling persuades me that there is a legitimate, good-faith debate about whether Jackson approved or ordered the use of smallpox laden blankets. That smallpox wiped out a substantial portion of the Native American population, and that Jackson’s policies contributed to the endemic spread of disease, is not debatable.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  97. The Franklin half dollar was a lovely U.S. coin but was changed to honor JFK, post-assassination in ’64. The Kennedy half dollar– prticulrly the silver and proof coins- are equally well designed, and a lovely piece; they wear well in circulation, too– better than the Franklin halves did, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  98. My argument was I like a tradition that has a certain order to it. But I’m willing to change.
    My other argument would be that it is a slippery slope.
    But you are smart enough to already know where I was going.

    I’ll google Law School and ridiculous counter factuals and try to get back to you

    steveg (354706)

  99. Sorry to have insulted your intelligence. But it didn’t seem to have been that difficult… even unintentional as it was.

    steveg (354706)

  100. Tell us some of your other favorite jokes about slavery, Munroe.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. The Kennedy half dollar– prticulrly the silver and proof coins- are equally well designed, and a lovely piece; they wear well in circulation, too– better than the Franklin halves did, too.

    And if I remember my research correctly, equal or near equal in weight and purity to the silver denarii that Judas got thirty of.

    nk (dbc370)

  102. So, steve g, do you think it’s pretty much a direct path down the slippery slope from Harriet Tubman to Beyoncé?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  103. @102, Well, equal to Franklin’s– for a year: silver only in ’64 for the general circ., halves; From ’65 on everything ‘silver’ went the clad, save for the proof sets.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  104. @70. So does Nixon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  105. What makes a slope slippery is the inability to make, and stick to, principled distinctions between the starting positions and any of the positions further down the slope.

    I assert confidently that distinctions can be made with respect to this proposed change and other, hypothetical ones.

    UCLA Prof. Eugene Volokh and David Newman, in the conclusion to their famous, much cited, and perceptive essay on slippery slope arguments:

    So slippery slopes are a real risk, and wise decision makers should worry about them. But arguments such as “Oppose this law, because it starts us down the slippery slope” have earned a deservedly bad reputation, because they’re too abstract to be helpful. One can always shout “Slippery Slope!,” but without more details this is hardly an argument at all.

    What is valuable is the ability to identify ways in which slippage might happen and to tell listeners a plausible story about how this first step might lead to specific other ones. Cataloging and analyzing the mechanisms of the slippery slope — mechanisms such as the cost-lowering slope, the attitude-altering slope, and others — can help us further develop this ability.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  106. Beldar, I have a sort of related question, and I honestly don’t have a good answer. You and nk and a few others might be able to lend me some insight.

    It’s more and more popular for people in academia, during presentations (or even on their social media profiles) announce that they are living on “Occupied Land” and generally name some Native tribe.

    This creates a kneejerk reaction in me at what sounds like (to me) virtue signaling. Because Native tribes were *not* all peaceful. There has been a long history of warfare among the various tribes prior to the European arrival.

    So I *think* the best explanation is that the academics are only doing this for Native tribes at the time of broken treaties with colonists, or being moved due to governmental decrees.

    Otherwise, it is this weird oikophobia whereby anything European/American must needs be terrible and suspect, while non-European/American ideas are never judged or criticized. Heck, I get told all the time that slavery is a uniquely European invention, and when confronted with evidence to the contrary, I hear it was due to “cultural contamination” by Europeans.

    Sigh. Rousseau and that awful “Noble Savage” nonsense is with us daily. Hobbes is more fundamental.

    Curious about your thoughts. Because of all the centuries of warfare among Natives and fallen civilizations long before European contact, I sort of feel that someone needs to speak up for the extinct Mammoth and other large animals that did not survive the arrival of the Natives over the landbridge.

    Apologies if I am not as clear as I might be. I’m tired.

    Simon Jester (b079bd)

  107. By the way, if you think I was defending Trump, maybe you should read my comment where I thought Kanye and Kim should pitch Tubman on the $20 to him by framing it as his own idea.

    steveg (354706)

  108. Simon, IANAHistorian, but I think there is some truth to the idea that the European model of slavery did not exist in the Americas. War captives, especially women, were enslaved (when they were not killed) but they often integrated into the community, and usually any children they had (especially if the father was a member of the community by birth) would usually become full members of the community. The idea that if the parent was a slave, so was the child was usually absent.

    But that was truer in North America than it was in Central and South America, where something like serfdom, if not actual slavery, was more widespread. But even there the slaves were often owned by the monarch, the great nobles, or a temple, and not on a small scale basis by individuals. And with some of the great Amerindian polities, it was more a question of who was not a slave. The Inca Empire was a totalitarian entity, after all, which practiced population transfers that Nebuchadnezzar and Stalin would approve.

    Kishnevi (803f72)

  109. Put Trump on Bitcoin.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  110. One of my favorite clients in the past is a lawyer. Gerry Spence. Very respectful towards people who others might think were lower than him. We were able to understand and connect some obvious differences in communication style, education backgrounds, life experiences etc.
    My guys really liked him. The first thing he did was make sure I treated them well and paid them well. The responses they gave made him really like me. He was fair and gracious.
    I wonder how he did that….? Was he born that way or did he learn it in law school?

    steveg (354706)

  111. @ Simon Jester: I think your #108 is perfectly clear. I encourage others, including nk, to offer their own responses.

