News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. July 8, 2015: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday indirectly lent support to the Caribbean-born, US’ greatest immigrant as she too weighed in on the controversial US currency changes proposed by the Treasury Department.
In her first national interview exclusively with CNN Tuesday, the former Secretary of State echoed many advocates who argue that a woman should instead be honored on the US$20 bill and Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States and former slave owner removed.
While she did not directly say she supported sparing Nevisian-born Alexander Hamilton on the US$10 bill she said she did not “like the idea that as a compromise you would basically have two people on the same bill.”
The US Treasury Department has proposed adding an as yet to be determined woman onto the US$10 bill which Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and a Founding Father whom many consider a far superior politician to Jackson, now graces.
“That sounds pretty second class to me,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN. “So I think a woman should have her own bill.”
The Treasury Department has made no decision yet, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who said officials are “exploring a variety of possibilities.”
The selection of the historic female figure will be announced by Lew later this year.
Hamilton was not only a founding father of the United States but chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation’s financial system, and the founder of the Federalist Party, the world’s first voter-based political party.
As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the primary author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. Hamilton took the lead in the funding of the states’ debts by the Federal government, the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. He led the Federalist Party, created largely in support of his views; he was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, which despised Britain and feared that Hamilton’s policies of a strong central government would weaken the American commitment to Republicanism.
Born out of wedlock in Nevis, raised in the USVI, and orphaned as a child, Hamilton pursued a college education through the help of local wealthy men. Recognized for his abilities and talent, he was sent to King’s College (now Columbia University), in New York City. Hamilton played a major role in the American Revolutionary War. At the start of the war in 1775, he organized an artillery company. He soon became the senior aide to General Washington, the American forces’ commander-in-chief. Washington sent him on numerous important missions to tell generals what Washington wanted. After the war, Hamilton was elected to the Congress of the Confederation from New York. He resigned, to practice law, and founded the Bank of New York. Hamilton was among those dissatisfied with the weak national government. He led the Annapolis Convention, which successfully influenced Congress to issue a call for the Philadelphia Convention, in order to create a new constitution. He was an active participant at Philadelphia; and he helped achieve ratification by writing 51 of the 85 installments of The Federalist Papers. To this day, it is the single most important reference for Constitutional interpretation.
In addition to his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as planter, slave owner, and merchant. He built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee in 1803. The next year he acquired the Hermitage, a 640-acre plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. Jackson later added 360 acres to the plantation, which eventually grew to 1,050 acres. The primary crop was cotton, grown by enslaved workers. Starting with nine slaves, Jackson held as many as 44 by 1820, and later held up to 150 slaves, making him among the planter elite. Throughout his lifetime Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves.