President Andrew Jackson, slaveholder and killer of Indians and Englishmen, please step to the back.

Harriet Tubman, African American abolitionist and leader of the Underground Railroad, come up front.

On Wednesday, the federal Treasury Department announced the switch that's coming to the $20 bill, with the nation's seventh president losing his spot - a change that brought reaction from political leaders, schoolchildren, academics, and numismatists in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

"I can't think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman," tweeted Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders tweeted much the same. None of the GOP candidates offered an opinion.

Outside Independence Hall, people plucked $20s from their wallets to stare at Jackson's grim-lipped portrait - and pondered his move to the back of the bill.

"Can they not boot Jackson out entirely?" asked Jacqueline Kehoe, visiting from North Carolina. "Who would be upset? Jackson's kin? . . . History isn't all about this group of old white guys."

Not everyone agreed with her.

"I don't like to see it," said a man from Wyoming who would only give his name as Bob. "Andrew Jackson was really wise, because of the central bank. Andrew Jackson is one of my heroes."

Jackson believed that the nation's money supply should consist only of gold or silver coins, minted by the Treasury. The use of paper banknotes, on which his portrait now resides? Not so much.

"I think it's great he's getting kicked off," said Melissa Lin, 16, visiting on a class trip from Stoneham High School in Massachusetts.

Her classmate Dylan Oesch-Emmel said the change celebrated diversity. But Marc Aronis, 16, said Jackson should stay put: "And if they are going to put a woman on, it should be Eleanor Roosevelt."

Smaller nations often change the portraits on their currency, wanting to keep up with the times or just have some fun. In Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank put soccer star George Best on a commemorative note. Belarus created a veritable paper zoo, marking its bills with beavers, bears, and wolves.

But U.S. currency generally changes little, so that people around the world can continue to identify it on sight, said Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of the American Numismatic Society.

"In that sense, it sends a certain message," she said. "If you switch to Tubman, that shows we have [celebrated] a woman and an African American."

Tubman was born a slave in Maryland in about 1820. She married a free black man, John Tubman, and took his last name. She had been born Araminta Ross, later changing her first name to match that of her mother.

In 1849, worried that she and other slaves were to be sold, she ran away, following the north star to Pennsylvania and then on to Philadelphia. During the Civil War, Tubman served the Union cause as a nurse, cook, and spy.

"A woman needs to be on our currency," said Richard Ammons, a North Carolina consultant who visited the President's House on Wednesday.

Philadelphia held importance to Jackson, too.

The Inquirer first appeared soon after his inauguration, and the timing was no coincidence. The paper supported the new president and his vision of democracy - at a time when people were questioning whether having a single nation was a good idea.

Jackson arrived in Washington as a living symbol of the common man, representing the ideal that anyone - meaning any white man - could go as far as his talent. He had grown up poor but scrapped to become a lawyer, congressman, senator, and military leader.

Alexander Hamilton, despite speculation that his image would disappear, will remain on the front of the $10 bill. But the back will feature images of suffragettes including Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia, Alice Paul of New Jersey, and Sojourner Truth. The new $5 bill will retain Abraham Lincoln on the front and on the back feature Eleanor Roosevelt, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Philadelphia-born singer Marian Anderson.

Referring to the founding father who was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel and is now the subject of a hit Broadway musical, the Wall Street Journal tweeted:

"This time, Alexander Hamilton dodged the bullet."

215-854-4906 @JeffGammage