    I’m a Rule of Law guy, and come at things with a Rule of Law attitude — not a Code Napoléon Rule of Law, either, but the common-law Rule of Law as developed since Runnymede in Britain and transported to the U.S.

    Under the common-law Rule of Law, depending on the type of claim, courts have been reluctant in general to find that claims for wrongs done in the past can survive for decades and decades, somehow passing to heirs and assigns. In general claims “sounding in” contract have been more likely to be treated as having survived, even if not mentioned specifically in the wills or other testamentary documents of those who originally sustained the damage that the legal claim is intended to redress. Claims for torts, by contrast — of which trespass is one — were generally treated as expiring with their original owner. The grandson who discovers, in his late grandfather’s possessions, a bailee’s claim ticket (e.g., from a storage company) for a locked chest containing gold nuggets had a better chance of enforcing his grandfather’s contractual right to redeem that chest than the grandson would have in suing the fellow who negligently knocked his grandfather into a ditch, breaking his hip and leading to his death. Add to that a patchwork of statutes going back centuries by which the legislature has exercised its right to intervene in the development of the common law — statutes of limitations, statutes of fraud, and especially relevant in this context, statutes of repose — and one can fairly describe Anglo-Saxon law as not intrinsically welcoming to the notion that claims can just float out there, indefinitely and inchoately for decades and generations. The evidence is too stale; the injuries too remote; the witnesses with personal knowledge, all long dead.

    Americans of western European descent are indeed, in many cases, living on “stolen lands,” but they were stolen so long ago that American courts aren’t likely to provide any remedy to the descendants of those from whom those lands were stolen. The most successful such claims have been based not on a breach of the common law, but on the express breach of contractual undertakings, e.g., by treaty. (This also presumes, for purposes of argument, that Native American claims of “ownership” were of equal dignity to the western European immigrants who took them. That’s genuinely debatable; Native American tribes weren’t exactly operating under the Rule of Law; but leave that aside for now.)

    Legislatures are free to ignore all that, and create limited, or even general, exceptions to the common-law rules. And people are likewise free to have their own opinions about the current justness of such very old, remote claims. But for myself — for essentially the same reasons that I’m glad we have statutes of limitations, fraud, and repose — I’m against them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  112. @ steveg: Spence, whose website modestly asserts that he is “the greatest trial lawyer in history,” is indeed unquestionably gifted and successful. I wouldn’t quibble with “among the greatest”; I had a mentor (the late Richard B. Miller) who I think was better, but then, I think he was “the greatest Texas trial lawyer of his generation.” Spence is a wonderful story-teller and compelling jury advocate; he has been generous in trying to pass his skills along. On matters of law, my impression is that he farms those out to people who paid more attention than he did in law school, but maybe he just finds them relatively boring and has chosen to focus on the fun stuff. I don’t think anyone thinks his success is due to something he learned in law school; but he had to have the law license in order have the opportunity to stand in front of, and mesmerize, all those jurors.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  113. #111
    I own Bitcoin. Bought a few in the high hundreds. Bought some Ethereum just to see and then sold it near its high and rolled the profits into more bitcoin on the way down. I’ve held those Bitcoins even after it hit near $20,000 and crashed. Its at $8K today and on a percentage basis is one of the best speculations I’ve ever made (although it is an unrealized gain). Trump is about as mercurial as Bitcoin and the Bitcoin logo on a gold coin looks like something Trump would cook up… if Bitcoin conquers world currency, yes, I could see Trump wanting his face on it

    steveg (354706)

  114. Beldar

    Thanks. He does have a gift for connecting. My feeling is that he is genuine.
    Mostly because he didn’t use his connection skills to try to hose me like other attorney clients have. Some attorneys see it as sport.

    My other favorite attorney client is a retired local homicide prosecutor. He very much appreciated I brought one skill set to his world and I appreciated he brought his to mine.

    I insulted you earlier in the thread because I was pissed off. That is no excuse and I apologize

    steveg (354706)

  115. Simon Jester,

    I think the problem is America’s tendency to promulgate “American exceptionalism” with respect to America’s positive contributions while simultaneously promulgating “American normalism” with respect to America’s systemic sins and moral failures.

    I think the problem is America’s lack of capacity for or interest in critical self-examination, which is a problem that you (rightly) decry on a regular basis.

    Leviticus (f3bc5d)

  116. @ steveg: Your apology was unneeded but thank you for it.

    Another of my mentors, the late Walter E. Workman — who held my hand and kept me from plunging off several cliffs at my first big jury trial when I was a baby lawyer — had a plaque on his desk which read:

    The life so short,
    The craft so long to learn.

