Alexander Gregg consecrated first Episcopal bishop of Texas
On this day in 1859, the Rev. Alexander Gregg was consecrated as the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The diocese was actually organized in 1849 at a meeting in Matagorda, but several candidates had declined the position of bishop due to concerns about the young diocese's financial status before Gregg finally accepted. Gregg, born in 1819 in South Carolina, had been serving as rector of a parish in Cheraw in that state. He was consecrated at the General Convention in Richmond, Virginia, and moved to Texas in January 1860. Gregg was a slaveholder and an ardent supporter of the Confederacy; with the coming of secession, he held that the church in the Confederacy must follow the government and separate itself from the church in the United States, though after the Civil War he favored reuniting them. Gregg also established the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. He died in Austin in 1893.