Order from the Emperor of All Russia via the Holy Synod to Innokentii, Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, and the Aleutian Islands


This volume, part of a collection of journals with various kinds of writing by and to Russian Orthodox priests in Alaska, contains a copy of an ukaz (order) that was sent in 1844 by Tsar Nicholas I via the Russian Orthodox Church in Saint Petersburg to Bishop Innokentii in Alaska (Russian America). The purpose of the communication was to inform Innokentii about changes to the Russian immigration laws. As an important representative of the Russian crown in a border region, the bishop needed to know the latest laws of the empire on this matter. According to the order, foreigners arriving in Russian Alaska (as well as other border regions) needed to have their documents certified and a special Russian document issued for further travel into Russia. 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