    I learned most of what I needed to know about the law in law school and my judicial clerkship. Since then, I’ve been working at the craft, every day of my practice. One of the things I like best about Spence and lawyers like them is how willing they are to help other lawyers. I could no more imitate Spence, or Miller, or Workman than I could grow wings and fly to the moon. But if one works at the craft, genuinely great lawyers can, by their examples of how they’ve used their own gifts, inspire and encourage refining of the craft.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  117. Spence isn’t modest in his bio, but he sure can pull it off in person. There is a modesty about him surrounding what his accomplishments meant to he and I and our business at hand. He never demanded or commanded respect from me for who he is as a lawyer. He paid on time for the amounts discussed and didn’t quarrel over extra charges that either he or his wife had asked for.
    We were able to do business on a basis of both of us being fair to the other.
    In my experience that is a rare trick for an attorney to pull off

    steveg (354706)

  118. Great story on your blog.
    Made me laugh.
    You told those stories well.
    Honored your mentor well too

    steveg (354706)

  119. The life so short,
    The craft so long to learn.

    As nk would no doubt remind us, that’s a Greek aphorism originally used by Hippocrates as the opening of a medical textbook. According to Wikipedia, the full quotation in English is:

    Life is short,
    and art long,
    opportunity fleeting,
    experimentations perilous,
    and judgment difficult.

    Dave (1bb933)

  120. Simon, I don’t think I could say anything on the subject better than Beldar did in his comment #113.

    nk (dbc370)

  121. As nk would no doubt remind us, that’s a Greek aphorism

    Heh! I first learned it as “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” from a Robert A. Heinlein book, and much, much later that it’s from Hippocrates. For the longest time, I thought it meant something along the lines of “Michaelangelo is dead but the Sistine Chapel is still there” — that art outlasts its creator.

    nk (dbc370)

  122. Very difficult to blame a man who died nearly 200 years ago for the out-of-control party of today.

    No argument there, although the stream of baseless calumnies he directed at Hamilton (and indirectly Washington) would have made Harry Reid blush.

    I take it you’re not real big on libertarians then.

    In hindsight, the Sedition Act was an overreaction and a mistake, but there were legitimate fears about Jeffersonians hobnobbing with the commie terrorist French, who were trying to extort tribute from us.

    Dave (1bb933)

  123. Beldar,

    I have really tried to find sources that support your claim that Jackson, or the US government, intentionally spread smallpox in the 1830s. There WAS an epidemic that peaked in 1837, but it is generally blamed on infected whites with contact with plains Indians and was spread by the plains Indians’ mobility. The “Jackson did it” claim seems to trace back to Ward Churchill, who has made other disproven claims.

    There WAS a concerted effort to spread smallpox through infected blankets, but that was by the British Army during the French and Indian Wars in the 1760s, and cannot be blamed on Jackson.

    In 1832, as part of the Indian Removal Act, Congress provided for vaccination of Native Americans, although the plains Indians were generally unreachable, and didn’t trust the vaccinations anyway. Many of the Indians who were removed from the Southeast did get immunization.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  124. So, Jackson has many thing to answer for, but being Hitler seems overbroad. I’d appreciate links (really) to documented sources that say otherwise.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  125. Dave,

    Many in the Libertarian Party hold Hamilton to be the guy that “betrayed the Revolution.” It’s one of those phases that keeps turning up. One of these days, they’ll do libertarianism right.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  126. *Many Some

    Fashions change.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  127. The senator from La Jolla, lmmfao. Such a dolt he is.
    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273831/what-mitt-romney-doing-senate-daniel-greenfield

    mg (8cbc69)

  128. Many in the Libertarian Party hold Hamilton to be the guy that “betrayed the Revolution.”

    I loved the story in Chernow’s book about how, when Jefferson took office, he told his Treasury secretary, Gallatin, to do an investigation and document all of Hamilton’s corruption:

    The new president relished the chance to rifle through Treasury files and corroborate his suspicions of Hamilton. He asked Gallatin to browse through the archives and uncover “the blunders and frauds of Hamilton.” Having tangled with Hamilton over the years, Gallatin undertook the task “with a very good appetite,” he admitted, but he failed to excavate the findings Jefferson wanted. Years later, he related the president’s crestfallen reaction: “‘Well Gallatin, what have you found?’ [Jefferson asked]. I answered: ‘I have found the most perfect system ever formed. Any change that should be made in it would injure it. Hamilton made no blunders, committed no frauds. He did nothing wrong.’ I think Mr. Jefferson was disappointed.”

    Hamilton, by all accounts, was a terrible politician. But he was an economic visionary so successful that few truly appreciate what he accomplished.

    Dave (1bb933)

  129. @ Kevin M (#125 & 126): I didn’t do extensive research before my amendment in #97, just enough to see that my #93 was too unequivocal.

    Did you not see my #97? If not, why didn’t you mention that I’d left it?

    The claim is repeated a great many places on the internet, but it’s disputed a great many places too. Jackson isn’t quoted as ever saying the sentence, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian,” but his actions said that for him. There can be no doubt that the consequences he wreaked upon the Cherokee and other Native American peoples were utterly foreseeable, but that didn’t stop him and he did nothing to mitigate them. He waged war upon them in a barbaric fashion, slaughtering women and children and the aged not because they were a threat — except to produce “more Indians” — but because that was the whole plan.

