Thomas E. FitzGerald
2. THE ALASKAN MISSION
The discovery and explorations of the islands that stretch between Asia and North America led directly to the establishment of an Orthodox mission on Kodiak Island in 1794. From this center, missionaries from Russia began to introduce the Orthodox Christian faith to the natives of Alaska. By the time that Alaska was sold by Russia to the United States in 1867, the missionaries had established churches and schools on most of the Aleutian Islands as well as along the Alaskan coast of North America. The Russian Orthodox mission in Alaska marked the formal entrance of Orthodox Christianity into North America. Moreover, the mission in Alaska was one of the last and greatest missionary endeavors to be sanctioned by the Orthodox Church of Russia and the imperial Russian Empire prior to the Bolshevik revolution. On the eve of the October 1917 revolution in Russia, it is estimated that there were over 10,000 Orthodox Christians in Alaska and nearly one hundred churches or chapels.30
EXPLORERS AND MERCHANTS
Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Russian explorers traveled eastward across the vast plains of Siberia to the Pacific Ocean. Known in Russian history as the time of the Eastern Conquest, this period was the one in which the various river basins of Siberia were colonized. These rivers acted as natural highways by which Russians could explore the eastern regions of their own vast empire. With the discovery of Kamchatka in 1697, the authority of imperial Russia became more firmly established along the Pacific coast.31
In the years prior to his death in 1725, Peter the Great inaugurated plans for a formal and systematic exploration of the land off the coast of Siberia.32 Vitus Bering, a Dane by birth, was selected to lead the first exploration supported by the imperial government. Bering had joined the Russian navy in 1704 and had served in both the Sea of Azor and in the Baltic Sea. In the same year that Peter the Great died, Bering left St. Petersburg with orders given to him by Empress Catherine I.33
After a treacherous, yearlong journey across Siberia, Bering and his companions reached the coast of Kamchatka and began their exploratory venture on 21 July 1728, when they set sail in a small boat known as the Saint Gabriel. In this first expedition, Bering sighted an island that he named Saint Laurence. This island, which is the most westerly landmass of North America, was the first discovery of American territory by Bering. Sailing north along the Asian coastline, Bering reached the most northeastern point of Asia, but he failed to sight the mainland of North America.
A second expedition left the Kamchatka peninsula on 4 June 1741. Two sturdy ships were part of this endeavor. The Saint Peter was commanded by Bering, and the Saint Paul was commanded by Alexis Chirikov. After the ships became separated during a violent storm, Chirikov first sighted the coast of Alaska on 15 July 1741. The North American mainland was sighted by Virus Bering four days later. The majestic mountain that was sighted by Bering and his crew was named in honor of the prophet Elias. As the ship was anchored off the coast, the Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated on board the following morning, 20 July 1741, which was the feast day of the prophet Elias. At the conclusion of the liturgy, members of the crew went ashore and undertook a preliminary exploration.34
Alexis Chirikov returned to Kamchatka on 8 October 1741 with greatly diminished crew. The company of seventy men had been reduced to forty-nine. Virus Bering never returned. During the voyage back to Kamchatka, scurvy broke out among the crew, and Bering also contracted the disease. Shortly after this, the ship was wrecked along the coast of the island that now bears his name. On this island Bering died on 8 December 1741. A handful of survivors constructed a small boat from the wreckage and returned to Kamchatka.
Despite the tragedies that accompanied the expeditions, the explorations of Bering and Chirikov were very successful. The expeditions accurately established two points on the North American mainland and also established the location of a number of the Aleutian Islands. Moreover, the report of the existence of the sea otter, fox, seal, and sea cow provided the stimulus for the fur hunters and merchants to support and to continue the work of exploration. By 1743, there were nearly forty Russian trading companies engaged in gathering furs from the islands and the mainland of North America.35
Empress Catherine the Great formally placed the newly discovered land in North America under her rule in 1766.36 The first permanent settlement based upon the rule of law was established on Kodiak Island in 1784. This colony was established primarily through the efforts of Prince Gregory Shelikov. By 1781, Shelikov had become one of the most wealthy merchants in Siberia and one of the first to recognize that the activities of Russian merchants in North America had to be consolidated. Together with Ivan Golikov, he established a colony on Kodiak Island in the name of the Shelikov-Golikov Company and sought to expand Russian control and influence as far as possible into northwestern America.37
The colony on Kodiak was dedicated to the Three Hierarchs. Since the twelfth century, this is the title given to St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian, who were outstanding bishops and theologians of the late fourth century. The colony rapidly became the center of economic and political life for the Russian merchants and explorers. The Shelikov-Golikov Company became the basis for the Russian-American Company, which was established by Emperor Paul I in 1799. This company became the extension of the Russian imperial government in North America.
