David L. Gregg Article

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David L. Gregg
David Lawrence Gregg.jpg
United States Commissioner to the Kingdom of Hawaii
In office
President Franklin Pierce
Preceded by Luther Severance
Succeeded by James W. Borden
11th Illinois Secretary of State
In office
Governor Augustus C. French
Preceded by Horace S. Cooley
Succeeded by Alexander Starne
Minister of Finance
In office
May 26, 1858 – August 18, 1862
Preceded by Robert C. Wyllie
Succeeded by Robert C. Wyllie
Personal details
BornJuly 21, 1819
DiedDecember 23, 1868(1868-12-23) (aged 49)
Carson City, Nevada
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Rebecca Eads
ProfessionAttorney, publisher

David Lawrence Gregg (July 21, 1819 – December 23, 1868) was an American politician from Pennsylvania. He rose to prominence in Illinois politics, first in the Illinois House of Representatives, then as United States Attorney, and Illinois Secretary of State. In 1853, Franklin Pierce appointed Gregg the Commissioner to the Kingdom of Hawaii to negotiate its annexation at the request of its king, Kamehameha III. Incorrectly, he cited the U.S. Constitution as not allowing annexation of a foreign state. (Texas was in fact allowed to be annexed.) His later years were spent in Carson City, Nevada.


David Lawrence Gregg was born in Pennsylvania on July 21, 1819. He moved west and settled in Joliet, Illinois, to practice law. He edited the Juliet Courier, the first paper in Will County, Illinois. Gregg was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1842, serving two two-year terms. Gregg then accepted an appointment by President James K. Polk as United States Attorney for the District of Illinois. He was a delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention of 1847, representing Cook County. In 1850, he was named the Illinois Secretary of State as a Democrat, filling the unexpired term of the deceased Horace S. Cooley. Gregg was then re-elected to a two-year term. He then was a presidential elector for the 1852 election. He was a leading candidate in 1852 for the Democratic nomination as Governor of Illinois, but was defeated by Joel Aldrich Matteson. [1]

President Franklin Pierce then appointed Gregg the Commissioner to the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was involved with unsuccessful annexation discussions with the Hawaiian monarchy. In 1857, he left the office to become Hawaiian finance minister. Gregg returned to the United States, settling in Carson City, Nevada. President Andrew Johnson commissioned him receiver of public moneys for the district of lands subject to sale in the city. [1]

Gregg married Rebecca Eads on September 1, 1850. He died in Carson City on December 23, 1868 and was buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery. [1]


  1. ^ a b c "Original Letter". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 9 (3): 311. October 1916.
Political offices
Preceded by
Horace S. Cooley
Secretary of State of Illinois
Succeeded by
Alexander Starne