    The times were different, the standards of morality different, and the concept of a common humanity regardless of race still a distinct minority view — hence the world astonishment at the truths Jefferson, and with him the Continental Congress of 1776, declared “self-evident”: that all men are created equal, a proposition so radical that it took a civil war and multiple constitutional amendments to turn it into part of the nation’s organic law the better part of a century later.

    Did that age abound with conflicted men, and even more oblivious men, in whom the noble and ghastly coexisted? Sam Houston, one of my own personal heroes, learned his trade as a soldier fighting under Jackson; they were friends; Jackson wrote a remarkable letter introducing Houston to Jefferson, in fact, near the end of Jefferson’s life. How could this be? How could Houston — who spent years in voluntary exile with the Cherokee and even married one of them — coexist with the genocidal Jackson? All one can say is: The human capacity for cognitive dissonance is startlingly broad and flexible.

    But Houston redeemed himself, trying to serve as a peacemaker between Jackson and the Cherokee. That didn’t work out, and indeed, became one of the circumstances that drove him again into exile, this time in Texas. I know of nothing to redeem Jackson.

    I repeat: I dislike Jackson. I even dislike people who celebrate him. Did he kill as many as Hitler or Stalin or Mao or even a tin-pot dictator like Pol Pot? No. May he be legitimately compared to them, and is he in that respect the worst of American presidents, someone of whom we now ought to feel national regret and disapproval. Absolutely.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  130. I have identified even more strongly with Sam Houston in the Trump era than ever before. Houston was the governor of Texas at the outbreak of the Civil War, and he was to my knowledge unique among southern governors in being against secession. Houston was surrounded, in short, by crazies who had decided to hold hands and jump together from a cliff in the certainty that they’d be borne up by their “righteousness,” which was in fact wickedness. He was hounded from office, returned to his home in Huntsville, and died a deeply disappointed man to see his beloved Texas make war upon his beloved Union.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  131. This is maybe not the story you think it is. Sarah Hoyt has a piece on PJ Media (blurbed at Instapundit early this morning) that links to an article from Money magazine from April 21, 2016 addressing the rollout of the new bill designs. In the article they talk about the new designs being rolled out in 2020, but clearly states that they will not be introduced for a long time yet. The anti-counterfeiting strip inside the $100 bill took 15 years from proposal to introduction.

    Since this article predates Trump as president, I think it is good evidence that any delays were baked into the cake long before DJT weighed in on the issue. So blaming him is a bit of a stretch.

    Russ from Winterset (de023a)

  132. I have really tried to find sources that support your claim that Jackson, or the US government, intentionally spread smallpox in the 1830s

    Andrew Jackson and his wife adopted an Indian child. The idea he – or anyone else- tried to “spread” smallpox among the Indians in 1830’s is absurd. Jackson thought it would be better for everyone to transfer Cherokees to Oklahoma and give the land there. No one has ever come up with a documentary source showing the US Government or US Army tried to “spread Smallpox” among Indians we were at peace with. Partly because, it was difficult to do, partly because transmission of germs by the air was not understood. People in the early 19th century knew that contact with Pox ridden clothes or blankets would spread the disease. Because you can SEE the Pox. Which also made it difficult to transmit.

    BTW, the Cherokee had already been paid for their land in the Deep South. They’d also LOST A WAR, which usually resulted in people losing their land back in the olden days. I’m not sure how transferring them to Oklahoma was GENOCIDE1!!, but then the Left doesn’t like sticking to correct definitions of words. Like Humpty-Dumpty words – to the Left – means whatever they wish them to mean. Hence, Trump is a “Nazi”.

    But this is historical truth, and is meaningless to Leftists who want to make emotional statements and attack “White Supremacy”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  133. Here’s what Wikipedia says about the samll pox epidemic of 1837. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1837_Great_Plains_smallpox_epidemic

    I have read, elsewhere, several different accounts about the Mandan genocide. That it was one greedy trader who sold them cast-off, smallpox-infected blankets; that it was deliberate; that it was not deliberate, etc, etc. I am inclined to believe the story about the trader and that his motive was simple greed.

    nk (dbc370)

  134. Trump likes Jackson, and it would make sense to move Tubman to the $10. Hamilton was never elected to anything and was never considered a peer by the leaders in the early days of the country.

    Let her onto the currency in 2020, but onto the $10 not the $20. This adjustment should be well within Trump’s authority, after Obama wanted her on the $20.

    artichoke (9f177c)

  135. That it was one greedy trader who sold them cast-off, smallpox-infected blankets; that it was deliberate; that it was not deliberate, etc, etc

    Normally, in the 18th and 19th Century, Blankets and clothing used by small-pox victims was burned. Why would anyone handle clothing/blankets with Small pox on them? Who was putting these infected blankets in the wagon? Who was handling them, and showing them to the Indians? How did they keep it from spreading to themselves and other white people?

    That’s the first point. The second, is that Indians had been dealing with small-pox ever since the white man put foot on the continent. Large numbers were survivors of previous epidemics and were no more at risk then white people. By the 19th Century Small-pox wasn’t “Wiping out” the Indians. And I wouldn’t trust Wikepedia. Its not accurate about anything historical.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  136. I’ve been reading US history about the Old west and the Indians since the 1980s. Its only in the last 15-20 years that this weird meme about “Genocide” and “White people using Germ warfare” has gained traction. Almost no one in the US was trying to “wipe out” the Indians. We just wanted them out of the way. So, we paid for their land and moved them to reservations or Oklahoma.

