Category: Alaska


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...

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....

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...

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):...

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....

Fr. Oliver “reboots” the St. Peter discussion


Over on his blog, Fr. Oliver Herbel has decided to re-frame his presentation of the St. Peter the Aleut question. He's taken down both of his earlier articles on the subject and replaced them with a new one, which you can read by clicking here.

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...

Fr. Oliver Herbel on St. Peter the Aleut


This morning on his Frontier Orthodoxy blog, Fr. Oliver Herbel offered a post with the provocative title, "St. Peter the Aleut Did Not Exist." Fr. Oliver says that he intentionally did not publish the article here at OH.org so as to spare us the inevitable debate; however, I do think it's...

Vera Johnston: “Herman — Russian Missionary to America”


  Editor's note: We first published this article nearly a year ago, but today is St. Herman's feast day on the New Calendar, and it seemed appropriate to reprint this early Life. The author, Vera Vladimirovna Johnston, was born in the Russian Empire, married an Englishman, and eventually moved to...

Fr. Sebastian Dabovich on St. Innocent of Alaska


Editor's note: The following lecture was given by Fr. Sebastian Dabovich on August 15, 1897 to the parish school St. Sergius in San Francisco, in the presence of Bishop Nicholas Ziorov. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Innocent Veniaminov, the great Alaskan missionary and later Metropolitan of...