by Ian White
A RETIRED contractor and leading local chess player is out to prevent the federal government from removing Alexander Hamilton’s portrait from America’s $10 bill.
George Laiacona, below, who has residences in Galveston and Houston, is outraged that Hamilton could be the revolutionary hero to be dumped from America’s paper money to make way for a woman’s portrait “in the name of political correctness”.
He told The Post on Sunday: “If there has become a need to place a female on one of our bills, let her replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 note.
“He was a southern war hero who served well for our country in his time but he was very much against women’s suffrage, so to replace him with a female would be ironic.”
Laiacona, who founded and is director of Galveston Chess Club, wants people to write to the US treasury to protest at the idea of replacing Hamilton, whom he describes as “the third most important American patriot”.
In his own letter to treasury secretary Jacob Lew, he slams the idea as being that of “some ignorant, non-patriotic fool” and says he “can only assume “that those interested in removing” his portrait from the $10 bill “know very little about” him.
Lew announced plans to redesign the $10 banknote to include a notable woman’s portrait on June 17.
Laiacona’s letter continues: “If it wasn’t for Hamilton writing George Washington’s notes, orders and addresses, the general would have had difficulty in communicating with all of those concerned with the Revolutionary War on the battlefield and in congress.
“Hamilton was Washington’s right-hand man for four years of the war. He only stopped working alongside of the general because he wanted battle action. He proved himself as a war-hero officer in spite of Washington wanting to keep him as his aide-de-camp.”
Laiacona said Hamilton’s contribution to America’s success as a nation went beyond his acts in the War Of Independence.
He said: “If it wasn’t for Hamilton, Washington might have lost his bid for the first presidency to John Adams. Hamilton wrote Washington’s inaugural addresses, his letters to congress and most of his correspondence with the outside world.
“Hamilton’s imaginative mind created the US treasury department, the US Coast Guard and other agencies required to keep tabs on trade between American citizens and foreign countries.
“We need to keep the great American patriot Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. He rightfully belongs there.”
• Anyone wishing to write to the treasury about the plans to replace Hamilton’s portrait on the $10 bill should address their comments to Jacob Lew, Secretary, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20220.