    Most people wanted them to be treated fairly, but others saw them as a cow to milked. Indian “Rings” in Congress stole their money, while others swindled them out of their treaty land. It was the “Free Market” – greedy capitalists taking advantage of them. Others tried to stop the crooks and exploiters. US Grant was pleading for “fair treatment” of the Indians in his 1868 and 1872 Inaugurals. And in 1860 California there was so much “Pro_Indian” sentiment, Twain mocked it. Heck, James Fennimore Cooper was writing about “Lo, the poor Indian” in 1830.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  137. Hamilton was never elected to anything and was never considered a peer by the leaders in the early days of the country.

    Wrong on both counts.

    Dave (1bb933)

  138. @ rcocean (#138): Is it okay in your mind to slaughter, “in war,” the women, children and elderly? Is it okay to dispossess the losers, send them on a trek through utter wilderness across the country to some new location, knowing substantial percentages of them will die en route and then more will die upon arrival?

    Are you okay with the concept of “Lebensraum,” rcocean, when it’s practiced by an American president instead of by Hitler or Stalin?

    Don’t you dare blame “free market ecomomics” for exploitative crimes.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  139. > Hamilton was never elected to anything

    He was a member of the Confederation Congress for eight months in 1782-1783 and then again for the last four months of the existence of the Confederation Congress.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  140. You say they’d “already been paid.” Tell me, rcocean, do you claim they accepted the trade, that it was an uncoerced transaction between willing buyers and sellers?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  141. 142. By the 1880s, the problem was that the United States federal government refused to honor the terms of their own treaties. Even when the Native Americans had accepted the terms of a land deal, all it took was for one discovery of gold, furs, or other valuables for the white folks to welch.

    I’m from South Dakota. The earliest treaties signed with the plains Indians around here involved divisions of Dakota Territory, what then included parts of four different states today. Everything west of the Missouri River was intended to be reservation for the natives, and everything east was to be homesteaded by settlers — until the Federal Government figured out that West-River was prime land for cattle droving, and a mother lode of gold existed in the Black Hills near modern Lead. Manifest Destiny, full-speed ahead!

    Gryph (884aab)

  142. “Jackson, a person whose only good character trait was a deep and abiding love for his wife, but otherwise was a despicable human being whose main accomplishment was stealing land from the Indians and British whom he didn’t kill, and whose second main accomplishment was throwing the country into a depression.”

    “Why is the status quo — promoting to all Americans, and others all over the world, a POTUS who was a genocidal, warmongering scofflaw — better than promoting a hero of the struggle against slavery.”

    I see that the tools of the bankers and their cheap johnny-come-lately imported propaganda mouthpieces are united in casually slandering a great American President, mainly for not lining up with their personal ideology, and not even attempting to engage seriously with nk and Kevin M who note his actual accomplishments and focus. Really, it’s this ability to assimilate to common American norms that makes you all so endearing!

    Just because Jackson acknowledged, in life and deed, that you can’t simply tolerate constant attempts by individuals or groups to undermine America and foment division for personal or foreign profit. Are you sure you don’t just resemble his targets a wee bit too much?

    After all, PUNISH THE BANKERS or KILL THE TRAITORS is not a rallying cry that corporations are likely to get behind anytime soon, that’s why they push clownish alternatives like PUNCH A NAZI or FREE THE SLAVES!*

    Rest assured, had you lived at the time of Tubman, you would have been one of her oppressors or one of her targets.

    I fully support replacing the Andrew Jackson portrait with Andrew Jackson in the dynamic shooting pose. He is a proper stumbling block for those whose entire worldview is of America ONLY as the world’s open-air job fair and a necessary counterbalance to radical inhuman libertarian ideology. As even Beldar admitted: unlike the leftist ideologues on this forum, people would, in fact, willingly follow him and fight for him at the cost of their own lives.

    *Applies only to 1864 slaves already freed. Not applicable to interns, H1Bs, sex workers, UNDOCUMENTED immigrants, or temporary staff.

    Corporate Clipart Tubman (05851d)

  143. 143. In point of fact, I am not a Native American. Both sides of my families are of European homesteading stock, and my mother’s German family spent several generations in Russia (modern-day Ukraine) before coming to America.

    Gryph (884aab)

  144. Under the heading of: I never knew how ignorant I was until I looked it up on Google

    Earlier a reader commented on Sarah Hoyt’s article at PJ Media where she quotes Money magazine

    “Tubman is not the only feminist who will appear on the redesigned bills. Revamped versions of the $10 bill will feature women’s rights activists Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul, while new $5 bills will honor Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt. In all cases, it’s expected that these bills will be presented to the public in 2020, but it’s unclear when, exactly, they’ll be available to the public.”

    Tradition is already out the window on this issue. I hope it turns out for the best.

