U. S. Grant was a mediocre President. He’s on the $50 because he won the Civil War. In the process, hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting under his command, and hundreds of thousands of Confederates died fighting against him. The Union won, the South lost, and having his face on the $50 is a reminder of the worst tragedy in American history. Let’s put all that behind us, and put a woman in the place of honor.
I’ve given my idea to a couple State Legislators in Tennessee and South Carolina. If they’re interested, they’ll pursue it. If this idea is to be put in effect, 2017 is the year to do it. Congress and Trump will go along, if enough State Legislatures pass Resolutions of support. I’m going to push this thing at ALEC next week.
There’s been talk of replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 with someone like Harriet Tubman. But Andrew Jackson was one of the Founding Fathers. He was the one man who made Manifest Destiny real, palpable. He fought the British at New Orleans, and ratified, in blood, the Louisiana Purchase. One of his lieutenants, Sam Houston, brought Texas into the Union, and another, James K. Polk, took California and most of the western United States from Mexico. Polk also brought in the Oregon Territory, and the Northwest. George Washington and the other Founders wanted a continental empire of liberty, and it was Jackson who made it happen. So Jackson stays on the $20.
No offense to Tubman, but I think a pioneer woman should be on the $50, one of those brave and hardy wives and mothers who settled this country. And I’ve got one in particular in mind.
In 1765 she came with her family to the Waxhaw region on the border of the Carolinas. They were poor Scotch-Irish, and couldn’t afford good land, and her husband worked himself to death within two years, trying to scratch out a living. She was carrying his third son, which she named for him. She moved in with her cousin Jane Crawford, who had eight children of her own. Jane was unwell, so she did the work of two women, taking care of the whole family.
When the Revolutionary War came to the Carolinas her oldest boy, Hugh, rode with William Richardson Davie at the Battle of Stono Ferry. He died from exhaustion right after the fight. He was 16. Her remaining sons rode with Davie at the Battle of Hanging Rock, then became guerillas, and were captured and imprisoned at Camden with 250 other men. They were dying of starvation and disease when she rode the 45 miles to see them. She pleaded with the British to let her boys go, and they were finally released in a prisoner exchange. When she got them home they were in desperate condition, and after two days her middle boy, Robert, died. He was 15. She nursed her youngest, 13, to a semblance of health, and then rode with two other ladies to Charleston to nurse and comfort the Americans being held on prison ships there. Some of them were her kin. She contracted cholera and, shortly after the great victory at Yorktown, died and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Her sole surviving son became a truly ferocious man, an American lion. He was his mother’s son. She gave birth to him on March 15, 1767, and next year we will celebrate the 250th anniversary of that day. If she’s not the Mother of this country I don’t know who is. Let’s all honor the life of Elizabeth Jackson on that day. And let’s put her on the $50.