Who should be on our $10 bill?

by Finn

It looks like we will be seeing a woman on our $10 bill soon. What woman do you think should be on that bill, or what woman would you like to see on that bill, and why?

One restriction is it cannot be a living person, so that rules out Beyonce and the Notorious RBG, among others.

And please, no suggestions of so-and-so because that means she’s dead.

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77 thoughts on “Who should be on our $10 bill?

  1. I disagree with changing the $10; rather I think it should be the $20. IMO Hamilton is/was more important to the USA than Jackson

    If changing the sawbuck, and if the new honoree is to be a woman vs. a perhaps more deserving man (MLK??; there could be others, haven’t thought about it), are faits accomplis, then Susan B Anthony is my choice. I think she led an effort to enfranchise / better the lives of a bigger % of the population.

  2. “I think she led an effort to enfranchise / better the lives of a bigger % of the population.”

    So did Jackson.

  3. Yeah, I get that, and that’s the underlying reason for the honor. Just my opinion that Hamilton is more deserving to remain on currency than Jackson, if something is going to be changed.

    The bigger thing in my mind is why are Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln each on two money items? If I ran the Mint / Bureau of Engraving and Printing the lineup would be:

    1c tbd (or scrap)
    5c Jefferson
    10c Roosevelt
    25c Washington
    50c scrap, or re-honor if we must keep
    $1 coin tbd
    $2 coin (new) tbd

    $1 bill scrap
    $2 bill scrap
    (yes, go to a loonie/toonie system like Canada)
    $5 – $100 leave the way they are

    Gives you 2-3 opportunities to honor people other than dead white men if that’s what we’re after.

  4. Fred–What is the reason behind adding coins and removing bills? Genuinely curious!

  5. I would prefer to keep Hamilton on the ten dollar bill (my very favorite bill), but if we have to make a change I’d vote for Harriet Tubman or Susan B Anthony.

  6. Coins are less expensive for we the people to produce over the long haul. A $1 bill lasts about 5.5years; coins last decades, centuries even, in normal circulation.

    A $1 bill costs $0.05 to bring to market ($5-$50 cost $0.10, the $100 $0.12)
    A $1 coin cost $0.21 in 2013, most recent figure
    note, btw, the penny costs almost $0.02 to produce/bring to market…the strongest argument for scrapping it.
    http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/PDFs/2014-rd-biennial-report-appendix-2.pdf
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/how-long-is-the-life-span-of-us-paper-money.htm
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/currency_12771.htm

  7. grace, I may have added too many links in a comment responding to Mid A’s question…can you fix so it will post.

  8. Agree to scrap the 1c and $1 in lieu of coins. I see no point in the $2 bill. Unfortunately 50 piece isn’t taken by most machines, but I like it vs so many more quarters or worse dimes/nickle combos. I also like $1 coins because machines rarely reject them the way they do bills.

    Susan B Anthony is already on some $1 coins in circulation, now replaced with Sacagawea. I could support Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman or Grace Hopper. I also like Sandra Day OConor. I think getting away from dead presidents (with the exception of one bill is a Supreme Court Chief Justice) is going to create more controversy as their impact on our country/society is viewed very differently than a person who held a high position in our government.

  9. I nominate Bo Derek for the new $10. Had to, I know she’s not dead but come on, is there really anyone else for that denomination?

    I guess it has to be someone dead because god forbid we put someone on the money and then they send out an ill advised tweet or make a sex tape.

    Honestly, I have almost no feelings on this except that really, it should be Bo Derek.

  10. What about Edwin Hubble? Or my personal favorite, John Bardeen. He along with William Shockley and Walter Brattain won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956 for the invention of the transistor. He also won another Nobel Prize in 1972 for superconductivity.

  11. I had to Google Notorious RBG and it made me chuckle.

    Okay, I’ll relate a Women’s History Month story. In third grade my D announced she had selected Jessica Simpson for her Women’s History Month project. Not particularly happy about it, I asked her how she had chosen Ms. Simpson. In a matter-of-fact tone, my D explained that Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman had already been picked, so that left Jessica Simpson. (Black History Month had been the previous month’s lesson.)

    That particular anecdote alerted me to be even more suspicious about the quality of our school’s history curriculum.

