Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rose O'Neal Greenhow

Port Tobacco must have been an interesting place during the Civil War. Conspiracies, spies, combatants, and clandestine operations appear to have been the norm.

Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a seemingly unlikely player. She was born in Port Tobacco in 1813 and was apparently very beautiful as an adult. Her father was a wealthy planter and when he was murdered by a slave in 1817 (see how much fun Port Tobacco was?), her mother raised her amongst the elite of Washington DC. She began spying for the Confederate cause, was arrested, and held in Old Capitol Prison along with her daughter, also named Rose.
Rose O'Neal Greenhow and daughter Rose at Old Capitol Prison
Eventually she was exiled to Richmond when President Jefferson Davis sent her to Europe to further the Southern cause. While returning home, her ship the Condor, was pursued by a Union vessel during a storm. She exited her ship in a small boat in an attempt to escape. Her boat capsized and she drown, mostly because of the $2000 in gold she carried. Her grave is decorated each year on Confederate Memorial Day. No idea what happened to the gold.
Alright folks. The logo we have is excellent, but it would be nice to have other entries as well. I know everyone is bored during this festive, holiday season, so let's see some more, great Port Tobacco art!


Dancing Willow said...

Great story. I wonder who recovered the Gold and what the value would be today?

Brownie said...

I know what happened to the gold... did a project on her. A Confederate soldier took the gold and pushed the body back into the ocean but when he found out who it was he gave it back.

No idea about the value.