Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill because he was the first Secretary of the Treasury. His proactive stance in running the Treasury Department set many precedents for its role in government. With Benjamin Franklin, he is one of two non-Presidents on U.S. bills.
Because of the great war debt facing the young nation, Hamilton had to be creative in raising revenue. He issued the original U.S. Treasury bonds and levied the first taxes. His belief in a strong federal government led him to establish both the first central bank of the nation and the federal mint. He also encouraged an industrial economy for the country. Alexander Hamilton has appeared on the $10 bill since 1928.