The Eve of the Battle of Pacific Street

Last week, we left the two New York Syrian camps — Orthodox and Maronite — on the brink of war. Each side’s partisan newspaper attacked the other, and the Maronites took particular aim at St. Raphael, the Orthodox bishop of Brooklyn, accusing him of all sorts of outlandish offenses. Various parties received anonymous threats, and…

Trouble in Syrian New York

Way back in January, I began what I intended to be a series on the 1905 arrest and trial of St. Raphael Hawaweeny. I wrote only one article on the subject, though, and even that article was more of a collection of quotations from contemporary newspapers than an actual piece of historical work. I confess…

St. Philaret of Moscow on Orthodoxy in America in 1865

Editor’s note: Last week, Nicholas Chapman introduced three documents he found in the National Archives in London, under the heading “The Russian Orthodox Church in America and Its Clergy in 1865.” Today, we present the first of these documents — a letter from His Holiness Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, to the Ober-Procurator of the Holy…

An interview with Patriarch Tikhon in 1923

  Editor’s note: The interview that follows originally appeared in a book published by the YMCA in Prague. I found it on the fascinating Alexander Palace Time Machine website (the original is here). Many thanks to Jenny Mosher, who posted a link to this interview on our SOCHA Facebook page. Bob Atchison, editor of the…

St. Tikhon: address to a newly-married couple

Editor’s note: The following homily, by St. Tikhon, was published in the March 1902 English supplement to the Russian Orthodox American Messenger, the official periodical of the Russian Diocese. From the reference to St. Macarios the Great, we can date this homily rather precisely. The feast of St. Macarios is January 19. St. Tikhon mentions…

The Russian Diocese in the San Francisco Call, 1900

Editor’s note: On April 22, 1900, the San Francisco Call published a full-page spread on Orthodoxy in America. The author, Sarah Comstock, visited San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and interviewed the cathedral dean, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich. The resulting article (below) was accompanied by several photos, some of which I have reproduced here. It has advanced quietly…

Isabel Hapgood: Syro-Arabians in the United States (1899)

Editor’s note: Regular readers of this website are no doubt familiar with Isabel Hapgood, the Episcopalian translator of the Orthodox service book from Slavonic into English. (For more on Hapgood and her role in early American Orthodox history, check out my recent podcast.) Today, we’re reprinting an article Hapgood wrote on the Syro-Arabs (Syrians/Lebanese) in…

A Jewish convert to Orthodoxy in 1897

Leaving aside Native Alaskans and Uniates, conversions to Orthodoxy in America were quite rare at the turn of the last century. Yes, American women occasionally converted when they married cradle Orthodox men, and there was the odd Episcopalian convert, but even taking those into consideration, conversions were very uncommon. And if Protestants joining the Orthodox…