Spencer M. Clark was doubtless a photogenic figure. His beard, visage, and demeanor, all suggest a man of dignity, character, and experience. Given all that, it's hard to figure how he could translate a directive that must have gone something like, "Make sure the images of explorers Lewis and Clark appear on the obverse of the five-cent note of the third general issue of fractional currency."
But confuse the order he did. Perhaps it was simply the fact that his own name, "Clark", was included that led him astray. "Lewis and Clark" . . . . "Clark"; and there you have it: His own portrait on the note instead of the intrepid team of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Who will notice anyway?
Actually, it was noticed before the ink was dry on the first printing of the note. And almost before you could say: "What the hell were you thinking?", Congress passed a law making it illegal for anyone still living to be featured on U.S. currency.
He does look good though,
and it makes a handsome bill.