Missionaries from Valaam in America (at the End of the 18th Century)


The book presented here recounts the work of the ten monks from the Valaam Monastery, in Russian Karelia, who went to Alaska to establish the Russian Orthodox mission. The group of monks was sent at the request of Grigorii Shelikhov (1747–95), co-founder of a predecessor of the Russian-American Company. Shelikhov had begun trading with indigenous peoples in Alaska and wanted to establish a greater Russian presence in the territory. The monks departed Saint Petersburg in December 1793 and arrived on Kodiak Island the following September. The book covers the history of the mission work, which took place primarily on Kodiak Island and neighboring Spruce Island. It includes profiles of the monks, particularly Herman (1756–1837), one of the best-known Russian Orthodox missionaries in that part of Alaska who was subsequently canonized, and Hieromonk Gideon (circa 1770–1843), who established the first school on Kodiak Island. The book contains copies of the correspondence of Gideon and Herman. Published in Saint Petersburg in 1900, the book was digitized at the National Library of Russia in the early 2000s for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

M. Merkusheva, St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Валаамские миссионеры в Америке (в конце XVIII столетия)

Type of Item

Physical Description

292 pages : illustrations ; 22 x 15 centimeters

Last updated: December 11, 2017