but we do not live in "diaspora."
Many don't. Actually, most don't. As far as the Greeks, they are free to return (there is a net immigration to Greece from the U.S. now).
I wonder if that has reversed now. How soon things can change.
When I get to it, I'll bring up the NY Times article already quoted, when he shows the the Greeks were very much in diaspora, putting the hand to the plough and looking back. In fact, it was politics back home which birthed the GOA here, as we'll see.
Don't think I ever got to it, but here is the NY Times article:http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/10/14/the-greeks-in-america-1873/#respond
Comparatively little is known about the Greeks in America. Reference is made occasionally in the daily Press to the Greek merchants of this City, whose enormous transactions in cotton and grain form an important item in the exports of the country; but beyond that we seldom see a Greek name coming before the public in the daily incidents of this cosmopolitan City.
Greece is so thinly populated that she can hardly spare any hands to emigrate to foreign countries, and we seldom see any Greeks among the nationalities mentioned in the regular reports of our Commissioners of Emigration. Yet a great many Greeks arive daily on our shores, but they come under the quality of sailors, working their passage on board sailing ships of various nationalities. As soon as they land here they apply to their Consul in this City, Mr. D.N. Botassi, for work, when with few variations, the following dialogue takes place:
“When did you arrive”
“Any particular profession?”
“What do you expect to do?”
“Anything, your Excellency.”
“Have you got any money?”
“Not a cent, your Excellency.”
“Where are your lodgings?”
“Our traps are at the door; we shall go anywhere your Excellency will send us.”
“Can you speak English?”
“Nothing but Greek, your Excellency.”
There are two sailors’ boarding-houses in this City doing a thriving business. The Consul invariably sends them there, and it seldom occurs that they do not find work in a short time. They begin by doing rough work in loading and unloading merchandise at our piers, and, being generally very temperate, they soon accumulate some savings.
Their first care is to send the little which they can spare to their families in Greece. The family ties are so strong among all her classes, particularly the lower ones, that even years of absence in foreign lands cannot diminish their love for their native land and the dear ones they have left behind. The love of their country is one of the strong characteristics of the Greeks; they emigrate under compulsion to better their condition, but the hope to return one day to their country under more comfortable circumstances is always strong and paramount.
Few of the Greeks who arrive at this port go West to become agriculturalists. This means to become in time owners of land whereon to build their new home. But, as we said before, the Greek has always the hope to return one day to his country. They mostly go to Chicago, where they easily find work in loading vessels and navigating the lakes. On the water they find themselves happy, being in their element. As soon as the lakes are frozen in the Winter time they go down the Mississippi River, and many of them are working on the steam-boats plying between St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Cairo, and New-Orleans. Over 200 of them are to be found in the Crescent City, where they seem to be thriving under the more genial climate, not dissimilar to that of their own country. They have all sorts of professions; many are fruit dealers, keep little restaurants and coffee houses, where the American bar is combined with little tables a l’orientale, round which are seated Greeks talking all at the same time generally, all the idioms of the Grecian Archipelago, drinking coffee, and smoking paper cigarettes. Many of them are oyster dealers and oyster fishers, owning generally their little craft, which they navigate themselves, and trade all along the coast from New-Orleans to Indianola and Matamoras, or on the other side through the lakes to Mobile and Pensacola. The writer tasted, some years ago, an excellent glass of sherry cobbler made by a Greek barkeeper on one of the steam-boats on the Alabama River. In New-Orleans the Greek colony is important enough to maintain a church of their own religion, built some five years ago by subscription, and divine service is celebrated every Sunday in the Greek language by a priest educated in the National University of Athens.
The Greek colony in San Francisco numbers about 300 members, and is the best organized of all the Greek colonies in the States of the Union. They maintain a little chapel of their own, and have established a benevolent society. This latter was rendered necessary from the quantity of new-comers of their countrymen to the Golden State, with the hope of finding gold in abundance. It is strange with what great expectations these children of Hellas go to California, and their disappointment in not finding gold in the streets of San Francisco can be better imagined than described. They seem utterly astonished when they are told that they must work in San Francisco, as everywhere else, to gain their living, and the idea of gold is so deeply rooted in them, that many go to the mines of California and Oregon with the hope of enriching themselves one day by some sudden smile of fortune.
This "little chapel" was the present Holy Trinity Cathedral (OCA). As (soon, Lord willing, to be glorified) St. Sebastian Dabovich (the first European American and native born US citizen to be ordained an Orthodox priest in America) wrote:
The sounds of Orthodox worship were heard for the first time in California at Fort Ross, where there resided a fortified Russian settlement for the purpose of trade with California Spaniards and the protection of the Russian-American Trade Company of Alaskaπs sea hunting....Not far from the bay on a prominence stood Fort Ross, in which could be seen a modest chapel. There Russians, together with Aleut and California Indian converts to Orthodoxy sang and prayed according to the Slavonic Psalter and Book of Hours. The first Indian converts were apparently baptized by lay people, as once were the Aleuts on Kodiak island. But later [converts] were unquestionably baptized by priests who came here from Sitka to conduct divine services and rites. Among those priest-missionaries was the famous Fr. Ioann Veniaminov [i.e. St. Innocent of Alaska and Moscow], who visited here from Sitka. In 1884 the writer of this notebook observed children of Russian and California Indian mixed marriages in the settlement of Novoarchangelsk (or Sit-kha in the Tlingit dialect) on Baranoff Island.
Thus Russia, or more precisely the Russian-American Company, first owned property in California back in 1808. Fort Ross was built and consecrated in 1812. The first Orthodox community in California comprised the major part of the population of these holdings. On feast days the entire population gathered for common prayer in the chapel, the ruins of which can still be seen today. The river, which flows through this region among the straight tall redwood trunks, has preserved the name ≥Russian,≤ as has one of the hills in the city of San Francisco itself. In 1840 all this part of Upper California was transferred to the Americans. And so when the American Captain Sutter raised the American flag over the former Russian fort in Sonoma County, the sound of those singing the Orthodox ≥Lord, have mercy≤ was no longer heard in the chapel. The site became desolate, and it seemed that the Orthodox Christian faith had left this land forever.
The discovery of gold here attracted masses of people, not only from the distant states of America, but even from the far off countries of Europe. Among those seeking happiness in the New World were also Orthodox Serbs and Greeks. They started coming here at the beginning of the 1850s. In 1857 Orthodox Serbs could be found as well in San Francisco. And in the 1850s the first Russian Government Agent, Kostromitinov also lived here. [Kostromitrinov has been governor of Russian California: like his successor, Rotchev-the last Russian governor of California-and others from Fort Ross moved (once Fort Ross was sold to Sutter) to San Francisco]
In 1859 for the first time since the transfer of Fort Ross, a Russian Navy ship appeared in San Francisco Bay. On this ship arrived the Hieromonk Kirill, who was enlisted in the Second Amur Squadron. He came on shore and the same year baptized several Russian and Serb children in Mr. Kostromitinovπs apartment on Rincon Hill in San Francisco. This was, it seems, the first divine service for the community in California since the closure of the chapel at Fort Ross. Then in January of 1862 another Russian Navy ship, the Kalevala, arrived offshore at San Francisco. On it was a Hieromonk from the Konev Nativity Monastery, Father Vitaly. He also performed the sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation in San Francisco. In 1863, at the time of the American Civil War, six Russian Navy ships, under the command of Rear Admiral Popov, were stationed in San Francisco Bay for an entire year. Among these ships there were the corvettes Bogatyr, Riga, and Kalevala. (They came to protect the interests of the Federal Government.) On the flagship Bogatyr, there was a Hieromonk from the Tikhvin 1st class Monastery, Father Kirill. In 1863 he baptized several children in San Francisco, including the writer of this notebook.