THE FIRST MISSIONARIES
Gregory Shelikov and Ivan Golikov sent a letter to Metropolitan Gabriel of St. Petersburg on 10 April 1793. The letter requested the metropolitan to send a scholarly and talented priest to the Kodiak colony. Shelikov and Golikov also stated in their letter that all the expenses of the priest and his missionary activity would be paid by their company.38
The request of Shelikov and Golikov was eventually brought to the attention of Empress Catherine the Great, who instructed Metropolitan Gabriel to select a number of clerics for a mission to America. Well aware of some of the difficulties that the missionaries would have to face, Metropolitan Gabriel selected eight monks for the journey to America. Most of the missionaries came from the monastery of Valaam, which had a reputation as a center of spirituality and missionary activity. The leader of the group was Father Joseph Bolotov, who had studied at both the Tver and Rostov seminaries. He was raised to the rank of abbot (Archimandrite) just before the mission began.39
Prior to the departure of the missionaries, Metropolitan Gabriel provided them with vestments, liturgical articles, and books that would be necessary for the celebration of the liturgical services. In addition to traveling expenses that the missionaries received from the Holy Synod, the empress also gave 500 rubles to Abbot Joseph and 250 rubles to each of the other missionaries. This money came from the Palestine Fund, which was normally used only for the financial support of the churches and monasteries in the Holy Land.40
Metropolitan Gabriel also gave to Abbot Joseph a document that contained instructions for the missionaries. Based upon similar instructions given to Siberian missionaries in 1769, the document is of great historical significance. First, it clearly shows that the missionaries were going to America not simply to serve the spiritual needs of the Russian colonists and merchants but to undertake missionary work among the natives. Second, the document emphasizes that Orthodox Christianity must spread among the natives chiefly through the personal example and the love that the missionaries were expected to demonstrate. A portion of the instructions of Metropolitan Gabriel says: When Jesus Christ leads you to meet those who do not know the Law of God, your first concern will be to serve as an example of good works to them, so as to convert them by your personal life into obedient servants of the Lord.41
The missionaries left the city of St. Petersburg on 25 December 1793 and arrived in Irkutsk on 16 March 1794. After accepting four additional companions, they traveled up the Lena River to the city of Yakutsk. Following a journey by horseback, they arrived at Okhotsk, from which they sailed for Kodiak Island and arrived on 24 September 1794. Throughout the course of the journey, the missionaries frequently stopped to baptize many people, especially in the Yakutsk region and later in Unalaska, where they stopped prior to their arrival at Kodiak. The journey of the first missionaries to America took 293 days. They traveled about 7,400 miles (11,840 km). Even before they reached their mission field, the monks had traveled about one-third of the circumference of the world and never left the confines of the vast Russian Empire.42
The Alaskan mainland and the islands of the coast were inhabited by a number of native tribes. Among the most important were the Tlingits, who lived on the southern coastal area; the Aleuts, who lived on the islands off the coast; and the Eskimos, who lived along the Arctic Ocean coast. These and other, smaller tribes were descendants of nomadic peoples from Asia who crossed into North America at least 5,000 years before the discovery of Alaska by the Russians.43
A valuable foundation for the work of the missionaries had been laid by some of the more pious explorers and merchants who had come into contact with the natives. While some of the merchants seriously mistreated the natives, other merchants considered it their duty to introduce them to the Orthodox Christian faith. Both Ivan Golikov and Gregory Shelikov, for example, had baptized a number of natives on both Fox Island and Kodiak Island. When the missionaries finally arrived on Kodiak Island in 1794, many natives had already been converted to the Orthodox Christian faith.
