Defending Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton Ten Dollar BillBy now you (probably) know the U.S. Treasury Department plans to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

Their decision vexes me.

Replace Andrew Jackson; as Women on 20s proved, he’s become wildly unpopular.

Replace Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

They already appear on commonly-used currency:

the quarter and the penny respectively.

Although, in fairness, there’s been talk of discontinuing the penny for decades.

I hope not – this will hinder my squished penny collecting.

Squished Penny CollectionI have close to 500 souvenir pennies.

Pre-1982 pennies make the best squishing pennies for their copper content.

Modern zinc pennies or – heaven forbid – those metal alloys sometimes provided by the press manufacturer just don’t stack up.

Back to the task at hand.

Of all Founding Fathers, Hamilton is the most deserving of a place on our currency.

Hamilton . . .

Grew up in the West Indies.

Acted as Washington’s senior aide in the Revolutionary War.

Served in Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

Spearheaded the Annapolis Convention,

which led to the Philadelphia Convention,

which led to the Constitution as we know it today.

Advocated for constitutional ratification in the Federalist Papers.

Using the pseudonym Publius, Hamilton wrote 51 of the 85 papers.

Today, these papers are considered the single most important source of constitutional interpretation.

Established the foundations United States’ federal government, specifically in arguing in favor of the doctrine of implied powers and the creation of a National Bank.

Influenced early foreign policy, especially in America’s preferential treatment of Britain.

Swayed the electoral college to make Thomas Jefferson third President of the United States.

Opposed Aaron Burr’s attempts to become President and Governor of New York.

You may recall that Burr attempted to establish his own empire in what would become the Louisiana Purchase.

By this time, Burr had killed Hamilton in a duel over comments made regarding the aforementioned elections.


Alexander Hamilton lived the American Dream before it was a thing.

Removing him from our currency would be both a travesty and a dishonor.

NPR’s Steve Inskeep (sort-of) disagrees with me.
Over at Faith and History, Robert McKenzie agrees with me using a much better argument.

What do you think?

Should we replace Hamilton, Jackson, or someone else?

Who should take their place?

Let me know in the comments!


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