LOUISIANA TO THE TREASUREY DEPARTMENT-
There is a major push by the bureaucrats in Washington to
put the first woman on the face of paper currency.
There are a number of choices, and you will
get no argument form me that there certainly is a place on one of our bills for
But one of the options is to
take Andrew Jackson off the twenty-dollar bill, and that ought to be fightin’
words down here in Louisiana.
For a number of
years, social reformer Susan B. Anthony adorned the dollar coin, but she was
replaced by congress in 1997 with Sacagawea,
an Indian guide of the Lewis and Clark expedition. There certainly are a number of praiseworthy
women who well deserve to grace paper money.
The list of proposed female names is long including Susan Anthony redux,
Eleanor Roosevelt who redefined the role of First Lady, Rosa Parks, the first
lady of civil rights, Rachel Carson, who spurred the modern American
environmental movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, called the
“founding genius” of the women's rights movement, the Bayou State’s own first
Lady Lindy Boggs, a nine term congresswoman and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican;
the list goes on and on.
I’m personally a big supporter of equal rights and equal pay for women. Heck, I introduced the first legislation to
adopt the equal rights amendment to the constitution back in the early 1970s
when I served as a Louisiana State Senator.
So I’m all for a women on our paper money. But please don’t mess with Andrew Jackson. The seventh president of the United States
was as important to Louisiana as any political leader in the state’s history.
was the son of Scottish colonists (like me), and was the only president to
fight in two wars, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He was a Tennessee Senator and Judge, before
becoming a national hero leading the American victory at the battle of New
Orleans in the winter of 1814. The
British waged an all out attack n the Crescent City in an effort to gain
controlling sea access to the Mississippi River. Control of the river meant control of
commerce, and ultimate victory, as the South found out during the Civil War.
knew his troops were greatly outnumbered by the British forces, but he
masterminded a defense of New Orleans as well as an attack plan against the
Brits. He gathered local engineers to
find out the best way to seal off the city, by clogging the various waterways
throughout the swamps surrounding New Orleans.
Then he gathered a rag tag army of volunteer militia, free blacks,
Indians, Creoles, and of course the famous inclusion of a band of pirates led
by Jean Lafitte.
greatly outnumbered, Jackson’s forces won a huge victory that sealed his reputation
as an American hero, and the savior of New Orleans. Fourteen years later, he moved into the White
House. If you want to see Hollywood’s
entertaining version of the Battle of New Orleans with great character
reproductions of Jackson by Charlton Heston, and Jean Lafitte by Yul Brynner,
check out the movie “The Buccaneer.” There is also a new movie, called "Andrew Jackson and the Battle for New Orleans” that is being
shot in New Orleans now for release next year.
Jackson loved Louisiana and was greatly disheartened that he was not appointed Governor
of the state in 1805. President Thomas Jefferson passed over Jackson, and chose
General James Wilkerson instead to be Louisiana’s chief executive. Wilkerson
resigned in disgrace a few years later, and President Jefferson regretted not
appointing the future president. Jackson was married on the banks of the
Mississippi River right across form my old home in Concordia Parish. So his
ties to Louisiana were quite strong.
of the knocks on Jackson by current critics is that he was a slaveholder. Well, so were Washington (one dollar bill),
Jefferson (two dollar bill), Grant (Fifty Dollar bill), and Madison (five
thousand dollar bill).
validates that Andrew Jackson was a tough but fair commander and president. It also confirms that the president known as
“Old Hickory” was a major force in the development and protection of New
Orleans and the entire Bayou State. He
well deserves to stay on the twenty-dollar bill.
Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout
the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns
and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s
nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am,
central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.