Many people recognize Alexander Hamilton because his face is found on the US $10 bill.
As the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton had an unparalled impact on the development of the nation's economy and finances. He also founded the US Mint and oversaw the first money coined under the new Constitutional government. So it is only fitting that Hamilton is featured on US bank notes.
Learn more about Hamilton's historic presence on US currency, as well as some fun facts about the "ten spot".
Alexander Hamilton: Right on the Money
General Fun Facts
♦ Alexander Hamilton has been pictured on seven different US denominations of paper currency - more than any other person ever
♦Alexander Hamilton has been on eight different types of US currency – Demand Notes, US Notes (Legal Tender Notes), Interest-Bearing Notes, Compound Interest Treasury Notes, Gold Certificates, Silver Certificates, Certificates of Indebtedness, and Federal Reserve Notes [what we use today]. This doesn't include savings bonds and other types of money instruments!
Bills, Bills, Bills
Alexander Hamilton has been pictured on 7 different US denominations:
See examples of each below
The first $2 United States Note was issued with a portrait of Alexander Hamilton on the front. It was introduced in 1862. United States Notes were the first widespread US currency. They have also been the longest-circulating form of paper money in the US.1
The $5 Demand Note from 1861 and $5 United States Note from 1862 featured the 1792 John Trumbull portrait of Alexander Hamilton and the Statue of Freedom that is on top of the US Capitol building (even though at the time of the bill's issue the statue was not complete!). Demand Notes were the first general circulation of paper currency notes by the US government, soon replaced by the US Notes.2
Alexander Hamilton has been featured on the $10 bill since 1928. These bills include: $10 Federal Reserve Notes (what we still use today), $10 Gold Certificates, and $10 Silver Certificates. Learn more about Hamilton on the ten dollar bill below.
Beginning in 1869, Alexander Hamilton was portrayed on the $20 US Note. He would retain his space on the $20 bill until US notes stopped being printed in the 20th century. This example is from the 1880 series and shows a portrait of Hamilton on the left along with an allegorical depiction of Victory on the right. 3
Alexander Hamilton has been featured on US Notes (1862-1869), Interest-Bearing Notes (1862-1864), Compound Interest Treasury Notes (1863-64), and Certificates of Indebtedness (1907), all in the $50 bill denomination. At left is an 1863 $50 One Year Interest Bearing Note, which were issued with vignettes of Alexander Hamilton and a representation of Loyalty, whose right hand rests on the Bible and the US Constitution. 4
The $500 Interest Bearing Note from 1864 depicts Alexander Hamilton in the center, George Washington at right, and cannon warfare at left. The Interest Bearing Notes paid five percent interest.
The 1918 Series Federal Reserve Note featured Alexander Hamilton with a back vignette of an eagle clutching arrows, an olive branch, and the American flag in its claws. The $1000 bill is no longer a bill that is used in circulation.5 Alexander Hamilton was also featured on the $1000 Gold Certificate from 1870-1933.
♦ During World War II, altered special issue Hawaii and North Africa $10 bills were printed. In case of an invasion by Japan (in Hawaii) or seizure by enemy troops (in North Africa), those bills could be declared worthless.
♦ The latest $10 bill design was introduced into circulation in 2006 with a borderless portrait of Hamilton.
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