Sinking Treasures

By David A. Sargent, Via BulletinGold

IMG_1247Rose O’Neal Greenhow (1817-1864) was born in Port Tobacco, Maryland. Orphaned as a child, Greenhow was invited to live with her aunt in Washington, D.C. as a teenager. While living in the nation’s capital, she was introduced to important figures in the Washington area. One of those figures was John C. Calhoun, a man of pro-Southern politics, who apparently convinced Rose to also be of pro-Southern interests during the time of the American Civil War.

Greenhow’s sympathy for the Confederate cause grew after the death of her husband, Dr. Robert Greenhow. Her loyalty to the Confederacy was noted by those with similar sympathies in Washington, and she was soon recruited as a spy…

In July of 1861, Greenhow passed secret messages to Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard containing critical information resulting in the Union rout at the First Battle of Bull Run. Suspected of espionage and imprisoned in August 1861, she continued gathering and forwarding information vital to Confederate operations. News of her activities brought publicity and tremendous popularity among Southern sympathizers. After being brought to trial in spring 1862, Greenhow was deported to Richmond, where cheering crowds greeted her.

That summer Jefferson Davis sent her to Europe as a courier. She stayed there collecting diplomatic intelligence and writing her memoirs until recalled in 1864, apparently bearing dispatches urgent to the Confederacy. Sailing on the British blockade runner Condor, she reached the mouth of the Cape Fear River just outside Wilmington, N.C., when a Union ship, the USS Niphon, gave chase, forcing the Condor aground on a sandbar early on the morning of October 1, 1864.

Greenhow, fearing capture and re-imprisonment, persuaded the captain to send her and 2 companions ashore in a lifeboat, but the small vessel was capsized by a wave. Greenhow, weighed down with $2,000 worth of gold from her memoir royalties intended for the Confederate treasury, drowned.

The demise of Rose O’Neal Greenhow illustrates the end of all those who cling to “sinking treasures.” People throughout the ages seek security and happiness in material wealth, but Jesus warned: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).

The true and eternal Treasure is found in Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY Savior and Giver of eternal life in heaven (John 14:6). And, He will save those who believe in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will give safe passage to eternal bliss those who continue to cling to Him in trusting obedience.

Stop clinging to “sinking treasures.” The REAL treasure is salvation in Jesus Christ, and it can be YOURS if you will trust and obey Him.

– David A. Sargent, minister for the church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water. To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:


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