Bishop Nestor appeals to President Hayes, 1880

The following article appeared in the New York Times on March 23, 1880, detailing an early communication between Nestor Zass, the Russian Bishop of Alaska and the Rutherford B. Hayes, the President of the United States. WASHINGTON, March 22. — On Saturday last the President received a letter from Bishop Nestor, of the Greek Church,…

The Kodiak Bell in the LA Times, 1923

Editor’s note: The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 13, 1923, and was entitled, “Tolls Story of Old California.” An old and battered bell, hanging in an orange grove where Ramona played in the days of her childhood, rang a new note in the song of California’s mission history yesterday. After…

The Kodiak Bell should be returned to Alaska

  On February 4, I wrote an article on an 18th century Russian bell that currently hangs in an old Roman Catholic mission in California. Thanks to Mr. Clifford Argue, I have since learned a great deal more about the Kodiak Bell, and I am convinced that this bell needs to be returned to the…

Iakov Babin & the Il’mena Island Massacre of 1815

Yesterday, we posted the St. Peter the Aleut entry from Richard A. Pierce’s Russian America: A Biographical Dictionary. In that excerpt, Pierce offered this theory: “Since the extermination of Indians on ‘Il’mena Island’ by Aleut hunters led by the Russian Iakov Babin, there with the RAC brig Il’mena, occurred at about the same time as…

Excerpt: Richard Pierce on St. Peter the Aleut

Editor’s note: The late Dr. Richard A. Pierce was among the foremost historians on Russian Alaska, and his many books remain standards in the field. In 1990, he published Russian America: A Biographical Dictionary (Kingston, Ont., Canada: Limestone Press). Among the many entries in the book is one on St. Peter the Aleut (pages 397-398).…

Guest article on St. Peter the Aleut

  Editor’s note: The following guest article was written by Christopher Orr. Here are a few thoughts on the discussion about the historicity of the martyrdom account of St. Peter the Aleut kicked off by Fr. Oliver Herbel and continued by Matthew Namee on the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas’s OrthodoxHistory.org blog.…

18th century Russian bell in California

Yesterday, Isa Almisry made a great comment full of fascinating links and references. One of the most intriguing is this one, on a Russian bell housed at the Mission of San Fernando el Rey de Espana, located 40 miles from San Pedro (where St. Peter the Aleut was reportedly captured): A hundred-pound bell was unearthed…