On Pascha night in 1864, at the invitation of the Admiral, Divine Liturgy on board the ship was attended, along with Mr. Kostromitinov, by the Serbs Nicholas Dabovich, Peter Radovich and Andrew Chelovich. It is not known whose idea it was to establish the Orthodox Society in San Francisco, but it may be surmised that the initiative was taken by Admiral Popov, because he was present at the first meeting of the society in one of the halls of the city. Before the opening of the meeting, a Molieben with the blessing of water was served...Toward the end of 1864 the newly established Orthodox society in San Francisco had $424.38 in a S.F. Savings Union Bank savings account. The following were the first members of this society: Nicholas Dabovich [St. Sebastian's uncle], Peter Radovich, George Lazarevich, Nicholas Gregovich, Bogdan Matkovich, Andrew Chelovich, Peter Bokanovich, Peter Zenovich, John Constantine, Michael Cheriasis, Luka Balich, Elias Vuovich, Gabriel Kustudio, Constantine Milinovich, and John Hertso (a Roman Catholic Slav). Each of these members made a contribution of $20.00 in gold.
Eventually the Russian ships weighed their anchors. And there were no more priests here. It would seem that, left without a church or a priest, this Orthodox community should have disappeared from the face of the earth, especially in the rush for gold, for wealthä Through the mercy of God, however, this did not happen. The Orthodox — Serbs, Greeks, and Russians — lived at that time in concord, and supported each other in a brotherly manner. On all major feasts, they gathered together with those who had families, and sang religious and folk songs.
The modest Society had already established correspondence with the ≥old country≤ and contemplated the acquisition of a ≥pope≤ [priest in Serbian]. Such was the situation until 1867 when, finally and at no oneπs invitation, there appeared a certain Honcharenko, who pretended to be an Orthodox priest. (Detailed information about him, based on the correspondence of Metropolitan Philaret [Drozdov, now Saint Philaret of Moscow] and the Ober Procurator, may be found in Moskovskie Vedomosti.) At that time the Russian Consul in San Francisco was Martin Klinkovstrem, a Russian Finn, a pious man and a strict observer of his duties. He, together with the majority of the Orthodox population of San Francisco, suspected Honcharenko of fraud. They began to make inquiries, and indeed it was discovered that Honcharenko was an imposter. [Honcharenko was the first was the first "priest" to serve the Greek chapel in New Orleans, now Holy Trinity Cathedral. He seems to have been brought there through Dr. Thrall, who raised the alarm in 1862 that the Orthodox were preparing to bring a bishop into the "canonical territory" of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States-when the Episcopalians organized their "Church at Califonia" they made no reference to the "Chruch of the East" i.e. PECUSA on the East Coast, and contemplated getting their orders from St. Innocent, the bishop in Sitka. Honcharenko went from NO to SF, to demand an antimens from the cathedral in SF].
The arrival of Honcharenko in San Francisco induced the local Society to consider more seriously their spiritual state. Under the leadership of Consul Klinkovstrem the Society finally became completely organized. Its Bylaws were drawn up in a true churchly spirit, and then in December of 1867 the legal existence of the society was ratified at City Hall. Among the new members were the following: John Franetta, Carl Baum, Archimandritov, Elias Chelovich, Sabbas Martinovich, A. Chausov, George Fisher,
"In 1867 the Society was registered at the City Hall under the name of Greek-Russian-Slavonic Church and Philanthropic Society. The first president of the Society was the Russian consul in San Francisco (Martin Klinkovstrem); one of the members of the Society was the Greek consul (George Fisher)." - The One-hundredth Anniversary of the First Eastern Orthodox Parish in San Francisco, 1868-1968. San Francisco, 1968, p. 14.http://www.holy-trinity.org/history/1873/06.18.EveningBulletin.html
THE LATE GEORGE FISHER,
who for some years before his death held the honorable position of Greek Consul at this port...The following brief sketch of the life and adventures of Judge Fisher was published in Washington while he was Secretary of the Land Commissioners in this city in 1853, and those who have only seen him in later years and who have observed his gentlemanly demeanor and blameless life, and particularly the Greek residents of the State, who manifest for him the greatest affection will no doubt take an interest in reading and perhaps in preserving it: George Fisher, Secretary and Translator to the California Land Commission, is a native of Hungary, born in the city called Stuhi-Weisenburg in the month of April, 1795.
