Members of the Hamilton community - and others - support the idea of a woman on paper currency, but have a better suggestion of who should get booted off a bill.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced this week that a woman will be featured on a redesigned $10 bill in 2020 -- the 100th anniversary of the Constitution's 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The last woman on U.S. paper currency was Martha Washington, who was on the $1 Silver Certificate between 1891 and 1896.
Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart was quoted in a WKTV report (at right) and in this Politico article about the proposed change. “I absolutely applaud women being recognized, but I can’t help but be dismayed,” she said in the article.
“Hamilton represents exactly what this country represents,” she added, noting his humble beginnings and the role that philanthropy played in his life, as well as his opposition to slavery, in contrast with other founding fathers.
Hamiltonians aren’t the only people who disagree with the idea. A petition on the “We the People” White House website asks supporters to “Keep Alexander Hamilton as the face of the $10 bill.”
Others in the national media have chimed in:
- USA Today: Don't demote Alexander Hamilton on $10 bill: Our view
- Daily Beast: Ditch Jackson, Keep Hamilton
- New York Post: Hands off Hamilton — the most modern Founding Father
- Upshot in The New York Times: Demote Hamilton on the $10 Bill? Not So Fast, Treasury
- The Hill: On $10 bill, keep Hamilton, welcome Tubman, oust Jackson
- Quartz: I run a bank founded by Alexander Hamilton, and this is no way to treat his legacy
- Biographer Ron Chernow on Politico.com: Save Alexander Hamilton!
- Biographer Richard Brookhiser in The Wall Street Journal: First Aaron Burr, Now Jack Lew
Many members of the campus community, who like the idea of adding a woman to U.S. currency but not displacing Hamilton, have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their dismay over the proposal. You can add your comments to The Scroll by using the hashtag #savehamilton or #getscrolled. You also can see some of the latest tweets below: