American History has often been a debatable topic because school history books don’t always present all of the facts. When it comes to United States history, the grim truth about African-American history is often overshadowed with less than credible facts and unfortunately, many prominent blacks have been discredited for their contributions to the evolution of America’s history.
The controversy surrounding the truth about the man on the back of the $2.00 bill is yet another fascinating story you’ve probably heard nothing about. Apparently, many research reports are confusing Senator John Hanson with an earlier man who bore the same name. The black John Hanson, who has often been named as the “first black president of the U.S.,” is indeed, the man on the back of the $2.00 bill. But you’ll be surprised to know his history isn’t as great as it seems.
The John Hanson Controversy:
There have been lots of myths surrounding the reason behind the low production of the $2 bill. Some people believe so few were made because a man named John Hanson, a black Liberian Senator who served from Grand Bassa County, was photographed in the image on the back of the bill. Although evidence suggests the black Liberian Senator is the man depicted on that bill, he’s not the same man who served as President of the Continental Congress.
According to Wikipedia, that John Hanson was from an earlier era. He was public official from Maryland who actually did serve as President of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. Myths suggest that Hanson of Liberia was actually a black public official in Maryland. But, they are two different people; both of political stature but in different areas of the world. Of course, researchers still consider this conspiracy highly debatable but the timelines are also an indication that there were two John Hansons.
For those who don’t know, John Hanson of Maryland was actually around long before John Hanson of Liberia. Hanson of Maryland was actually born in April of 1721 in Port Tobacco Parish in Charles County in the Province of Maryland. In November 1781, Hanson was elected as President of the United States in Congress Assembled. That’s when he became the first president to serve a one-year term under the provisions of the Articles of Confederation. Then, in 1781, he signed the Articles of Confederation after Maryland joined other states’ pursuit to ratify them. Although documentation does not provide specific dates for John Hanson of Liberia, he is said to have circulated in the mid-1800s.
The black Senator actually worked to relocate African-Americans to Liberia. But unfortunately, his efforts weren’t exactly for the betterment of black people. He was reportedly working with the American Colonization Society and used to lure African Americans hopeful of having a better life in Liberia. Hanson is said to have corroborated with the society in a plot to trick African-Americans into migrating to Liberia to live under a “better” form of slavery. But we all know, slavery is slavery and there was nothing free about it despite how Hanson and others tried to make it seem.
Information websites have often presented arguments about the $2 bill using the photos of both men. However, the issue with the photos centers around the timeline of events. The photo of the Liberian Senator is often used to support the claims although photography was not “commercially introduced until 1839,” according to Wikipedia. It’s also important to note that John Hanson of Maryland died in 1783. However, evidence does suggest that Hanson of Liberia, was of Moorish descent. So he was indeed black but that doesn’t mean he was an advocate for people of color.