Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Financial Bailout for the Old South


On the verge of crisis 145 years ago, the Confederate States of America sought an economic rescue not unlike the one U.S. financial institutions recently got.

Confederate accounts were overdrawn, and credit from overseas investment firms was about to dry up because lenders weren’t confident the Southern states could repay their mounting debts.

So, in 1863, Alabama businessman Colin J. McRae was sent to Europe to orchestrate a bailout of the Confederacy. In 2002, a trove of documents from McRae’s time in England and France was found in the attic of a home in Alabama. The papers revealed the impact of European financing on the Civil War and provided historic details of the Confederate supply chain.

The documents are part of the Colin J. McRae Collection and can be viewed at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum (http://crr.sc.gov).

Read the rest of this fascinating story here:
http://www.thestate.com/sunday-life/v-print/story/574183.html

"Confederate Relic Room: Long-lost papers shine a light on Confederacy’s financial crisis" By OTIS R. TAYLOR JR. Posted on Sun, Nov. 02, 2008.

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