  12. CoC

    In 3rd grade we had to research and do a speech dressed as a historical figure.
    I remember my best friend chose Helen Keller, and I couldn’t think of any other female figures. Most of the history we were taught centered around men (Washington, Lincoln, Franklin, etc etc)

  13. I am entertained by the idea of Grace Hopper, but I suspect Susan B Anthony is the best choice. She was an important figure in the fight for women’s rights and the vote, and really, that may have been one of the most transformative things for our society to have come out of the 20th century

  14. CoC, my kids did Laura Ingalls Wilder, Grace Hopper, and Amelia Earheart for their project, in that order. I am not suprised that DD chose Amelia Earheart – she is fascinated by explorers and daring-do. They all had to make a mobile as part of the project. The Grace Hopper mobile was funny – he included photos of little bugs, and binary numbers.

  15. CoC – if it makes you feel any better I believe that Jessica is quite the business woman. She has some billion dollar empire and hasn’t released a song in god knows how long. Compared to her peers she has conducted herself pretty well. It might turn out ok.

  16. I get very cranky about both Women’s History Month and Black History Month. Why segregate women and black people into little history ghettos? Women and people of color were always part of history and history should include them at all stages. In particular, I think it is exceedingly hard to understand much of US history without learning, in some depth, the reality of slavery and its importance to the US economy of the 19th century. And how can we understand American pop culture without knowing about black culture – the Southern blues and the Harlem Renaissance? We do get taught that Prohibition was a result of women getting the vote – but how about the realities of women’s lives that led to that vote?

  17. “Why segregate women and black people into little history ghettos?”

    I agree! I think the early grades in particular should be a time of teaching history within a timeline that is inclusive of all types of figures.

    Yes, Moxie! Today I would probably encourage my D to pick Jessica Simpson! Heck, even Kim Kardashian might be a good subject.

  18. Mooshi– I think they’re segregated into separate celebrations because before that happened, they simply weren’t mentioned at all. In the long run, it would be nice to see all of history presented as just that– history. I remember a lot of history books that were rather “all the white men” with the odd small box somewhere about what a woman did. Focusing on those folks for a while meant we learned *something* about them.

  19. I agree with Fred that we should rather bump Jackson from the currency than Hamilton. Not because Jackson was less important to American history, but because he was such an asshole, whereas Hamilton by all accounts was a stand-up guy.

  20. Tulip, I think you are right, but I agree with Mooshi as well and worry that giving these separate months simply absolves us from truly integrating everyone into history or herstory, whichever you prefer.

  21. Tulip, that is because history was traditionally taught as Great Man history, an endless parade of political figures and kings. That wasn’t good history either. Really, you can’t understand all those political compromises of the 19th century without understanding the social realities that were leading people to support one side or another. It needs to be a mix. For example, if kids learn about the way immigrants lived in the urban tenements, they might understand more why everyone wanted to head west. But then they also need to know about the Homestead Act to know why people COULD go west. It is a mix. And like CoC, I think history needs to be taught to kids sequentially. The modern themed social studies makes no sense.

    When I was a kid, I always wondered why we learned about the French and the Spanish in the beginning of US history, but then they just disappeared. Years later, I realized they never disappeared, but that badly taught history classes simply ignored them.

  22. Moxie – It looks nice, and–shoot me for saying this–the price seems reasonable for the location. I would like to bring in Kevin O’Connor and his crew (especially the landscaper with that awesome accent).

    Regarding the comments about minorities and the disadvantaged in history, I agree to include rather than classify and segregate. My only amused observation, and this may just be limited to tourist pop-history, is that sometimes this can be taken to the extreme. We never pass up the chance to tour a Gilded Age (or any age) mansion. Recently we visited Maymont in Richmond. When you get to the house, you go into the basement area and register for a guided tour. While you’re waiting for about 40 minutes or so, you tour the basement, which has been set up as a totally interactive exhibit of servants’ quarters, the kitchen, the laundry, and so forth. They have documentary movies playing with interviews of former servants and their families, they have the little phone things at different exhibits that you can pick up and hear narrations of the servants’ lives and workdays. There’s all kinds of emphasis on preserving the African American experience, telling their “side” of the story, honoring their work, honoring the communities that they built, honoring their contribution. It’s all great stuff.

    Then you get to the house tour, and you’re kind of herded through while the docent points out this and that antique that the owners once bought either from Paris or from Tiffany. Ooh, ahh. There’s next to no mention whatsoever of how this guy actually made his fortune, what kind of business he was in, what made him so successful, was he an innovator, did he take a lot of risks, did he have a lot of business failures or setbacks? Nothing. It’s all about the proud but humble servants, and the owners are kind of treated as benevolent, if perhaps a little clueless, at best, and they shopped a lot. If you ask the tour guide about the source of the fortune, her reaction suggests that such a question is rather curious. Something to do with investing in railroads, a little bit of this and that.

