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WILLIAM J. GORDON, JR. (1918-1994). Autographed Letter; 1949. .1 cu. ft.

William J. Gordon Jr. was born in North Carolina, the son of a parish priest. A deacon at the Virginia Seminary, he was recruited for work in the Episcopal Church in Alaska by Bishop John Bentley in 1943. Gordon married Shirley Lewis in Seward, Alaska, in 1943. He was subsequently ordained as an Episcopal priest and served five years as missionary-in-charge among the villages of the Arctic Coast. He was elected Bishop of Alaska in 1947, and then consecrated in 1948. After moving to Fairbanks, he earned his private pilot's license in 1949, and became known nationally as the "Flying Bishop of Alaska." After his retirement from Alaska in 1974, he traveled the world sharing his views for local clergy with Project TEAM (Teach Each A Ministry). In 1976, be became assistant bishop of Michigan. William J. Gordon, Jr. died in Midland, Michigan, in 1994.

The collection consists of an autographed letter signed by Bishop William J. Gordon, Jr. The letter, dated May 23, 1949, is addressed to Miss Elizabeth Hodges, Librarian, John Gordon Wright Library, Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It concerns his writing the letter to add to the collection of letters of bishops held by the library. The letter is on stationery for the Office of the Bishop, Missionary District of Alaska of the Protestant Episcopal Church, The Bishop's Lodge, Nenana, Alaska.

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

JAS (7/2005)