Skip navigation

Historical Manuscripts Collection List »

PETER TRIMBLE ROWE (1856-1942). Autographed Letters and Portraits; n.d., 1898, 1903, 1920. .1 cu. ft.

Peter Trimble Rowe was born in 1856 in Meadowvale, Ontario. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1878. In 1895, Rowe was elected Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of Alaska. During his tenure as bishop from 1895 to 1931, he was involved in establishing several churches, missions and hospitals throughout Alaska. Bishop Rowe made his home in Sitka until 1914, where he was involved in the construction of the local church, St. Peter's by-the-Sea, completed in 1899. In 1905, he also built his own family residence in back of the church. Bishop Rowe died in 1942. Reverend Thomas Jenkins wrote Bishop Rowe's biography, The Man of Alaska, which was published in 1943.

The collection consists of three signed letters by Bishop Peter Trimble Rowe, and copies of his oil and photo portraits. The first letter, undated, is to a fellow bishop in acceptance of a dinner invitation. The second letter, written from New York on November 1, 1898, is addressed to a Miss Loring, declining an invitation to an engagement in Boston. The third letter, written from Sitka on January 24, 1903, thanks a fellow bishop for sending him a biography of Roger Wolcott, and mentions that he had arrived home to Sitka shortly before Christmas. The fourth letter, written from Seattle on December 13, 1920, is a Christmas greeting to a fellow bishop. The two color copies of Rowe's oil portrait, one of which is signed by the bishop, was painted by artist Neale Ordayne in 1937. The copies are accompanied by a printed description of the portrait from the Episcopal magazine, Alaskan Churchman. The black and white photo portrait is a clipping of an earlier likeness of the bishop. Included with the signed letters and portraits is a cover sheet with the number 177, the bishop's name, his diocese, and the date of his consecration, November 30, 1895.

The collection was acquired by the archives in 2005. It was originally part of a collection of autographed letters and images of bishops assembled by the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

JAS (7/2005)