    Part of this might be an over-correction from the way history was handled in the past, but maybe another part is, like what Rhett might say, just a general distaste for business and financial success among the people who are responsible for curating the exhibits and tours.

  23. Milo, I agree that more should be included about the rich people who inhabited those houses, and in particular, where the money came from. But part of the problem may be the tastes of a lot of people who do those tours. Most people I know who visit fancy mansions are really more interested in the objects – the art, the antiques, and perhaps a bit about the parties, than in the history. They may politely sit through presentations on the servants because they know they should, but by the time they get to the house itself, they don’t want to hear more history. At least, that is the sense I have gotten from relatives who have toured those kinds of houses.

  24. “But part of the problem may be the tastes of a lot of people who do those tours.”

    Oh, that could be, too.

    Thinking some more about it, the Newport Historical Society never seemed to pay nearly as much attention to the servants. Maybe they don’t feel quite the same guilt about Irish maids as they do over black ones.

  25. . Most people I know who visit fancy mansions are really more interested in the objects – the art, the antiques, and perhaps a bit about the parties, than in the history.

    Yes, this. People see them as museums and are interested in the stuff.

  26. I’m with Milo on the old historical mansions. I dragged my wife, and now I drag Junior through way too many of them every time one is in close proximity. Usually, I embarrass all who are with me with my questions, but I am fascinated by history and the people who have played a part in it.

    Milo, I’m sure you’ve been to Monticello, haven’t you and also gotten a real tour of the University of Virginia, the Rotunda and the Colonnades? They are absolutely fascinating historically.

  27. The answer about the wealth underlying most of the Gilded Age mansions is “they inherited it.” The founding entrepreneur, or slave/spice trader, or railroad baron, or industrialist would never have displayed his wealth that way. It is almost always a descendant and more importantly his wife, who is also a few generations removed from the original business or title that credentialed her bloodline for marrying into the wealthy family. In the South, more often than not the fortunes which led to the mansions were generated by economic enterprises built on slavery. I don’t think tourists want to hear a lot about that.

  28. Meme – Neither is true in this case. Not inherited, and earned post-Civil War.

  29. I was not familiar with Maymont before looking it up. Major Dooley’s parents were successful immigrants and he was an excellent post Civil War real estate speculator, railroad baron and all around businessman. His wife was old Virginia aristocracy- not sure whether she brought wealth to the marriage or not, but many of the old gentry were wiped out by either the war or Reconstruction (after all, she did marry a staunch Roman Catholic). I am surprised they don’t tell more of his story for the very reason that it is not one of inheritance or slaveholding, but I get the point that most people touring the houses are interested in upstairs or downstairs, not economics of the period.

  30. The founding entrepreneur, or slave/spice trader, or railroad baron, or industrialist would never have displayed his wealth that way.

    Have you been to the Frick? This is the house William Clark build for himself on 5th Avenue in NYC.

  31. At the other end of the spectrum, the Tenement Museum in NYC shows life for working class immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries.

  32. CoC,

    A trip to The Tenement Museum and The Frick would make for an interesting day.

  33. Typically Meme’s right, I think, at least for the descendants of Vanderbilt and Rockefeller, maybe Carnegie.

    But another great exception and my favorite in Newport, “The Elms,” built by fellow alumnus and successful defense contractor Edward Berwind:

  34. I love The Elms. I always thought he was big in coal? Or did he sell coal to the navy?

  35. Schwab began his career as an engineer in Andrew Carnegie’s steelworks, starting as a stake-driver in the engineering corps of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works and Furnaces in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He was promoted often, including to the positions of general superintendent of the Homestead Works in 1886 and general superintendent of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in 1889.[3] In 1897, at only 35 years of age, he became president of the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1901, he helped negotiate the secret sale of Carnegie Steel to a group of New York–based financiers led by J. P. Morgan. After the buyout, Schwab became the first president of the U.S. Steel Corporation, the company formed out of Carnegie’s former holdings

  36. I’ve got to tour more of those places.

    Yes, he sold his coal to the Navy.

    I liked Flagler’s house in Palm Beach. Plus, the grounds are the best, with the banyan? trees blowing gently in the breeze. At least in February, it was very pleasant.