    I feel like on the ignorant scale, I’ve turned into this guy: https://kxic.iheart.com/content/2019-05-24-man-arrested-for-giving-cop-fake-name-while-wearing-name-tag-with-real-name/

    steveg (354706)

  145. @ nk & Kevin M: I have no interest in interacting with the person who posted #144 above. But since he referenced you both favorably, in his attack on me and Kish, I do wonder: Do either of you feel that Kish & I, or others arguing here in favor of Tubman on the $20, have “not even attempt[ed] to engage seriously with” either of you?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  146. It’s good to keep in mind that the Indian Citizenship Act wasn’t even signed by Coolidge until 1924, when Native Americans born in the United States were granted automatic citizenship. Not until then. My grandparents were not considered American citizens until young adulthood. And how they were treated paradoxically evidenced the exclusion by the very society they were being pushed to assimilate into. This is well after the 14th amendment granted everyone else citizenship.

    However, the jurisdiction requirement was interpreted to exclude most Native Americans, and in 1870, the Senate Judiciary Committee further clarified the matter: “the 14th amendment to the Constitution has no effect whatever upon the status of the Indian tribes within the limits of the United States”.[1]

    And even afterward, not all Indians were allowed to vote as some states prohibited it. IIRC, the last state to grant voting rights to Native Americans was New Mexico in the early 1960’s.

    Dana (779465)

  147. I found Sarah Hoyt’s article fundamentally dishonest — Trump lickspittledom which ignores, conveniently, Trump.

    It wasn’t Barack Obama who sent Mnuchin out for a press conference to make an announcement specifically about Harriet Tubman. That was Donald J. Trump. Trump went out of his way, appropro of nothing but his own childish impulse, to publicly announce something that (1) will encourage all of the racists who believe he’s one of them, but (2) disgust just about everyone else.

    Hoyt pretends, “Hey, no big deal, this was all up in the air anyway.” No, Trump took it out of that category. Deliberately. Provocatively. Stupidly.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  148. Dana, your #148 was full of things I did not know. Thank you for it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  149. I think the focus on Tubman was because she’s the only one with a significant fanbase pushing her for this honor. I don’t see as much animosity in Trump’s actions as you do, but I don’t begrudge you seeing it. Personally, I’m a fan of her appearance on the bill, especially if they use the image Instapundit uses with her reaching out with her right hand while holding a cap & ball revolver in her left. Beldar, I appreciate you replying to my post. I’ve been around the blogosphere long enough to know that your writing is worth reading.

    Russ from Winterset (1c5c34)

  150. I am far from an authority on Native American history or culture. My first-hand history was mostly limited to interactions with the ski lift operators at Sierra Blanca Ski Resort outside Ruidoso, NM, where I learned to ski in a series of two-or-three times yearly Boy Scout and DeMolay trips om high school: The ski resort was owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe. That I was missing an opportunity to learn something about them at that age — as opposed to how to learn to ski, or how to impress whoever’s sister had been brought along by one of the parent sponsors/chaperones — certainly never occurred to me.

    The single book which I felt opened my eyes to how little detail I actually knew was Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by Sam Gwynne. I know I’ve mentioned it here before, and I cannot recommend it highly enough, for in trying to explain why it was that the other Native American tribes fled or crumpled whenever the Comanches headed their way, why even very warlike tribes were shocked and terrified by the Comanches, Gwynne walked through the widely varying histories and experiences of different tribes, focusing of course on Texas. As a Scout I also had collected arrowheads found at our regular camping site at the foot of the Caprock, and Cedar Lake, 14 or so miles from my hometown, was (before it dried up) one of the last great migration points for the Comanches; Gwynne attributes Parker’s birth to Oklahoma, but some other historians, and everyone in my hometown, asserted he’d been born at Cedar Lake.

    When I finished the book, I realized that talking about “Native Americans” is not like talking about, say, Belgium. It’s like talking about Europeans, and that which is true in Scandinavia ain’t necessary so in Portugal or Serbia.

    Reading the comments to this thread, I think the winner so far may be Leviticus’ #117, responding to Simon Jester’s #108, which includes this:

    I think the problem is America’s lack of capacity for or interest in critical self-examination, which is a problem that you (rightly) decry on a regular basis.

    I think Gwynne’s book is an example of the antidote for that problem: at its end, I thought, “Wow, this is a really clear-eyed, un-spun look at the features and the warts of both the Native American tribes in Texas and the colonial settlers (going back, of course, to the Spanish) as they interacted with each other, viewed from multiple different angles.” And that ultimately emphasizes the shared humanity, both noble and flawed, that these otherwise disparate peoples nevertheless had in common.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  151. You’re too kind, Russ (#151), and if I recall correctly you have been similarly gracious on every single previous occasion when we’ve interacted.

    You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I briefly read your screenname as “Russ from Winterfell.” 😉

    Beldar (fa637a)

  152. Another aspect of the Indian Citizenship Act to consider, which many don’t realize is that freed slaves were recognized and included under the 14th Amendment, while Native Americans were not.

