George Washington Doane
|The Right Reverend
George Washington Doane
|Bishop of New Jersey|
|Church||Episcopal Church in the United States of America|
|See||Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey|
|In office||1832 — 1859|
|Successor||William Henry Odenheimer|
May 27, 1799|
Trenton, New Jersey
|Previous post||Rector, Trinity Church, Boston|
Early life and career
Doane was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He graduated from 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. From 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.
Bishop of New Jersey
Doane was bishop of New Jersey from October 1832 to his death at Burlington, New Jersey.
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 (now Doane Academy) (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.
Death and legacy
Among those whom Doane ordained was Joseph Wolff, the Jewish Christian missionary.
His biography and bibliography, Life and Writings of George Washington Doane (4 vols, New York, 1860–1861), was edited by his son, William Croswell Doane (1832-1913), the first Bishop of Albany. The fact that both he and his son were "bishops [was] a situation possibly not unique but certainly rare enough to be remarked upon."
- The Episcopal Church Annual. Morehouse Publishing: New York, NY (2005).
- Bishops of the Diocese of New Jersey
- Doane, George Washington, Bishop of New Jersey, The apostolical commission the missionary charter of the church. The Sermon [on Matt. xxviii. 18-20] at the ordination of Joseph Wolff in ... Newark, Sept. 26, 1837.