  37. Flaggler’s step brother the saddle making apprentice who convinced him to quit school and go in whith him on the oil thing – his New York house:

  38. Many years ago A&E had a show called America’s Castles. I loved it. Not only did it talk about how it was built, how long it took, how the family traveled the world to decorate, but also a history of the family. It was a great program. I also love visiting old mansions. I’m the family that brings the 2 year old on the tour. :) In the Midwest they don’t need to focus too much on how they made their money. It is either automobiles, trains, or logging.

  39. Meme,

    I’m not so sure about your theory of the modest living 19th century self made masters of the universe .

  40. Frick made his own money because he father lost all of his grandfather’s money. He was from an aristocratic Pennsylvania family and was best friends with Andrew Mellon. Carnegie regretted that he went into business with him. And he bought real art, not mismatched statuary or bits of European mansions and castles. I’ll give you Clark and his hideous mansion, but he was never accepted in society. As you probably can tell, I have only been on a couple of house or castle tours and find looking at furniture and tapestries and decorated ceilings mind numbingly boring. I always preferred the kitchens and mechanical rooms, especially if there were demos or videos or hands on displays.

    Department of Totebaggery alert. DH and I are in the midst of seeing the recovered and remastered (negatives went through a fire) 1950s Satyajit Ray Apu trilogy at the Cambridge MA Landmark Theatre (art house chain). Neither of us ever saw these films. If that’s not Totebaggy enough, tonight for the middle installment we decided to enjoy a snack. As I approached the counter, I was confronted by a display for edamame(!), sold with an accompanying container for the empty pods. (We made other choices.)

  41. I’ll give you Clark and his hideous mansion

    He got a special property tax abatement by arguing that the running costs were so astronomical that he was the only person who could afford to live in it.

  42. “A trip to The Tenement Museum and The Frick would make for an interesting day.”

    A totebagger field trip! Or it could be an educational excursion for your children, one that highlights the consequences of different life choices.

  43. Milo,

    The 9:36 house? The Crane Estate. His great grandson? Cornelius Crane Chase aka Chevy Chase.

  44. Interesting Newport connection. Chevy’s given name Cornelius? Named after his maternal grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane.

  45. hmmm. and looks like Chevy’s maternal grandfather was captain of the Enterprise during the Battle of Midway.

  46. His citation for the Distinguished Service Medal states: “His judicious planning and brilliant execution was largely responsible for the rout of the enemy Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway.”

    That’s nothing to sneeze at either. Did you also see that Chevy’s Parents divorced when he was 4 and his father remarried the Folgers Coffee heiress?

    So his mother was adopted by her step father Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane – I wonder why the name change? Must be a story there.

  47. tragic what happened to the Schwab mansion. My general feeling is that New York has no real appreciation for history. Always tearing down and rebuilding something newer.

  48. Moxie,

    What else could be done with them? That lifestyle and the economic system that supported it only worked basically from the end of the Civil War till the start of WWI.

  49. I was watching MotorWeek on my DVR last night, which is a local’ish car review show on public television. That’s how I learned that there is a redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot. I was kind of disappointed that it lost its distinctive boxiness; now it just looks like another large Kia crossover. And the reviewers said the same, admitting that they had previously criticized the boxiness but now miss it.

    Oh well. The features and fuel economy are impressive enough to make me think the MDX is probably redundant for now. One thing I found interesting is that it’s an eight-passenger vehicle in most trims, but in the Elite version, the second row becomes two captain’s chairs rather than three across. In the Odyssey, the middle seat in the second row is very functional and easily removable, so there’s no tradeoff.

    You could almost hear WCE laying the design plans, saying “nobody with more than two kids is going to be spending $45k on an SUV.”

  50. It’s interesting how many of those NYC mansions lasted only a few decades. The Clark home cost $162 million in today’s dollars and only stood for 20 years. But, as Rhett points out, it wasn’t feasible to keep them going long term. If they did last, they would be cut up into smaller units, and eventually the upkeep would be too difficult and they’d fall into ruin without the assistance of a Trust of some sort.

  51. @Rhett, I don’t know – Paris seems to have done a fine job of it! They make wonderful apartments, museums, hotels all kinds of things.

  52. “I was confronted by a display for edamame(!),”

    That’s been a popular snack food here for years. Among other things, it goes well with beer.

  53. “Chevy’s given name Cornelius? Named after his maternal grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane.”

    Does that make him cousins with Anderson Cooper?

    Coincidentally, I was just watching Vacation (the first one, going to Wallyworld) last night.

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