    Dana (779465)

  153. Its why blood feuds last for centuries. Every time the story gets retold it gets shaded more and more. The atrocities may get told as worse, the betrayals are told with greater cynicism.
    The sensationalism surrounding French-Indian war is what really painted the Native Americans as brutal savages in the colonists minds and it took a long time to get over it.
    Here is Virginia governor Dinwiddie:
    “Think you see the Infant torn from the unavailing Struggles of the distracted Mother, the Daughters ravished before the Eyes of their wretched Parents; and then, with Cruelty and insult, butcherd and scalped. Suppose the horrid Scene compleated, and the whole Family, Man, Wife, and Children (as they were) murdered and scalped . . . and then torn in Pieces, and in Part devoured by wild Beasts, for whom they were left a Prey by their more brutal Enemies.”

    Sad that very few people take the time to do the work needed for this type of antidote:
    “Wow, this is a really clear-eyed, un-spun look at the features and the warts of both the Native American tribes in Texas and the colonial settlers (going back, of course, to the Spanish) as they interacted with each other, viewed from multiple different angles.” And that ultimately emphasizes the shared humanity, both noble and flawed, that these otherwise disparate peoples nevertheless had in common.

    steveg (354706)

  154. Beldar @ 147. The persona (sic) at #144 is the one who keeps appearing with a different handle every day and with a different IP every comment and whom Patterico keeps banning; and it’s persons like that who make me hesitant to grant Ultra-Trumpkins an inch for fear that they’ll take a mile. I have no complaint about the way you “engage” — not ever and not only in this thread — and I’m sure that neither does Kevin.

    nk (dbc370)

  155. #153. Thank you. And Winterset, IA > Winterfell. More John Wayne and less Jon Snow.

    Russ from Winterset (f7f30a)

  156. The claim is repeated a great many places on the internet, but it’s disputed a great many places too.

    So is “vaccines cause autism.” Not to denigrate your claim in that way, but simply being repeated on the Internet is not strong proof.

    Wikipedia, which is probably not pro-Jackson, and probably has some educated input, has information at these two links:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_disease_and_epidemics#Disease_as_a_weapon_against_Native_Americans
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1837_Great_Plains_smallpox_epidemic

    Both articles discuss the possibility that some smallpox was due to infected blankets and such. Neither mention Jackson, although they cite some research that US Army troops were involved on the Plains.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  157. I repeat: I dislike Jackson. I even dislike people who celebrate him.

    As do I. However, he WAS instrumental in expanding the franchise and blowing up the one-party state. Not everyone is all bad.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  158. the us is a settler state, like Canada or Australia or Israel, Jackson was in many ways like Sharon, in the last example, a frontiersman, in the pivotal battles that determined if the us would survive or be annexed and this brief experience with liberty would be snuffed out,

    narciso (d1f714)

  159. On the subject on smallpox: My mother-in-law was one of the original anti-vaxxers. She refused to let either of her kids be vaccinated for smallpox in the 1960s. Vaccinia, which is the actual name of the vaccine, and apparently the namesake of all the others being the first vaccine to be discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, is a horrible germ in its own right with scarring (of which I like most other people only got a quarter-sized one) being the least of its side-effects. I don’t blame Indians in 1835 for being unwilling to cooperate with the government’s vaccination program.

    nk (dbc370)

  160. @ Kevin M, who wrote (#158):

    Not to denigrate your claim in that way, but simply being repeated on the Internet is not strong proof.

    It’s literally no proof. The internet has no gatekeeper at all. You asked if earlier I had a link with documentation; I do not, and it was because I could not find one that I published my walk-back at #97 shortly after my comment at #93. I ask again, did you read my #97?

    @ nk, thank you for your #156.

    @ Russ (#157): I’ll bet that’s not the first time you’ve used that line, but it’s certainly the first time I’ve heard it, and it made me laugh loudly enough to wake the dog sleeping at my feet. No one ever accused John Wayne of knowing nothing.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  161. Beldar (#147)

    I read your entire answer to the previous and see it as a fair response. Don’t agree with all of it, but, hey! Even though you softened your statement about Jackson (97), I still consider the smallpox charge against Jackson to be modern propaganda. The Trail of Tears was bad enough.

    As far as Mr Clipart, “Now, who can argue with that?”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  162. nk,

    I did get the smallpox vaccine, and it did leave a small round scar (about 10mm diameter) at the injections site. Beats the doors off smallpox itself though. The eradication of the disease is justification enough.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  163. When I was in high school (68-72) there was a book making he rounds called [deep breath] “Man’s Rise to Civilization as Shown by the Indians of North America from Primeval Times to the Coming of the Industrial State” by Peter Farb.

    I can’t remember a word of it OTHER than the title, and it’s long out of print, but whatever beliefs I have about Native Americans probably can be traced back to that book.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  164. @ Kevin M (#163): Trail of Tears was bad enough indeed. I suppose that in my head, I thought when I wrote my #97 that I was abandoning the smallpox charge, and shifting instead to this:

    That smallpox wiped out a substantial portion of the Native American population, and that Jackson’s policies contributed to the endemic spread of disease, is not debatable.

    Which is why I described #97 as a walk-back. Your formulation, “softening,” isn’t wrong, though, and prompts me to wish I’d been more straightforward. Touché, sir.

