|Confederate States Secretary of the Treasury|
July 18, 1864 – April 27, 1865
|Preceded by||Christopher Memminger|
|Succeeded by||John Reagan (Acting)|
February 25, 1807|
Charleston, South Carolina, US
|Died||December 9, 1876
Charleston, South Carolina, US
|Spouse(s)||Anna Helen Holmes|
George Alfred Trenholm (February 25, 1807 – December 9, 1876) was a prominent politician in the Confederate States of America and served as the Secretary of the Treasury during the final year of the American Civil War.
George Alfred Trenholm was born in Charleston, South Carolina. When his father, William Trenholm, died, George left school early. He went to work for a major cotton broker, John Fraser and Company in Charleston. By 1853 he was head of the company, and by 1860 he was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. He had financial interests in steamships, hotels, cotton, plantations, and slaves; he was also director of the Bank of Charleston and of a South Carolina railroad.
When the Civil War broke out, his company - now called Fraser, Trenholm and Company - became the Confederate government's overseas banker. With an office in London, it arranged cotton sales and financed its own fleet of blockade runners. Trenholm worked with the American James Dunwoody Bulloch as a Confederate foreign agent in Britain to manage their arrangements. Britain depended on cotton exports, and maintenance of the trade helped with public opinion toward the Confederacy, as well as with financing.
Christopher Memminger used Trenholm as an unofficial adviser throughout his own term as Secretary of the Treasury. Trenholm was appointed to that post on July 18, 1864. He was a more charismatic figure than his predecessor, and this helped him with the press and with Congress.
Trenholm fled Richmond with the rest of the government in April 1865 and reached Fort Mill, South Carolina. Due to illness he asked President Jefferson Davis to accept his resignation, which Davis accepted with his thanks on April 27, 1865. Trenholm was later briefly imprisoned at Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia.
George Alfred Trenholm married Anna Helen Holmes. The couple had a very large family; five of their children died in infancy.
- Patrick 1944, pp. 236–237.
- Patrick 1944, pp. 237–238.
- Patrick 1944, p. 242.
- Allen, Felicity (1999). Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart (illustrated ed.). University of Missouri. p. 6. ISBN 0-8262-1219-0. Retrieved 2009-03-03
- Bulloch, James D. (2001). The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe. New York: Random House International. ISBN 0-679-64022-3.
- Nepveux, Ethel Trenholm Seabrook (1973). George Alfred Trenholm and the Company That Went to War. Anderson, South Carolina: The Author. ISBN 0-9668843-1-0.
- Nepveux, Ethel Trenholm Seabrook (1999). George A. Trenholm, Financial Genius of the Confederacy. Anderson, South Carolina: The Author. ISBN 0-9668843-1-0.
- Patrick, Rembert W. (1944). Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 234–243.
- Spence, E. Lee (1995). Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations. Miami: Narwhal Press. ISBN 1-886391-01-7.
- Spencer, Warren F. (1983). The Confederate Navy In Europe. University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0861-X.
|Confederate States Secretary of the Treasury