Unsolved mysteries of American Orthodoxy

Yesterday, I published a brief article on Fr. Stephen Andreades, the first resident priest of the first Orthodox parish in the contiguous United States — Holy Trinity in New Orleans. The entire early history of that parish is something of a mystery. We know who the early priests were — Andreades, Fr. Gregory Yiayias, Fr.…

Peter the Aleut: the original martyrdom account

Editor’s note: Raymond A Bucko, S.J. is a Jesuit Catholic priest, professor of anthropology, chair of the social work, sociology and anthropology department at Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska.  He completed his doctoral work in anthropology at the University of Chicago in 1992.  His dissertation was  “Inipi: Historic Transformation and Contemporary Significance of the Sweat Lodge…

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.…

Primary sources on St. Peter the Aleut

Given the recent discussion about St. Peter the Aleut, I thought it might be worthwhile to publish some of the primary sources we have for his story. As I explained on Monday, there are four main sources: The 1819 transcript from the deposition of Keglii Ivan, the only known eyewitness to St. Peter’s martyrdom. The 1820 report…

Is the St. Peter the Aleut story true?

Well, this has been interesting. Last week, I posted a link to an article Fr. Oliver Herbel wrote, entitled, “St. Peter the Aleut Did Not Exist.” As you can imagine, this sparked a very strong response from many readers, who challenged Fr. Oliver on several points. Some took issue with his historical arguments, while others…