    As for who could argue with Mr. Clipart (snort), the answer to that, I submit, is obvious: ONLY THE TRAITORS AND THE BANKERS — PUNISH THEM, KILL THEM ALL!!1!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  165. Beldar,

    Now that I think about it I probably posted #125 before reading #97.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  166. As far as vaccines are concerned, I was born before the polio vaccine and my parents never had ANY qualms about vaccines.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  167. I did not mean to unfairly impugn my poor mother-in-law. Her objection was only to the smallpox vaccine.

    nk (dbc370)

  168. What a lively and civil discussion. My thanks to all involved.

    felipe (023cc9)

  169. Get well soon, Beldar!

    felipe (023cc9)

  170. This is how the State Department Office of the Historian addressed Jackson and the Indian Treaties.

    DRJ (15874d)

  171. From the website’s About Us section:

    What We Do

    The Office of the Historian is responsible, under law, for the preparation and publication of the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy in the Foreign Relations of the United States series.

    In addition, the Office prepares policy-supportive historical studies for Department principals and other agencies. These studies provide essential background information, evaluate how and why policies evolved, identify precedents, and derive lessons learned. Department officers rely on institutional memory, collective wisdom, and personal experience to make decisions; rigorous historical analysis can sharpen, focus, and inform their choices. The Office of the Historian conducts an array of initiatives, ranging from briefing memos to multi-year research projects.

    The Office of the Historian also promotes the declassification of documents to ensure a complete and accurate understanding of the past.

    Foreign Relations of the United States

    The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions. The series began in 1861 and now comprises more than 480 individual volumes.

    DRJ (15874d)

  172. A few years ago I read a fascinating book called Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation, by Nicholas Guyatt.

    The dispossession of the Indians was going on at the same time as debates about whether, and how, freed blacks could be assimilated into American society. The book recounts how the related policies of moving Indians to reservations and “colonizing” blacks back to Africa were both conceived by liberals who sympathetic to their respective plights, as a means to “save” them from annihilation by whites.

    Dave (1bb933)

  173. @ felipe (#171 & #170): Thank you, I am on the mend.

    And yes! What a lively and provocative set of comments, from so many different commenters in their distinct respective voices (or in a couple of cases, snarls)! Much humor (broad & subtle), much sharing of fascinating facts and histories (some learned, some lived), some philosophy, the Civil War, the Trail of Tears, great murderers of the modern era — and Orange Man!

    Who can’t find an angle to hang a comment from, with all those choices?

    It’s like being at a very large dinner table with a barrage of cross-talk, threads of conversation dropped and resumed, and not just lone rants but genuine interactions.

    Congrats to all involved.

    (EXCEPT THE BANKERS AND THE TRAITORS PUNISH THEM KILL THEM ALL!)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  174. DRJ, thank you for that link (#172). That’s an unvarnished look at the objective facts — and therefore absolutely damning to Jackson in my opinion.

    Someone must have told Trump that Jackson defied the SCOTUS and got away with it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  175. Dave, that’s the academic form of one Alabama state rep’s “kill us now or kill us later” quandary.

    urbanleftbehind (98f32e)

  176. More from Trump on Jackson:

    “I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” he said. “He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said ‘There’s no reason for this.'”

    “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

    Dana (779465)

  177. Given what we know now, and how our culture has changed, of course the great civil war would be easily negotiated now.
    Africans were still considered inferior by abolitionists.
    Native Americans were considered inferior savages
    The “fake news” and hyperbole of the day fed into lynchings and brutalities we cannot fathom now, and gratefully, we would not and do not put up with that anymore. Back then though it was a serious swim against the tide

    steveg (354706)

  178. Sometimes I think this used to be Trumps favorite song

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GLAKEjU4w

    steveg (354706)

  179. By the 1880s, the problem was that the United States federal government refused to honor the terms of their own treaties. Even when the Native Americans had accepted the terms of a land deal, all it took was for one discovery of gold, furs, or other valuables for the white folks to welch.

    Furs? I don’t think so. Gold, yes. It was all due to weakness of the Administrations and the corruption of congress. The Interior Department and Army wanted to avoid Indian wars or get them over as quickly as possible, so they would give the Indians absurdly large land grants. Then, Gold or other valuables would be discovered, and then Congress would be bribed by businessmen to reduce the Indians land. Then the Indians would go on the warpath. And after lots of unnecessary deaths, the Indians would be pacified and some sort of compromise would result.

    Its the same mentality today, only different circumstances. Today, McConnell and his gang are in the pocket of the Donors and will let in millions of illegals pour in, because of $$$ from the Chamber of Commerce. Only back in the 19th Century, the “Big donors” wanted that rich Indian land, if some gold was found on it.

    You also the “Indian Agents” who instead of protecting the Indians and educating them – per the treaty, would swindle them, and steal their money. Result? More deaths and violence.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  180. Another aspect of the Indian Citizenship Act to consider, which many don’t realize is that freed slaves were recognized and included under the 14th Amendment, while Native Americans were not.

    As shown by the recent SCOTUS decision on hunting rights, its unclear how Indians can have “Treaty rights” like a foreigners AND have US Citizenship. That’s why it took until 1924 to give them citizenship. Some Indians didn’t want Citizenship, thinking it would infringe on their rights. BTW, Hoover’s VP -Charles Curtis -was 1/2 Indian.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  181. “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

    People did try, too. Such as putting slavery into the constitution irrevocably.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

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