Through an interesting turn of events, southern-born Rose’s (Maria Rosetta) marriage to Dr. Robert Greenhow ushered her from a life of poverty to one of financial and social status.  In fact, Rose often hob-nobbed with Dolley Madison and other well-known socialities of her day. It’s said that Rose’s influence helped elect President James Buchanan in 1856.

However, when the Civil War began, Rose became a Confederate spy. Though imprisoned on several occasions, she continued to leak Union information to aid the Confederates. Then, a diplomatic excursion brought her to France, where she wrote her memoirs and sold them for two thousand dollars in gold.

Far wealthier than when she’d arrived, Rose boarded a ship bound for home with her handsome salary sewn into the hem of her gown. But when her ship reached the mouth of Cape Fear River (Wilmington, N.C.), a Union ship gave chase.

Not to be outwitted, Rose and two soldiers hopped on a lifeboat to avoid capture. When the stormy seas capsized the small vessel, Rose and her gold perished.

We know that God’s word says in 1 Tim. 6:6 that our relationship with Him is what brings contentment and is of great gain. I wonder if Rose had ever read this verse: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9, NIV).

My parents had framed a poem by Charles Thomas Studd on a wall of my childhood home. Its impact is the same as the first day I’d read it. I pray it blesses you too:

By Author eMarie

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Sherry Shindelar
Sherry Shindelar
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Ha! I always knew there was some reason I was afraid to try that:)

Sherry Shindelar
Sherry Shindelar
1 year ago

I’ve always thought: If only Rose had dumped the gold … To her credit, she intended to give it to the Confederate government, a cause she wrongly but strongly supported, but it wasn’t worth her life. And I do wonder if she knew the Lord.

Regarding her spying, she helped the Confederates win First Manassas by beguiling a number of Federal officers into talking freely at her house.

I didn’t know anything about her past before the Civil War. I enjoyed the post:)

Patti Shene
1 year ago

Wow, great post eMarie! I think we do tend to hold on to and value our worldly possessions, not taking the time to realize they are worthless when this life is over!

Becky Van Vleet
1 year ago

Oh, I love that plaque–such a great message. It must have really impacted your life since after a number of years, you’re still remembering it. Thank you for sharing this plaque with all of us! Poor Rose.

Valerie Cullers
1 year ago

Poor Rose! Although rich, she traded her life for earthly possessions. Did she want to get out of her gown but didn’t have time?

Gwen Gage
1 year ago

I’ll bet that skirt was heavy. Not a good idea on the seas. Yikes! A great picture of 1 Timothy’s warning.

1 year ago

A little-know peril of Independent Publishing.

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