On the state of the Aleutian Diocese in 1879


From the Report of Archpriest Vladimir Vechtomov

November 27/December 9, 1879

The Alaskan Diocese consists of nine parishes: in San Francisco, Sitka, Kodiak, Kenai, Belkofsky, Unalaska, Nushagak, on St. Paul Island, and in St. Michael’s Fort. Three of these parishes — Kenai, Nushagak, and in St. Michael’s Fort — are missions, the remaining six have distinct boundaries and a definite number of parishioners. Of these latter, the church in San Francisco constitutes an exception because, until very recently, there was no concrete data about the number of parishioners. Last year, in accordance with my instructions, the number of the Orthodox residents in San Francisco was obtained (261 people). However, this figure may, in no way, be considered an exact reflection of the reality. The majority of the Orthodox here, by the very character of their occupations, are not firmly attached to San Francisco. Therefore, today there is one number of Orthodox and tomorrow is completely different. Besides, the very method of collecting these figures, being a private undertaking, cannot guarantee the accuracy of these data.

In the remaining parishes, according to the official records presented to Your Grace, the number of Orthodox are distributed as follows: in Sitka – 269, in Kodiak – 2,277; in Unalaska and Atka – 1,384; in Belkofsky – 650; on Paul and George islands – 360; in Kenai – 844; in Alexander Fort (Nushagak Mission) – 2,351; in Kvitpak (?) – approximately, 3,000. The total number of Orthodox exceeds 11,000.

Ethnically, the Orthodox in the Alaskan Diocese are Creoles, Aleuts, and Indian-aborigines. In this respect, San Francisco represents a peculiarity: here the overwhelming majority are Slavonians [Serbs] and Greeks.