The U.S. Treasury has decided to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the new $10 bill, after encountering fierce opposition to its plans to replace the founding father with a woman, Treasury officials said Tuesday. The Treasury will feature the portrait of African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, which now features former president Andrew Jackson, while Jackson will appear on the reverse of the bill, officials said.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will announce decisions regarding several bills on Wednesday, officials said.
Last summer, Lew announced that the Treasury was considering removing Hamilton from the $10 bill, to allow a woman to appear on the front of the currency for the first time since Martha Washington was taken off the $1 silver certificate.
The Treasury was moved in part by a viral campaign in early 2015 to put a woman’s portrait on the new $20 bill in 2020, to mark the 100 year anniversary of women’s right to vote. The group “Women on $20s” received more than 600,000 online and in person votes a choice of 15 different women. Tubman received the most votes.
Treasury announced plans in June 2015 to honor a woman on the $10 bill, which was already slated for a redesign in 2020. The bills are regularly reworked to stop counterfeiting.
I like this better than replacing Hamilton on the $10, and I say that as someone who has not seen the musical. ATMs dispense a lot of $20s, so they will be more visible, and Jackson was problematic, to say the least. Now let’s see about getting more than one woman on our paper money. We’ve had multiple concurrent designs for the quarter and the dollar coin, why not have multiple designs for the various dollar bills as well? There’s already going to be an alternate design for the $5 that will have civil rights leaders on the flip side from Abe Lincoln. Why not choose one or more of these women for that, then do the same on the $1, the $2, the $10, the $50, and the $100. We’ve gone over 200 years without having women on most of our currency. We’ve got a lot of making up to do. NPR, The Intersect, Daily Kos, Kyrie O’Connor, the Slacktivist, and Kevin Drum have more.