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Ridgefield's Alice Paul To Join Suffragists On Back Of New $10 Bill

Ridgefield resident Josette Williams and First Selectman Rudy Marconi with a cutout of Alice Paul, a local suffragist, after a talk in town in January. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Suffragist Alice Paul Photo Credit: Wikipedia

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Ridgefield suffragist Alice Paul is taking turn in the spotlight with the announcement that she is one of five women who will appear on the new $10 bill as the U.S. Treasury Department makes our money more modern.

The reverse of the new $10 bill will honor depict the March of 1913, when thousands went from the U.S. Capitol to the Treasury Department to demand an amendment to the Constitution enfranchising women. The new $10 will honor the march and the leaders of the suffrage movement—Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott—who were instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment.

The front of the $10 will continue to feature Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our economic system.

Paul was born in New Jersey in 1885 and lived in Ridgefield later as an adult. While studying in England on a scholarship, she became acquainted with the British suffrage movement and its methods, including hunger strikes. On returning to the United States, she applied the lessons learned to campaign for the 19th Amendment. 

The Ridgefield League of Women Voters celebrated her life and accomplishments in an event in January. (Click here to read about it in the Daily Voice.)

Paul is not the only woman with ties to Fairfield County who will be honored on the new modern money. Danbury heroine Marian Anderson will take a star turn on the new $5 bill with Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. The front of the new $5 will retain President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait.

In 1939 — at a time when concert halls were still segregated — world-renowned opera singer Anderson helped advance civil rights when, with the support of Roosevelt, she performed at the Lincoln Memorial. And in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the same monument.

Anderson lived in Danbury for nearly 50 years on a 100-acre farm. After her death, the property was sold to developers, but Anderson's studio was saved by the Danbury Museum & Historical Society and is open to the public on Main Street. 

In other changes, the front of the new $20 will feature the portrait of Harriet Tubman, whose life was dedicated to fighting for liberty. The reverse of the new $20 will depict the White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson.

To learn more about the new modern money, which will be unveiled in 2020, click here to visit the Treasury Department website.

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