“True Heirs to a Heroic Russian Past” or “Russians in Name Only”: Sitka Creoles as Seen by the Late Nineteenth Century Russian Orthodox Clergy
pdf

Keywords

Russian Orthodox missionaries
conservative Russian nationalism
American Alaska (late 19th – early 20th centuries)
Creoles
assimilation

How to Cite

1. Kan S. “True Heirs to a Heroic Russian Past” or “Russians in Name Only”: Sitka Creoles as Seen by the Late Nineteenth Century Russian Orthodox Clergy // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 4 (5). C. 12-37.

Abstract

The paper examines the criticism levelled against the Creoles of Sitka (persons of Russian and Alaska Native descent) by the Russian Orthodox priests who came to minister among them in the late 19th-early 20th century. These clergymen accused their parishioners not only of immorality but also of not being truly Russian, as far as their language and culture were concerned. By focusing on this criticism, the paper explores the symbolic significance of Alaska’s Russian colonial and missionary history and its legacy in the conservative nationalist ideology of the Russian Orthodox clergy. Particular attention is paid to the causes to which this clergy attributed the decline of the Russian culture and devotion to Orthodoxy among the Creole population of this frontier American/Alaskan town.

https://doi.org/10.46539/jfs.v5i4.211
pdf

References

(1906). Russian Orthodox American Messenger, 10, 447.

(1908). Alaska-Yukon Magazine, 4(2), 147-148.

(1911). Russian Orthodox American Messenger, 15, pp. 301-302.

(22 March 1907). The Ketchikan Miner, p. 1.

(6 February 1893). The Alaskan, p. 1.

(7 February 1891). The Alaskan, p. 1.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and De-bates, 1774-1875. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=015/llsl015.db&recNum=572

Afonsky, G. (1977). A History of the Orthodox Church in Alaska (1794-1917). St. Herman's Theological Seminary. Kodiak.

Alaska Russian Church Archives [ARCA] (1900-1905). Parish records – confessional list. D 416, Reel 266.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - a). D 334-D336, Reels 277-279.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - b). D349-D350, Reels 228-229.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - c). D 414, Reel 265.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - d). Donskoi Report to the bishop of Alaska for 1892, 3. D 334, reel 219, 1.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - e). Stepan Ushin's Diary. D 334-D336, Reels 277-279.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - f). Annual Reports, St. Nicholas Brotherhood. D 323, Reel 213.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - g). Donskoi to Fr. Antonii Dashkevich. D 334, roll 219, 1897, 10.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - h). Minutes of the St. Nicholas Brotherhood. D 323, reel 213, 1895, 74.

Alaska Russian Church Archives. (n.d. - i). St. Nicholas Brotherhood By-laws. D 323, roll 213, 1892,1.

Alaska State Archives. (n.d.). George Kostrometinoff Scrap Book. Juneau.

Cracroft, S., & DeArmond, R. N. (1981). Lady Franklin Visits Sitka, Alaska 1870: The Journal of Sophia Cracroft, Sir John Franklin's Niece. Alaska Historical Society.

Dashkevich, A. (1898). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Letter to bishop Tikhon Belavin. ARCA, D334, reel 218, 5.

Grinev, A. V. (2011). Social Mobility of the Creoles in Russian America. Alaska History, 26(2), 21-38.

Kamenskii, A. (1897a). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Letter to bishop Nikolai Ziorov. D 335, reel 220, 12.

Kamenskii, A. (1897b). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Report on the Sitka Parish for 1897. ARCA, D 335, reel 220.

Kamenskii, A. (1897c). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Report on the State of the Sitka Diocese. ARCA, D 335, roll 220. 1.

Kamenskii, A. (1908). American Essays. Odessa. (in Russian).

Kamenskii, A. (1985). Tlingit Indians of Alaska. (S. Kan, Trans.) University of Alaska Press.

Kan, S. (1999). Memory Eternal Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity Through Two Centuries. University of Washington Press.

Kan, S. (2013a). Guest Editor's Introduction: Individuals and Groups of Mixed Russian-Native Parentage in Siberia, Russian America, and Alaska. Ethnohistory, 60(3), 351-361. Doi: 10.1215/00141801-2140686.

Kan, S. (2013b). Sergei Ionovich Kostromitinov (1854-1915), or "Colonel George Kostrometinoff": From a Creole Teenager to the Number-One Russian-American Citizen of Sitka. Ethnohistory, 60(3), 385-402. Doi: 10.1215/00141801-2140704.

Kan, S. (n.d. - a). Fieldnotes, Sitka, 2000-2018. Manuscript in author’s possession.

Kan, S. (n.d. - b). Orthodox Church Brotherhoods of the Sitka Creoles, 1870s-1910s. Alaska History, in print.

Kostromitinov, S. (1900). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Letter to Bishop Tikhon Belavin. ARCA, B 14, reel 16, 1.

Lain, B. D. (1976). The Decline of Russian America's Colonial Society. The Western Historical Quarterly, 7(2), 143–153. Doi: 10.2307/967512.

Luehrmann, S. (2008). Alutiiq villages under Russian and U.S. Rule. University of Alaska Press.

Metropolitan Clement (Kapalin). (2009). Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska until 1917. Moscow. (in Russian).

Oleksa, M. (1998). Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Parish Records-Confessional List, ARCA. (1870). D 414, Reel 265.

Smith-Peter, S. (2010). Creating a Creole Estate in early nineteenth-century Russian America. Cahiers Du Monde Russe, 51(51/2-3), 441-459. Doi: 10.4000/monderusse.9198.

Smith-Peter, S. (2013). "A Class of People Admitted to the Better Ranks": The First Generation of Creoles in Russian America, 1810s-1820s. Ethnohistory, 60(3), 363-384. Doi: 10.1215/00141801-2140758.

St. Michael Cathedral. (n.d.). Alaska Russian Church Archives. Library of Congress, D 414, Reel 265.

Teichmann, E. (1963). A Journey to Alaska in the Year 1868: Being a Diary of the Late Emil Teichmann. Argosy-Antiquarian.

Vinkovetsky, I. (2011). Russian America an Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867. Oxford University Press.

Ziorov, N. (1893). From my diary: Vol. 1: Travel notes and experiences while traveling in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. St. Petersburg. (in Russian).

Znamenski, A. A. (1999). Shamanism and Christianity: Native Encounters with Russian Orthodox Missions in Siberia and Alaska, 1820-1917. Greenwood.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.