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 Christopher Gustavus Memminger

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Christopher Gustavus Memminger

  • Birth 9 Jan 1803 Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • Death 7 Mar 1888 Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
  • Burial Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 6848173

Civil War Confederate Cabinet Secretary. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany. Jefferson Davis appointed this German-born South Carolinian to the Confederate Cabinet as secretary of the treasury in February 1861. A conscientious, industrious man, he struggled to finance the Confederate budget for 3 years in the face of severe criticism and insurmountable odds. Orphaned shortly after his family immigrated to Charleston, he was accepted into a wealthy family and educated as a lawyer. As his practice grew, so did his political aspirations. Elected to the state house of representatives in 1836, he chaired the Committee on Finance. His persistent efforts to establish controls over the banking industry earned him recognition as a sound financier. A conservative Democrat, he opposed independent action by South Carolina in response to the issue of slavery but defended slavery as an institution. By the time of John Brown's Raid he firmly believed both secession and unified action by the Southern states a necessary defense against Northern domination. In his frustrating position as Treasury secretary, he tried to stabilize the Confederate economy, establish its credit, and draw money from the states into the Richmond government coffers. Though he agitated to increase bond sales, restrict currency issues to control inflation, and prod Congress into passing a comprehensive tax bill, the States-Rights faction thwarted his attempts to control the flow of cash and credit at a national level. Considering Congress' sluggishness, cotton's uselessness as a cash crop, and widespread resistance to central government, it is unlikely that anyone could have done better. He resigned in July 1864, in the face of harsh criticism from Congress and the press. Back in South Carolina after the war, he reopened his law practice and entered business. Already distinguished as the founder of Charleston's public-school system, he devoted his later years to promoting free education for blacks and whites in the state. He died in Charleston.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Chuck Garland
  • Added: 12 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6848173
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Christopher Gustavus Memminger (9 Jan 1803–7 Mar 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6848173, citing Saint John In the Wilderness Cemetery, Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .