Racial Reconciliation Timeline
Becoming Beloved Community is the Episcopal Church's long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. Key to that initiative is Telling the Truth: Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding racial justice and healing?
1607 Church of England is established in Virginia and extends to other colonies.
1619 Slavery and trans-Atlantic slave trade begin in colonies.
17th-18th centuries 6-7 million enslaved people brought to "new world.”
1794 Absalom Jones founds first Black Episcopal Church in the U.S., the African Episcopal Church of St.Thomas in Philadelphia.
1802 Absalom Jones is ordained first Black Episcopal priest in the U.S.
1807 Congress abolishes importation of slaves, effective in January 1808.
1808-1860 Trans-Atlantic slave trade continues illegally, coming largely through New York City. Domestic slave trade between the upper South and buyers in the lower South, including Texas, results in the sale and forced migration of estimated one million enslaved people, many sold through New Orleans, the largest slave market in antebellum America.
1821 First Anglo-American settlers begin to arrive in Texas, and chattel slavery is soon instituted. The first census in Stephen F. Austin's colony in 1825 shows 443 slaves in a total population of 1,800.
1836 Texas has approximately 5,000 enslaved persons in a total population estimated at 38,470. The number likely would have been larger but for the attitude of the Mexican government. Fear that Mexico would free the Texians’ slaves becomes one of the underlying causes of the Texas Revolution.
1836 After winning independence from Mexico, Texas becomes a Republic; slavery is protected in its constitution.
1836 Free Blacks are prohibited from entering the Republic, under pain of being arrested and sold into slavery with the proceeds going to the public treasury.
1837 Village of Waterloo is established on the Colorado River.
1839 Waterloo is renamed Austin; becomes capital of Texas.
1839 The Republic makes it a felony to assist a runaway slave.
1840 Free Blacks already living in Texas are given two years to leave or be arrested and sold into slavery with the proceeds going to the public treasury.
1845 With 30,000 enslaved people, Texas becomes a state.
1849 Diocese of Texas is established by Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
1857 The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, is founded by Episcopal bishops of southern dioceses, expressly for the slaveholding society of the South. Bishop Alexander Gregg serves as fourth chancellor from 1887 until his death in 1893.
1859 The Rev. Alexander Gregg, a slaveholder from South Carolina, is elected bishop of the Diocese of Texas, and brings his slaves along with his family to Texas. Gregg supports the institution of slavery, but believes churches should allow enslaved people to attend services with their masters.
1860 U.S. Census enumerates 182,566 enslaved people in Texas.
1861 Texas secedes and joins the Confederacy.
1861 Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America is formed by southern Episcopal dioceses during the American Civil War, including the Diocese of Texas.
1865 Civil War ends; southern dioceses reunite with Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
1866 Reconstruction begins; Texas establishes Black Codes to continue legal discrimination and limit autonomy of Blacks.
1878 Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) opens a branch seminary for Blacks, eventually becoming known as the Bishop Payne Divinity School, named for John Payne, the first Episcopal bishop of Liberia. Payne Divinity School closes in 1949 and merges with VTS in1953.
1883 University of Texas is established, for whites only.
1884 Diocese of Texas’s first Black Episcopal church, St. Augustine of Hippo, Galveston, is established.
1892 The Rev. George Herbert Kinsolving is elected assistant bishop of the Diocese of Texas. He makes his home in Austin, drawn to the young university and seeing opportunities for the church.
1893 Bishop Gregg dies; Kinsolving becomes Bishop of the Diocese of Texas.
1897 Grace Hall is built by the diocese as the first women’s residence hall for UT students and is named for the bishop's wife, Grace Jagger Kinsolving, who helped finance it.
1899 All Saints’ Church is erected as the chapel to Grace Hall and is dedicated to Bishop Alexander Gregg.
1910 First All Saints’ parish house is built and named Gregg House for Bishop Alexander Gregg.
1921 Camp Allen established with a gift of acreage from Rosa Lum Allen, prominent Houstonian and Episcopalian. Black Episcopal leaders appeal to the diocese at annual council for their own camp facility for nearly four decades.
1928 City of Austin creates a Master Plan to segregate Blacks by concentrating services and facilities for them in a “Negro district” in east Austin, driving them from freedmen neighborhoods scattered throughout the city which were then available to whites and land speculators.
1930 Robert E. Lee and Bishop Daniel S.Tuttle (Presiding Bishop 1903-1923) panel is included in the “Saints of the Church” stained glass window above All Saints’ altar.
1935 The Rev. C. Gresham Marmion, rector of St. John’s, Columbus, and Christ Church, Eagle Lake, in Colorado County, Texas, unsuccessfully tries to stop the lynching of 2 Black teenagers by a mob of some 700 White white people, likely some his own parishioners. The boys had been accused and arrested, but not yet tried, of raping and killing a 19-year-old white girl.
1941 St James Episcopal Church is founded in Austin by a group of 16 African Americans, mostly faculty and students of Tillotson College, wanting an Episcopal Church where they would be welcome. During this period, especially in the South, including Austin, Episcopal churches did not welcome Black people.
1950 U.S. Supreme Court rules in Sweatt v Painter that denying admission to UT Law School to Hemann Sweat, a Black applicant, violates U.S. Constitution.
1950 Bishop coadjutor John E. Hines, the Diocese of Texas, establishes St. Stephen’s School in Austin which admits all races.
1952. The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest established by Bishop Coadjutor John E. Hines and the Diocese of Texas. His founding principle is intentional racial integration, a seminary “for the whole church,” though it takes decades to realize Hines’ vision.
1952 St. Andrew’s school is founded by All Saints’, St. David’s, and Good Shepherd and excludes Black students.
1953 “New Testament” windows are added to the nave/west wall and are dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Harris Masterson, twice rector of All Saints, his wife Elizabeth Simkins Masterson, W.S. Simkins, and wife Lizzie Simpkins, funded with a bequest from Mrs. Masterson, a Simkins’ daughter. Simkins, a founder of the Ku Klux Klan in Florida, joined the faculty of the UT Law School in 1899.
1954 U. S. Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Bd. of Education that public school segregation violates the U.S. Constitution.
1955 Second Gregg House is built after demolition of first.
1956 UT allows first Black students to attend.
1959-1960 First integrated camps held at Camp Allen.
1960 St Andrew’s School denies admission of Black students from a St. James family.
1963 St. Andrew’s School desegregates and admits all races.
1964 Passage of U.S. Civil Rights Act.
1964 UT integrates dorms.
1965 Passage of U.S Voting Rights Act.
1965 Jonathan Daniels, Episcopal seminarian and civil rights activist, is shot to death in Alabama while shielding a 17-year-old Black girl named Ruby Sales.
1965 Segregation officially ends in Texas due to Civil Rights Act.
1970 Julius Whittier debuts as first African American football player at UT.
1999 Austin begins urban renewal of east Austin, over time resulting in gentrification of Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and exodus of original residents of color.
2005 Travis County renames courthouse for Heman Marion Sweatt.
2008. Barack Obama elected US president, first Black to hold the office.
2010 UT dorm Simkins Hall name changed to Creekside.
2013 Black Lives Matter movement begins.
2015 Jefferson Davis statue is removed from UT South Mall.
2015. General Convention elects Michael B. Curry, African American bishop of North Carolina, as 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.
2017 Robert E. Lee statue is removed from UT South Mall.
2018 Panel depicting Absalom Jones, America’s first Black Episcopal priest, and Jonathan Daniels, Episcopal Church martyr, replaces Lee and Tuttle panel in the “Saints of the Church” window above main altar at All Saints’.
2020 George Floyd is killed by white police officer in Minneapolis, leading to many protests of police brutality against minorities across the country, including in Austin.
2021 All Saints’ racial reconciliation group starts in response to congregation interest.