When the missionaries arrived on Kodiak Island, there were about 225 Russians and 8,000 natives living there. Under the direction of Shelikov, the missionaries lived in a small monastery located in the village of Saint Paul. As the first Orthodox monastery in North America, it was constructed in such a way that the monks were able to observe the activities of the village. Yet, at the same time, the monks were separated from village life so that they could better follow their monastic discipline.44
The missionaries undertook their labors with exceptional zeal and piety between 1794 and 1798. A church building dedicated to the Holy Resurrection of Christ was constructed in the village of Saint Paul, and this became the center of missionary activity on Kodiak Island. The monks subsequently traveled to the other islands and to the mainland of North America. Wherever they journeyed, the monks built small chapels, taught the natives, and baptized them. It is estimated that over 12,000 natives became Orthodox Christians within the first few years of missionary activity.45
Of the original missionaries to Russian America, one has attracted special attention and devotion. His name is Father Herman (German), the monk who was the last of the original missionaries in Alaska when he died in the year 1837 on Spruce Island. Very little is known about Father Herman. Most of the information that is known about his life both before and after his coming to America is contained in a brief biography published in 1894 by the Valaam Monastery to commemorate the centenary of the Alaskan mission.46
We know from this source that Father Herman was born in Serpukhov near Moscow probably in 1756. His family name as well as his baptismal names are not known. At the age of sixteen, he left his hometown and entered the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Monastery. This monastery was founded in 1354 by Saint Sergius of Radonezh. Father Herman was tonsured a monk in 1783 and then went to dwell in the Valaam Monastery of Lake Ladoga. While at Valaam, the young monk came under the spiritual direction of the famous abbot Nazary. Following the direction of his elder, the monk Herman eventually began to live a semi-eremitical life in a small hut located not very far from the monastery. Father Herman would return to the monastery only to participate in the daily prayers and Eucharistic liturgy. Only a year after becoming a monk, Herman left for Alaska.
Following the return of Abbot Joseph to Irkutsk in 1798 and his death at sea in 1799, Father Herman appears to have become recognized as the head of the monastic community, although he was not ordained and had little formal education. At about the same time, difficulties began to arise in the relationship between the monks and the Russian merchants. At the center of these difficulties was the quality of life of the natives. The treatment of the Alaskan natives by the merchants associated with the Russian-American Company became more abusive. Led by Father Herman, the missionaries became more outspoken in defending the rights of the natives and in criticizing the immorality of many of the Russian merchants. As a result of the activity of the monks, they were briefly placed under arrest in 1800. Several attempts were made to kill Father Herman. The antagonism that developed between the monks and many of the Russian merchants led to a serious decline in the activities of the missionaries. As a result of the monks» activity, an investigation by the Russian government led to positive changes in the activities of the merchants by 1818.47
At about the same time, Father Herman left Kodiak Island and went to Spruce Island, which he affectionately called New Valaam. On Spruce Island Father Herman was better able to immerse himself in the ascetical ways of a monk. Yet, even there he did not neglect the material and spiritual needs of the natives. Until the time of his death in 1837, Father Herman worked among the natives on Spruce Island. He cared for orphans, constructed a chapel, and organized a school. In addition to preaching the gospel and leading the services of prayer, Father Herman fed the natives from an experimental garden that he cultivated. His piety and sanctity were recognized by the natives, who referred to him as Apa, which means grandfather.48
Prior to his death, Father Herman revealed to the natives of Spruce Island the details of what was ahead. He told them that there would be no priest available to bury him and that they would be required to do it. Herman also told the natives that he would be forgotten for thirty years, then remembered by those beyond Spruce Island. In the manner that he had predicted, Herman died on 13 December 1837. Although the natives of Spruce Island revered his memory and honored him as a saint, not until 1867 did the Church of Russia begin to investigate the life of Father Herman. He was formally declared a saint on 9 August 1970.49
The work of evangelization, begun in 1794, did not come to an end when Father Herman died. In the years prior to his death, a small number of priests began to arrive in Alaska from the diocese of Irkutsk in order to reactivate the mission. These priests received financial support from the Russian-American Company. In a revision of the charter in 1821, it was clearly stated that the company was responsible for the financial welfare of the mission of Alaska. In spite of this, the activity of some of these missionaries left much to be desired. «The priests from Irkutsk,» writes Serge Bolshakoff, «looked upon the Alaskan parishes as a place of exile and neglected to translate the liturgical and devotional books into the native dialects. They thought only how to return to Siberia as soon as possible.»50 Not until 1824 did this unhappy state of affairs begin to change.
Father John Veniaminov, with his wife, child, and mother, arrived on the Island of Unalaska on 29 July 1824. This new missionary in Alaska and future bishop was born on 27 August 1797 near Irkutsk. At the age of nine, he entered the Irkutsk Seminary School and became one of its most outstanding students. At the age of seventeen, his name was changed from Popov to Veniaminov in honor of the deceased bishop of Irkutsk. Although the young student was recommended to attend the Moscow Theological Academy, John Veniaminov chose to marry and to be ordained. After serving as deacon and priest for a number of years, Father John accepted the request of Bishop Michael of Irkutsk to serve in Alaska. Against the wishes of many of his friends, Father John and his family left Irkutsk on7Mayl823.51
Within the first year of his arrival on Unalaska, Father John constructed both a church and a school, which served as the center of his mission parish. Eager to be fully involved in the life of the natives, the young priest began to learn the language and their customs. The Aleuts of the island had no written language, and the language was especially difficult for Europeans to pronounce because of the number of guttural sounds.
This, however, did not deter Father John. Following the example of the great ninth-century missionaries, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Father John not only learned the language of the Aleuts but also wrote a grammar. He then translated the Eucharistic Liturgy, other prayers, and the Gospel of Saint Matthew. He even wrote a small catechism in the Aleut language, which was called Indication of the Pathway into the Kingdom of Heaven.52 Undoubtedly, the fact that Orthodox Christianity became so well established among the natives of Unalaska was the direct result of both the personal missionary work of Father John as well as his translations.
When Father John was transferred to Sitka in 1834, there were about 2,000 Orthodox Christian natives on the island of Unalaska. Known then as New Archangel, Sitka had become one of the most important centers of Alaskan life. Located not far from the mainland, Sitka had a very good harbor and was the center of the commercial activity, with foreign traders frequently visiting the port. At this time, Sitka was the only port along the northern Pacific coast where ships could be repaired. These factors made Sitka the most important city in Russian Alaska in the early nineteenth century.
Upon his arrival in Sitka, Father John began his missionary work among the natives there who were known as the Tlingits. Unlike most of the other native tribes, the Tlingits had been extremely hostile to the Russian merchants. They had refused to be baptized because they feared that they would become slaves of the Russian merchants. Reacting against the Russian presence, they strongly embraced their pagan customs and rituals.53
As was the case in Unalaska, Father John immediately began to learn the language of the natives of Sitka. Conversions among the Tlingits were very slow, however, until 1836. In that year a severe smallpox epidemic spread among the natives. When their own pagan priests were unable to arrest the disease, the natives sought the help of Father John. By demonstrating a genuine love for the natives, Father John not only helped in the cure of the disease but also began to receive many of the natives into the Orthodox Church.54
During his service in Sitka, Father John was not required to travel as much as he had while on the island of Unalaska. However, included within the jurisdiction of his parish was the settlement of Fort Ross, which was located about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) south in Spanish California. On 18 July 1836, Father John left Sitka by ship for Fort Ross, which had been established in 1821 by the Russian-American Company to house Russian merchants. After a sixteen-day voyage by ship, Father John finally arrived in California and traveled by horse to Fort Ross.
While attending to the needs of the Orthodox Christians in the Fort Ross colony, Father John also took advantage of his trip to California to visit a number of Roman Catholic missions that were operated by Spanish priests of the Franciscan Order. During a two-week period, Father John visited the missions in San Rafael, San Jose, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. At every stop, Father John spoke to the Roman Catholic priests in the Latin language and attended Mass. On one occasion, he also had the opportunity to witness both a baptism and a burial. In addition to gaining a personal knowledge of the Roman Catholic missions and liturgical services, Father John learned that the rumors that the natives were treated harshly by the Roman Catholics were false. His contacts with the Roman Catholic missionaries were quite significant due to the fact that relationships between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy were both limited and strained during the nineteenth century.55
After his return to Sitka, Father John began to make plans for a trip back to Russia. The purpose of his trip was threefold. First, he wanted to present the Holy Synod with a detailed report on the Alaskan mission. Second, he wanted to offer to the leaders of the Russian-American Company a plan for the improvement of the educational facilities for the Alaskan natives. Finally, he wanted to receive official approval for his liturgical translations. With these goals in mind, Father John and his family departed for Russia in the fall of 1838.56
While in St. Petersburg, Father John received news that brought him great joy and great sorrow. His report on the Alaskan mission was very well received by both Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow and Count N. A. Protasov, who was the ober-procurator of the Holy Synod. However, in the spring of 1840, Father John also received the news that his wife had died in the city of Irkutsk. During this period, Father John received much comfort from Philaret, who subsequently encouraged him to become a monk. Assured that his children would be cared for by the church, Father John became a monk one year after the death of his wife and received the name Innocent. In the same year, he was elected the bishop of the newly established diocese of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands. He was consecrated on 15 December 1840 in the Cathedral of St. Petersburg.57
Bishop Innocent returned to Sitka on 26 September 1841. About one hundred years after its discovery, Alaska received a man as its bishop who had already spent more than ten years preaching the gospel both to Russians and to native Orthodox. With the return of the beloved missionary as bishop of the new diocese, Russian America entered into what has been called the «golden age of Alaska.» Under the direction of the new bishop, a cathedral was established in Sitka, new mission parishes were opened, education of the natives was strengthened, and a seminary to train native clergy and teachers was opened in Sitka. In addition to this, Bishop Innocent undertook journeys to many distant mission posts in Alaska and Siberia, especially in the period between 1842 and 1849.58
Bishop Innocent was elevated to the rank of archbishop in 1850, and his diocese was enlarged to include areas in Siberia near the Amur River. The headquarters of the diocese was also moved from Sitka to Blagoveschensk in Siberia. Vicar bishops for Sitka and for Yakutsk were subsequently consecrated to assist Archbishop Innocent minister to the vast territory.59
During the time when he began to establish new missions in eastern Siberia, Archbishop Innocent continued to have a deep interest in the development of the church in North America. He made some very farsighted recommendations in a letter sent to the ober-procurator of the Holy Synod on 5 December 1867. Although the archbishop assumed that the Russian Orthodox Church had jurisdiction over the North American continent, he did make some bold proposals for the growth of Orthodox Christianity in the New World: It reached my attention from Moscow that I allegedly wrote to someone saying that I was not pleased that our American colonies had been sold to the Americans. This is completely untrue. On the contrary, I see in this event one of the ways of Providence by which our Orthodoxy can insert itself into the United States, where at the present time serious attention is being given. If I had been asked concerning this subject, this is what I would have advised: a) The American vicariate should not be closed, b) Rather than New Archangel, the residence of the vicar bishop should be located in San Francisco, where climatic conditions are incomparably better and from where it is at least as convenient to have connections with the churches in the colonies as it is from Sitka. c) The present vicar and the whole New Archangel clergy except for one sacristan, should be recalled to Russia, and a new vicar should be appointed who has knowledge of the English Language. Likewise his entourage should be composed of persons who know English, d) The bishop should choose his own staff and be permitted to change members of his staff as well as to ordain to the priesthood American citizens who will accept Orthodoxy with all its traditions and customs, e) The ruling Bishop and the clergy of the Orthodox Church in America should be permitted to serve the Divine Liturgy and other church services in English. And, as is self-evident, translations of the service books into English must be made, f) In pastoral schools, which will be created in San Francisco and elsewhere for the preparation of candidates for missionary and priestly duties, the curriculum must be in English and not in Russian, which will sooner or later be replaced by the former language.60
At the age of seventy-two, Archbishop Innocent was appointed metropolitan of Moscow on 26 May 1868. As the successor to Metropolitan Philaret, the new metropolitan of Moscow continued to emphasize the missionary activity of the church, although he was nearly blind and in constant pain. In 1870, Metropolitan Innocent reformed the Society for Promoting Christianity among the Pagans and renamed it the Orthodox Missionary Society. Through the work of this society, many Orthodox rediscovered the importance of missions. After serving as metropolitan of Moscow for almost eleven years, the great missionary died on 31 March 1879 at the age of eighty-two. His body was buried next to the body of Metropolitan Philaret in the Church of the Holy Spirit at the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Monastery near Moscow. He was formally declared a saint by the Church of Russia in 1978 and honored with the title Enlightener of the Aleuts and Apostle to America.61
THE DECLINE OF THE ALASKAN MISSION
The Alaskan territory was sold by the imperial Russian government to the government of the United States in 1867 for the sum of $7,200,000. This sale took place at a time when the government of the United States was enlarging the territory of the country, chiefly through negotiations with European nations that had claims in North America. Although the rights of the Orthodox Church in Alaska were clearly guaranteed at the time of the sale, a number of factors contributed to the decline of the Alaskan mission.
The Russian-American Company ceased to exist four years before the sale. This organization had been the immediate source of financial support for the mission. With the closing of the company in 1863, most Russians either returned to Russia or went to settle in San Francisco, California. It has been estimated that in 1870 there were only ninety poor Russian families remaining in Sitka, which had been the center of intense commercial activity throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.62
Another very important factor that contributed to the decline of the Alaskan mission was the decision of the Church of Russia to transfer the see of the bishop from Sitka to San Francisco in 1872. Three years after the sale of Alaska to the United States, the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia established the new diocese of the Aleutian Islands on 10 June 1870. Shortly after his arrival in Alaska, Bishop John (Mitropolsky) requested that the see be moved from Sitka to San Francisco. This request was undoubtedly based upon the fact that most Russians had left Alaska. In 1872, the Holy Synod granted the request. Bishop John subsequently established his cathedral and the pastoral school in San Francisco, which had a small Russian colony.
When the see of the bishop was transferred from Sitka to San Francisco in 1872, it was located outside the stated boundaries of the diocese. San Francisco is located about 600 miles (960 km) south of Sitka. This peculiar situation existed until 1900. At that time, the name of the diocese was changed by the Church of Russia to include all North America. In 1905, the ecclesiastical administration of the diocese was transferred to New York City. These peculiarities represented the beginnings of the canonical irregularities that would characterize Orthodox Christianity in America throughout the twentieth century.
The absence of a resident bishop in Alaska and an inadequate number of priests weakened the presence and authority of the Orthodox Church in the territory. While there were over 10,000 native Orthodox in Alaska in 1870, there were only four priests to serve them. When Protestant and some Roman Catholic missionaries entered Alaska in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Orthodox Church was not in a very vital position from which it could serve all its faithful and discourage proselytism.63 Despite this tragic fact, the Orthodox Church in Alaska continued to exist and to provide subsequent Orthodox leaders in North America with a powerful reminder of the missionary dimension of church life.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Orthodox missionaries, both clergy and laity, had traveled throughout all the islands of the Aleutian chain and throughout the coastline of the Alaskan mainland. The mission in Alaska was perhaps the most important missionary endeavor of the Orthodox Church in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At a time when much of the Orthodox Church throughout the world was confronted with political systems and rival religions that prevented much missionary work, the mission in Alaska heralded the entrance of Orthodox Christianity into a new land.64
* * *
On Russian Orthodox missions in this period, see S. Bolshakoff, The Foreign Missions of the Russian Orthodox Church (London: SPCK, 1943); Georges Florovsky, «Russian Missions: An Historical Sketch,» The Christian East 14:1 (1933): 30–41; Nikita Struve, «Orthodox Missions: Past and Present,» St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 7:1 (1964): 31–42.
