Tubman grew up working on a Maryland plantation and escaped in her late 20s. She returned to the South to help hundreds of black slaves to freedom and worked as a Union spy during the Civil War. She died in 1913.
Women have not been depicted on U.S. bills since Martha Washington, who was on the $1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896, and Pocahontas, who was in a group picture on the $20 bill from 1865 to 1869.
On coins, Sacagawea, a Native American who assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is featured on the gold dollar, and suffragist Susan B. Anthony is on the silver dollar. Deaf-blind author and activist Helen Keller is on the back of the Alabama quarter.
Tubman became the top-trending hashtag on Twitter shortly after the news broke on Wednesday, with more than 100,000 tweets and mentions online.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who is campaigning to become the first female U.S. president, praised Tubman as “a woman, a leader, and a freedom fighter” on Twitter and said she could not think of a better choice.
Some Twitter users applauded Treasury’s decision to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill.
Actress Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) tweeted at Miranda, the “Hamilton” creator, saying: “@Lin_Manuel First you win a Pulitzer, now you’re affecting US currency. Get some rest!“