On Wednesday, 23rd January 2013, the Embassy of the Republic of Albania to the United Kingdom and the Anglo-Albanian Association cordially organised a presentation of a book about “CHARLES TELFORD ERICKSON, A great American who dedicated his life to Albania” by Mal Berisha who is also the Chargé d’Affaires of Albania in London.
Charles Telford Erickson’s short biography
Charles Telford Erickson was born in 1867 in Galesburg, Illinois, of Swedish parents. He was educated at DePauw University, receiving a B.A. in 1891, an M.A. in 1893, as well as an LL.D., Honorary Doctor of Laws, bestowed on him in 1932. In 1895 he was awarded a S.T.B, Bachelor of Sacred Theology, from Boston University Theological Seminary.
In 1908 he became director of mission work of the American Board of Foreign Missions at Elbasan, Albania. Erickson served under the American Board for twelve years and continued independently for fourteen more years. It was during this period that Drury College (1914) gave him a D.D., Doctor of Divinity.
During the First World War, Erickson worked as a Red Cross official in Italy and later was chosen an honorary delegate to the Peace Conference in Paris by the Albanian Pan – Federation of America and the provisional government of Albania. He acted as a special commissioner for Albania to the United States in 1920-1921 and assisted the American Legation staff in Tirana, Albania, in 1922-1923. Commissioned by the Albanian Government, under Ahmet Zogu, to build a national College of Agriculture, Erickson founded two schools; an agricultural school for boys, (Now named The Agricultural School Charles Telford Erickson) and a domestic arts school for girls.
On August 4, 1931 he received a golden medallion, The Order of Skanderbeg. He then returned to Albania in 1937, to attend the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Independence.
After his retirement, Erickson served as a delegate of the Pan-Albanian Federation of America to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, which met in San Francisco, California, in 1945. During the last 20 years of his life he wrote five books about Albanian History: “Where the Man Meets the Mountains”, “Little Kingdom, what next”, “This strange Brave Fruit”, the “Albanian Eagle and the Dove of Peace”, “Albania, the Child of the Nations”. His books remained unpublished until November 2012.
Although Albania was isolated by communists, Erickson did not forget it during these years but continued to be a spokesman for the country’s welfare. He died in 1966 having lived ninety-nine years. The book that will be presented on this occasion is an extensive presentation of his amazing story vis-a-vis Albania.
The book will be on sale soon on Amazon.com.