This city is about ten German miles from Buda, the ancient capital of the country. Besides being the birthplace of the subject of this sketch, it has the honor to claim amongst its sons the renowned Captain John Smith, celebrated for his single-handed conflict with three Turks, whom he slew in the war between Turkey and Hungary [he was fighting for Michael the Brave, who unified Romania, and then for Radu Şerban against against the Polish sponsored vassal of the Ottomans Ieremia Movilă, father of St. Peter Movilă of Kiev. Radu's son founded the Patriarchate at Bucharest. John Smith was captured and sold as a slave, given by a Turk to his Greek mistress in Constantinople, who fell in love with Smith. He later escaped to Russia, and went from there to North America where-], and subsequently made still more famous by the interposition of the noble Indian maiden, Pocahontas, for his salvation; and among its daughters, if public rumor be true, the devoted wife of Louis Rossuth, the Hungarian patriot.
After the decease of his father, he entered the college of Carlowitz, under the auspices of His Excellency, Stephen Stratimirovitch, the Archbishop, and Metropolitan of the Greek Church in Austria, ex officio a member of the House of Magnates (House of Lords) of the Hungarian Diet (Parliament), having his Archi-Episcopal See at Carlowitz, in Slavonia. He was here educated in the tenets of that church, which appear to be those of his family, and according to their desire, he was to have been devoted to it by investing him, at the proper age, with holy orders. But Providence had otherwise ordered; and in 1813, becoming wearied with the monotony of student life, and feeling a decided repugnance to taking orders, he left the college, and joined the revolutionary ranks of Servia, under the command of George Petrovitch - the celebrated "Black George" of history [and founder of the Serbian/Yugoslavian Royal House, sponsor of the autocephalous Metropolitinate of Belgrad, now the Patriarchate of Serbia]...
Mr. George Fisher - for we can safely call him so now - having assumed that name with his adopted country, after struggling through those harassing trials which the stranger only knows, and the stranger with a foreign tongue most keenly feels, but which his iron will and sturdy courage soon overcame, pursued his fortunes to the great West, then, and even now, the proper sphere for spirits such as his; and after many wanderings, selected the State of Mississippi as a residence, and there, having declared his intentions, became a citizen of the United States. And when we think upon his yearly sufferings under Austrian tyranny, we may imagine with what sincerity he threw off all allegiance to foreign potentates.
In the year 1825, impelled by the love of adventure, Mr. Fisher visited the city of Mexico, where he remained until 1830, when he accompanied the Hon. J. R. Poinsett, American Minister, to New Orleans, having been engaged in procuring material for Mr. Poinsett's work on Mexico.
In this same year, after parting with Mr. P. as above, Mr. Fisher repaired to Galveston, Texas (then a Mexican port), when he received the appointment of Collector of Customs. This position he held until 1832, and it was during his administration of that department, that the germ was placed from which a few years later sprung the tree which is now yielding such abundant fruit to the American Republic of the North; and, as one of the consequences of its growth and possession, producing the war which shook the golden apple of California into her lap.
With the taste of Mexican justice, Mr. Fisher obeys the order of banishment and sails for New Orleans. He reaches that city when the excitement for the liberation of Texas was at fever heat, and at once lends both heart and hands to the cause. He had resided ten years in Mexico, believing it a republic - had held high offices under the pseudo-Democracy - had collected its revenues, and controlled its accounts - placed millions of dollars in their treasury; and yet, for the words which could not have been restrained by one of his noble nature, he received a peremptory order to leave the republic (?) within such a time as would hardly have been sufficient to have arranged the affairs of a cordelier, and his property was seized and sacrificed, and the proceeds divided among his judge and his accusers.
