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 George Alfred Trenholm

George Alfred Trenholm

Birth
Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Death 9 Dec 1876 (aged 69)
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 14733778 · View Source
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Confederate Treasury Secretary, Confederate Financial Agent. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he became a well-known banker and businessman, and was generally thought to be the wealthiest man in the Confederacy. He left school in 1823 at 16 to work for John Fraser & Co., Charleston's leading cotton shippers; 30 years later he was the firm's head and chief owner. He had interests in steamships, railroads, banks, hotels, plantations, wharves, and cotton presses. Charming, handsome, and influential, he was a Democrat who served in the South Carolina legislature from 1852 to 1856 and who later strongly supported secession. During the Civil War, he devoted his financial skill and resources to the Confederacy, developing a foreign branch in Liverpool, England, Fraser, Trenholm, & Co., to act as the Confederacy's financial agent, and, with a fleet of some 60 ships, ran the Federal blockade. He later would open offices in Nassau, and Bermuda. He shipped out cotton, tobacco, and turpentine, and brought in coal, iron, salt, ammunition, and arms. This included the South's first 40,000 Enfield rifles. Josiah Gorgas, chief of ordnance of the Confederate Army, estimated in March 1863 that John Fraser & Co. of Charleston had already made $9 million in the blockade running business. From the beginning of the war he served as unofficial adviser to Christopher G. Memminger, Confederate Treasury Secretary, and in July 1864 succeeded him in that post. But he was no more successful than his predecessor as he attempted to persuade Congress to pass his proposed money making measures in a last ditch stand to save the failing Confederacy. While the rest of the Confederate cabinet tried to escape capture, he was left behind due to ill health and Postmaster General John Reagan took over his duties on a temporary basis. He was captured in April 1865 and held by the Federals at Fort Pulaski, Georgia, until October of that year. He returned to his family and business interests in Charleston. Bankrupt, he reorganized his cotton brokerage firm and by 1868 was on his way to making another fortune. In 1874 he was returned to the South Carolina legislature, serving until his death in the city he was born.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ugaalltheway
  • Added: 25 Jun 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14733778
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Alfred Trenholm (25 Feb 1807–9 Dec 1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14733778, citing Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .