Let’s Get On With It.  Dolley Madison
Is The Logical Choice For The $10 Bill

It’s quite understandable:  the identity of the woman to be honored with her picture on the ten dollar bill (replacing Alexander Hamilton) is getting little if any public attention from a nation concerned with the need for attention to more important matters.

For example:  The growing ISIS threat, the debate whether the United States should sign the proposed “nuclear weapons freeze” with Iran, a move firmly opposed by Israel and some American Jewish interests, who, in effect, attempt to set American foreign policy in regard to any perceived threat to Israel.

All manner of news of more pressing importance than the identity of the first woman to be honored by her picture appearing on a piece of American currency.

But the woman-on-the-ten dollar bill is still of interest—and subject to quick and easy solution, in my judgment.  Let’s get on with it.

The obvious choice, it seems to me, is that remarkable woman, Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison.  A slam dunk, in my judgment.

As the British Army approached Washington in the War of 1812, destruction of the White House was inevitable.

Recognizing this, Dolley Madison took some remarkable steps—among them the saving of the famed Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington.

2015-09-02 14_33_53-Action centerInstead of trying to find a place to hide the large framed portrait, the resourceful Dolley Madison carefully cut the painting from its frame, then carefully rolled it into a smaller package which could be much more easily evacuated to a safe place.

Dolley showed ingenuity also in moving to safe places a number of other pieces of priceless White House memorabilia, some of them involving Dolley herself and the remarkable way she had opened the White House to the American people.

In the meantime, in Washington, Dolley’s husband, James Madison, then a Congressman, was involved in important negotiations of some constitutional amendments.

James Madison at the time was a member of Congress and played a leading role in the constitutional revision negotiations.

Over the years, of course, he advanced to the White House, being twice selected president of the United States.  He is credited for being the author of the revised version of the Constitution which started out with the simple words:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The preamble remains unchanged to this day.

This remarkable document, with its 27 amendments, has been amended only 17 times since the first 10 were ratified in 1791, has served the nation well for more than 200 years.

So let’s get on with it.  Both Dolley and James Madison would deserve recognition on a piece of U.S. currency.  The Congress has decreed the replacement for Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill shall be a woman (a decision with which I take no issue at all).  I think it’s a splendid timely decision.

And I think Dolley Madison is clearly a splendid choice.

Without distracting from national attention to more vital issues, how about a prompt Congressional decision to put Dolley Madison as the face on the $10 bill?

In these troubled times, such a popular decision (I firmly believe it would be popular) would be a piece of welcome relief from the flood of news about Iran, ISIS and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and all the rest.

# # #


Posted in Column | Leave a comment