Which Presidents Are On US Dollar Bills?

A collection of one hundred dollar bills.
A collection of one hundred dollar bills.

The United States dollar is the official currency in the United States since 1792. The first notes were printed in 1862 to raise money for the Civil War. In the early printing days, now defunct, notes such as the Silver Certificates, Interest Notes, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, and Fractional Currency notes were issued as replacements for coins during the Civil War featuring portraits of Presidents and other important people in America’s history.23 presidents of the US have so far appeared on the US coin and paper currency. According to the US Code, Title 31, Section 5114(b), only the portraits of departed legendries should feature on the US notes and bills under the mandate of the US Secretary of Treasury.

George Washington

George Washington’s portrait was incorporated in the US one dollar bill in 1869 and has not changed even with the different series of printing.He was the first president and one of the founding fathers of the United States. Washington was the commander of the Continental Army that led the American Revolutionary War.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson appeared on the two-dollar bill during its inception in 1869. He was the third president of the US and Principal Arthur of the Declaration of Independence. During the Great Depression, the $2 note lost its significance as most items cost less than one dollar. Despite losing its popularity, the note is still in circulation but has a minimal practical use.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln has graced the obverse of the five-dollar note since 1914 during its inception. Although other presidents including Jackson and Grant had appeared on the note, Lincoln’s portrait has been dominant on the note. He was the 16th President of the US and he led America through the bloodiest war in its history, the Civil War.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the US appeared on the $20 note in 1928 replacing Grover Cleveland. In a campaign known as, Women on 20’s, it is proposed that Underground Railroad Crusader, Harriet Tubman, replaces Andrew Jackson as the first woman to appear on US bills.

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th president of the US and has graced the fifty-dollar note since 1913. During the American Civil War, Grant led the Union Army to triumph over the Confederation Army. Due to wear and tear of the fifty-dollar bill, its average life in circulation is 102 months before replacement

Grover Cleveland

Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States synonymous with opposing inflation, high tariffs, imperialism, Free Silver, and subsidies to businesses and farmers. He graced the $20 bill before being replaced by Andrew Jackson, His portrait also appeared on the $1,000 bill which was discontinued from printing and circulation in 1945 and 1969 respectively. However, the bill is still accepted as legal tender.

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson’s portrait appeared on the largest dollar bill in US history of $100,000 Gold Certificate. He was the 28th president of the US and leader of the Progressive Movement in 1910. The Gold Certificate was never released into circulation and was only used for inter-bank transfers during the Great Depression.


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