Christopher Memminger

Photo of Christopher Memminger
Christopher Memminger

Dickson Capers, The Life and Times of C.G. Memminger

Quick Facts

Significance:
Confederate Secretary of the Treasury
Place of Birth:
Vaihingen an der Enz
Date of Birth:
January 9, 1803
Place of Death:
Flat Rock, NC
Date of Death:
March 7, 1888
Place of Burial:
Flat Rock, NC
Cemetery Name:
St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery

Christopher Gustavus Memminger was a lawyer and South Carolina state legislator, who for 20 years headed the state's Finance Committee. Although a critic of South Carolina's attempt to nullify Federal laws in the 1830s, he joined the secessionist movement after Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. Memminger was selected to write the legal justification for South Carolina's secession in the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." He then became a South Carolina delegate to the Provisional Congress of Confederate States where he chaired the committee, which drafted the Confederate Constitution.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis appointed Memminger Secretary of Treasury. As the war progressed, Memminger managed the steady decline of Confederate finances as various schemes to introduce direct taxation, control inflation, and preserve Confederate credit lines were tried and failed. He was driven from office in 1864 after the complete collapse of the Confederate currency. After the war, Memminger resumed his law practice, as well as his long-time involvement in efforts to improve public education in South Carolina.

Last updated: November 11, 2018