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…

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).…

Three bishops for America in 1870?

This article was originally published on October 30, 2009. On July 19, 1870, a Philadelphia newspaper called the North American and United States Gazette published the following report: The Russian Ambassador has received instructions from his government that three bishoprics of the Greek Church are to be established forthwith in this country – one at…

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…

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…