George Peabody was a banker and philanthropist.
At the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Peabody invested in the American exhibits, and hosted lavish entertainments. During the American civil war, he helped Lincoln's emissaries to secure UK support for the Union. Afterwards, he established The Southern Education Fund, providing a public education system open to all races in the Southern states.
Peabody Trust website, http://www.peabody.org.uk (accessed 2005).
Who Was Who in America. Historical Volume, 1607-1896, Chicago, 1963.