Letters of Father Ioann Veniaminov from August 1824 to August 1836


This collection of letters is made up of copies of documents belonging to Father Ioann Veniaminov, who volunteered to be a Russian Orthodox missionary to Alaska, which he reached in 1824. Throughout the 30 years he served in Alaska, Veniaminov kept detailed records of life in his parishes and reported on his experiences to his superiors. The documents in this collection include official orders from Veniaminov relating to the Novoarkhangelsk (present-day Sitka) parish, letters to and from him, lists of villages and population totals on the various islands surrounding Novoarkhangelsk, and letters to and from his bishop. In 1840, Veniaminov became Bishop Innokentii (Innocent) of Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, and the Aleutian Islands. He later became metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna. He was canonized as Saint Innokentii by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1977. The church established its first mission in North America, at Kodiak Island in southeastern Alaska, in 1794. Missions were established in the Aleutian Islands as well as on the mainland. The most important mission site was Novoarkhangelsk. The papers kept by the missionaries include letters to their superiors, diaries, and dictionaries of local languages written in Cyrillic script. This volume includes letters dated from August 1824 to August 1836.

Last updated: November 29, 2017