See John Harrison, The Founding of the Russian Empire in Asia and America (Coral Gables, Fla.: University of Miami Press, 1971); R. J. Kerner, The Urge to the Sea (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1946).
See M. B. Ricks, The Earliest Years of Alaska (Anchorage: University of Alaska, 1963); Frank Golder, Russian Expansion on the Pacific, 1641–1850 (Cleveland: Arthur Clark Company, 1914).
See Frank Golder, Bering's Voyages: An Account of the Russians to Determine the Relation of America to Asia (New York: American Geographical Society, 1932).
For an early description, see H. H. Bancroft, History of Alaska 1870–1885 (New York: Antiquarian Press, 1959), pp. 64–75. Historians now generally believe that the coast of North America was sighted by an earlier expedition of I. Federov and M. Gvozdev in 1732. The report, however, was not widely circulated. See Harrison, The Founding of the Russian Empire in Asia and America, p. 113.
Raisa Makarova, Russians on the Pacific 1743–1799, trans, and ed. Richard Pierce and Alton Donnelly (Kingston, Ont.: Limestone Press, 1975), pp. 37–50.
Ibid., pp. 140–144.
See S. M. Okun, The Russian-American Company, trans. Carl Ginsberg (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951); P. A. Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian-American Company, trans. Richard Pierce and Alton Donnelly (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978).
On the mission, see Michael Oleska, Orthodox Alaska (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992); Bishop Gregory Afonsky, A History of the Orthodox Church in Alaska (Kodiak: St. Herman's Theological Seminary, 1977); Michael Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1957).
Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America, p. 54; Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian-American Company, pp. 35–36.
Afonsky, A History of the Orthodox Church in Alaska, p. 20.
Ibid., pp. 22–23.
Constance Tarasar and John Erickson, eds., Orthodox America: 1794–1976 (Syosset, N.Y.: Orthodox Church in America, 1975), p. 15.
Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian-American Company, pp. 81–107.
Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America, pp. 52–55.
Colin Bearne and Richard Pierce, eds., The Russian Orthodox Religious Mission in America, 1794–1837 (Kingston, Ont: Limestone Press, 1978), pp. 1–8.
A translation of «The Life of the Valamo Monk Herman, American Missionary» can be found in Boris Borichevsky, ed. and trans., St. Herman of Alaska (Wilkes Barre, Pa.: Orthodox Church in America, 1970), pp. 19–39.
See Vsevolod Rochcau, «St. Herman of Alaska and the Defense of Alaskan Native Peoples,» St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 16:1 (1972): 17–39.
Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America, pp. 118–121.
Tarasar and Erickson, Orthodox America, p. 25.
Bolshakoff, The Foreign Missions, p. 86.
Paul D. Garrett, St. Innocent Apostle to America (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1979), p. 37.
The full text is found in Michael Oleska, ed., Alaskan Missionary Spirituality (New York: Paulist Press, 1987), pp. 80–119.
Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America, pp. 161–162.
Robert Croskey, «The Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska: Innokentii Veniamonov's Account (1858),» Pacific Northwest Quarterly 1 (1975): 36–49.
Garrett, St. Innocent, pp. 114–116.
Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian-America Company, pp. 196–197.
Garrett, St. Innocent, p. 141.
See Vsevolod Rochcau, «Innocent Veniaminov and the Russian Mission to Alaska, 1820–1840,» St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 15:3 (1971): 105–120.
Garrett, St. Innocent, pp. 227–234.
The full text can be found in Afonsky, A History of the Orthodox Church in Alaska, p. 75.
Garrett, St. Innocent, pp. 310–321.
Barbara Smith, Orthodoxy and the Native Americans: The Alaskan Mission (New York: Orthodox Church in America, 1980), pp. 16–19; Kovach, The Russian Orthodox Church in Russian America, pp. 260–272.
Afonsky, A History of the Orthodox Church in Alaska, pp. 78–81. See also Robert Berkhofer, Salvation and the Savage: An Analysis of Protestant Missions and the American Indian Response, 1787–1862 (Louisville: University of Kentucky Press, 1965).
Oleska, Orthodox Alaska, p. 221.