Focused on Mississippi: Rev. Teasdale and the presidents

Focused on Mississippi

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WJTV) – The weeping angel over the Teasdale plot in Columbus is quite well known. It’s much better known than the unusual story that happened at the very end of the Civil War to Reverend Thomas Teasdale who is buried here.

I have very little video of what I am about to tell you, so you may have to make up your own pictures for some of this story in your head. The Civil War populated the South with orphans. Reverend Teasdale and some others came up with the idea of buying Southern cotton with Confederate money and taking it to New York to sell it for U.S. Greenbacks.

They used the proceeds to build and orphanage. Only, trade wasn’t allowed between the North and the South without special permission that had to come from the president. Rev. Teasdale was chosen to present the petition to Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln because during his career he had known both men.

Long story short, Teasdale made it to Richmond, and Davis looked over the petition and signed it. Then, Teasdale snuck into Washington because getting permission to cross over would take too long. Lincoln took him to the front of the line of people wanting to see him, looked over the petition and read what Davis had written. Under Davis’ signature, Lincoln endorsed and signed the petition himself. 

However on his way back to Mississippi, General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, and shortly thereafter Lincoln was assassinated. So no amount of Confederate money would buy anything and the idea for the orphanage evaporated. 

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