After much speculation on the possible replacement of Alexander Hamilton’s portrait on the $10 bill, it appears the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury will stay put on the heavily-circulated note. While the high-profile support voiced by the cast and creator of the popular Broadway musical, Hamilton, could not have hurt the founding father’s case to remain on the 10, it seems current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew counts himself among Hamilton’s admirers and was reluctant to replace him from the beginning.
This doesn’t mean things will stay as they are. CNN notes that a “mural-style depiction of the women’s suffrage movement” will be added to the back of the 10, in keeping with the Treasury’s stated intention of recognizing women’s contributions to the civic life of the nation.
Lew commented on the redesign process, telling CNBC, “When we started this conversation not quite a year ago, it wasn’t clear to me that millions of Americans were going to weigh in with their ideas.” He continued, “We’re not just talking about one bill. We’re talking about the $5, the $10, and the $20. We’re not just talking about one picture on one bill. We’re talking about using the front and the back of the bill to tell an exciting set of stories.”
Perhaps the most interesting new revelation concerns the $20 bill. The 20 had been singled out as particularly ripe for redesign due to the complicated legacy of our seventh President, Andrew Jackson, whose advocacy for the Indian Removal Act of 1830 troubles many. This change seemed to be postponed, however, as the 10 dollar bill was in greater need of an update to modernize anti-counterfeiting measures. Now it seems the Treasury will also go ahead with the change to the 20, adhering to the original proposal that a woman be featured on the note.
According to the CNN article, the updated $20 bill is unlikely to be issued until 2030. It also notes that future Treasury secretaries will have the power to adjust the proposed changes. Secretary Lew said the Treasury could make an official announcement regarding the alterations as early as this week.