Rt. Rev. Peter Trimble Rowe


Peter Trimble Rowe 420

Peter Trimble Rowe
by Harris & Ewing.
Vintage bromide print, circa 1900s.

 The Right Reverend Peter Trimble Rowe D.D. (1856-1942), appointed first Missionary Bishop of the Espicopal Church in Alaska in 1895, crossed the Chilkoot Trail and tended the medical needs of the Klondike gold miners and the Native peoples, eventually founding hospitals, churches, and boarding schools throughout the territory.


Known as “the Trail Breaker,” Bishop Rowe traveled extensively across his vast diocese via dogsled in winter, in boats during the summer, and inspired his colleague, Hudson Stuck, Archdeacon of the Yukon, to publish three books dedicated in part to combating the exploitation of the Native peoples of Alaska.

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 4.02.46 PMA biography, The Man of Alaska: Peter Trimble Rowe (New York: Morehouse Gorham Co., 1945), was written by his friend, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Jenkins, who spent many years in Alaska under Bishop Rowe. The book covers the period of Alaska’s expansion, beginning with the Klondike gold rush in 1896 and ending around 1935. Rowe died in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1942.

Time magazine, December 4, 1939


“The Right Rev. Peter T. Rowe, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Alaska, Who Protests Against the Treatment of the North Accorded by the Federal Government.” January 1, 1911. [Photographer unknown. Photo:  Alaska-Yukon Magazine, March, 1911.] 


About Helen Hegener

Author and publisher, Northern Light Media and Alaskan History Magazine.
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