Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Adios, Andy

Looking at the $20 bill currently in circulation, I can see the appeal of Andrew Jackson on a visual level. With that wind-teased hair of his, he practically invented "stylishly invented" at least for American men. That and the cravat and the Travis Bickle expression all add up.

Not a great president, though, even if he did lead a colorful life. Thomas Jefferson is increasingly maligned in the Hamilton era, but he did do other stuff besides own slaves - Louisiana Purchase, inventing the dumb waiter. Most of Jackson's "accomplishments" would land him on trial in the Hague.

So yeah, you could say I'm Ready for Harriet.


susan said...

I agree absolutely that Andrew Jackson's sartorial splendor gave elegance to the $20. while his accomplishments were dubious in the extreme. People always knew what was meant by a roll of Jacksons. Now I'm hoping someone will create a more pleasant portrait of Harriet Tubman than the one or two versions I've seen. Do you suppose they'll be known as Tubs?

Ben said...

I wonder how many times a roll of Jacksons has turned out to be a dozen or so George Washingtons wrapped up in a Jackson. Some people like to pretend to be high rollers, after all.

The pictures that were taken of her date from the time when it wasn't considered good form to smile for portraits. Look at a picture of any picture of a 19th century president and they'll look pretty grim. Admittedly, it takes some getting used to.