Journal of the Mikhailovsky-Kvikhpakh Mission from 1845


This journal, or diary, is a day-by-day account of life at the Mikhailovsky-Kvikhpakh Mission, a Russian Orthodox Church mission to native Alaskans in the Yukon River delta. The mission was founded in 1845 and was based at the settlement of Ikogmiut. The mission’s founding priest was Father Iakov (also seen as Jacob or Yakov) Netsvietov. The son of a Russian father and Aleutian mother, Father Iakov was uniquely qualified as a missionary to the native Alaskans. He is credited with baptizing more than 1,300 people and creating alphabets for several native languages. Father Iakov was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994 as Saint Iakov the Enlightener of Alaska. The Russian Orthodox 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 (present-day Sitka). The papers kept by the missionaries include letters to their superiors, diaries, and dictionaries of local languages written in Cyrillic script.

Last updated: November 29, 2017