Today, as I was driving to a meeting in Denver, I was thinking those random thoughts one thinks while one is driving to a meeting in Denver… namely, I was wondering whose portrait was on the ten-dollar bill.
Everyone knows Washington is on the one, and Lincoln is on the five. I was thinking perhaps it was Andrew Jackson, but remembered he was on the twenty. You get fifty clams for Grant, and Franklin comes in on the c-note.
The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became. This is obviously an example of senility setting in, because I’ve seen plenty of ten-spots in my day and should certainly know who grins at me from them.
When I hooked up with my friend Steve for lunch, I posed the same question to him. Of course he’d spent his last ten earlier, and I didn’t have any in my pocket either. Aha, we thought, the pizza place would have some in the cash register. We ordered our lunch and asked the clerk whose picture was on the ten.
They didn’t have any tens. Not one.
Obviously this situation had moved beyond senility into the realm of conspiracy. What sinister forces were working to prevent me from learning who was on the ten? More determined than ever, I finally went to the Fount of All Knowledge… Google.
Sure enough, after a few random links to people writing poetry about ten-dollar bills (no kidding!) I found a U.S. Treasury page showing the bill.
The answer to my conundrum? Alexander Hamilton.
Yeah, like he was even a real President. He’s like Taft or Garfield… a name you heard, but have no idea when they were in charge or what the heck they did.