George Washington Doane - Encyclopedia




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GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE (1799-1859), American churchman, Protestant Episcopal bishop of New Jersey, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on the 27th of May 1799. He graduated at Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1818, studied theology and, in 1821, was ordained deacon and in 1823 priest by Bishop Hobart, whom he assisted in Trinity church, New York. With George Upfold (1796-1872), bishop of Indiana from 1849 to 1872, Doane founded St Luke's in New York City. In 1824-1828 he was professor of belles-lettres in Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford, Connecticut, and at this time he was one of the editors of the Episcopal Watchman. He was assistant in 1828-1830 and rector in 1830-1832 of Christ church, Boston, and was bishop of New Jersey from October 1832 to his death at Burlington, New Jersey, on the 27th of April 1859. The diocese of New Jersey was an unpromising field, but he took up his work there with characteristic vigour, especially in the foundation of St Mary's Hall (1837, for girls) and Burlington College (1846) as demonstrations of his theory of education under church control. His business management of these schools got him heavily into debt, and in the autumn of 1852 a charge of lax administration came before a court of bishops, who dismissed it. The schools showed him an able and wise disciplinarian, and his patriotic orations and sermons prove him a speaker of great power. He belonged to the High Church party and was a brilliant controversialist. He published Songs by the Way (1824), a volume of poems; and his hymns beginning "Softly now the light of day" and "Thou art the Way" are well known.

See Life and Writings of George Washington Doane (4 vols., New York, 1860-1861), edited b y his son, William Croswell Doane (b. 1832), first bishop of Albany.

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