How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor… somehow keep his place on the dollar?
The U.S. Treasury Department has decided that we need to handle our financial situation, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has officially announced that despite earlier plans to redesign the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton will remain the $10 founding father without a father, with Harriet Tubman instead set to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20.
Over the summer, Lew announced plans to redesign the existing $10 bill and replace Hamilton with a historical woman. But with the widespread popularity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show about the founding father, Hamilton fans called on Lew to keep the nation’s first treasury secretary on the $10 bill and instead replace Jackson.
Although Hamilton will remain on the face of the $10 bill, the back will be redesigned to depict the 1913 women’s suffrage march that ended on the steps of the Treasury building, honoring Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul.
“The new $10 bill will honor the story and the heroes of the women’s suffrage movement against the backdrop of the Treasury building,” Lew wrote in a statement. “The front of the new $10 will continue to feature Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary and the architect of our economic system.”
The updated $10 bill will go into production first, to add anti-counterfeiting measures, but redesigns of the $5 and $20 bills will soon follow. The new $20 note will highlight Tubman and include Jackson on the back of the bill, while the new $5 bill will add iconic events from the Lincoln Memorial, including Marian Anderson’s 1939 opera performance and Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have A Dream Speech.” (The Treasury is keeping Abraham Lincoln on the face of the $5 bill.)
The Treasury plans to unveil the final concept designs for all three bills in 2020, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Last month, Miranda tweeted about a one-on-one meeting with Lew, and while he didn’t explicitly discuss the $10 bill issue, he hinted that Hamilton fans were “going to be very happy.”
Hamilton fans — they get the job done.
UPDATE: Miranda himself has weighed in on the Treasury’s decision, saying he’s “thrilled about all of it.“