Charles Gnstavus Memminger, an American politician, born in Wiirtemberg, Germany, Jan. 7, 1803. His mother, a widow, emigrated to Charleston, S. C, when he was an infant, and soon died. He was placed in an orphan asylum, but at the age of nine was adopted by Gov. Thomas Bennett. He graduated at the South Carolina college in 1820, began to practise law in Charleston in 1825, and was a leader of the Union party during the nullification excitement. He published " The Book of Nullification " (1832-'3), satirizing the advocates of the doctrine in Biblical style. In 183G he was elected to the legislature, where he opposed the suspension of specie payments by the banks in 1839. He assisted the attorney general in the prosecution of the principal case, which resulted in a decision that the banks had forfeited their charters. For nearly 20 years he was at the head of the finance committee in the lower house of the legislature, from which he retired in 1852. He was again returned in 1854, having become particularly interested in the reformation of the public school system. In 1859 he was a commissioner from South Carolina to Virginia, to secure cooperation against the movements of abolitionists.
He was appointed secretary of the treasury of the Confederate States in February, 1861, and resigned in June, 1864.