But the amount was dearly earned by the Mexican Government. Sagacious and observing, Mr. Fisher was more conversant with Mexican politics than his persecutors imagined; and fortunate for him, perhaps, this ignorance on their part, else his order had been to the city of Mexico, under an escort, to have shared the prison with his noble and unfortunate friend, Stephen F. Austin.
He discloses the particulars of a contemplated invasion of Texas by Mexico, shows that Santa Anna had long been making preparations for that purpose, but cheered the hearts of his hearers by prophesying a successful issue to the Texans; and that a proof of his military genius might not be wanting, he then pointed put the course which did subsequently lead to the battle of San Jacinto and the capture of Santa Anna and Cos.
Nor were words the only aid and comfort given; for when the storm thickened, and ballast was needed to keep the ship upright when its force should strike, his means were freely tendered. At the critical moment he was on deck - his encouraging voice heard - his powerful arm felt; and when the gale had lulled, but the vexed waves still tossed the straining vessel, he was amongst the first to see the necessity of lashing the little bark to the larger ship, that she might repair damages under her lee. Perhaps wee deal too largely in metaphor - in plain prose, then, Mr. Fisher, upon his arrival in New Orleans, was liberal towards the cause of Texas. Robbed as he had been, he gave what he had, and like the widow's mite it was blessed. When the war broke out he was active in the field, and his military talents came opportunely into play.
He brought with him from Matamoras an invitation from the Governor of Tamaulipas, to General Jose Antonio Mexia, to join him in taking the field against the usurping administration of Santa Anna, accompanied that general in his descent upon Tampico, and is honorably mentioned by him.
Honorable S. F. Austin, the founder of Texas, a man whose good word was valuable, writes to Mr. Fisher thus: "The only time to try friendship is when a man is an misfortune and persecuted by powerful enemies, as I am. You have interested yourself for me, even at the risk of injuring yourself. I wish my family to know this; they will not forget it."...
To affect this his pen was not idle; and from his midnight lamp, when others sought repose, he issued breathing thoughts and burning words, which, through the columns of the southern and western press, have taken the hearts of the people, and were as useful in procuring he election of Mr. Polk, and consequently the annexation of his adopted State, as any other means.
We have called Mr. Fisher a Texan, and with reason; for if any one has a right to that title, it is the subject of this notice. His history is embodied in the history of that country from its infancy to the present day. When its affairs became settled, Mr. Fisher commenced the practice of law at Houston, with license from the Supreme Court of the Republic. He has acted in various capacities in civil authority: has filled the offices of Justice of the Peace, County Judge, Recorder of the city, Notary Public, Commissioner of Deeds for almost every State in the Union, etc. From 1846 to 1848 he was translator and keeper of the Spanish records of the General Land Office of Texas, having been previously interpreted to the Convention for framing the Sate Constitution.
Prior to its annexation he was at various times interpreter and translator to the Senate of the Republic, holding the same position when it became a State...
With the exception of a few, whose lives have been devoted to scholastic pursuits, Mr. F. is conversant with more languages than almost any other man, and is perhaps the best linguist living. He is a Greek and Latin scholar, and in addition to knowledge of the Russian, Polish, Bohemian, Moravian, Slovack, Croatian, Dalmatian and the language of the Montenegrins, speaks with fluency the following tongues: his vernacular, the Slavono-Servian, the Hungarian or "Magyar," the German, the Greek, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian.
With all these accomplishments - with all these honors - having in less than fifty years undergone more than fifty ordinary men of greater age, he remains a plain, unassuming, active gentleman, unpretentious of fame, and only anxious to have his name descend untarnished to the children; and as a proof of this he is now quietly performing the arduous duties of Secretary of the Board of Land Commissioners to ascertain and settle the private land claims in California and ex officio, interpreter of said Board, its translator, and keeper of its archives.
Judge Fisher, after the Land Commission was dissolved in 1854, became a permanent resident of San Francisco, where he has been greatly respected by all who have known him. He was here elected in 1860 to the office of Justice of the Peace of San Francisco, and became ex officio one of the Judges of the County Court, which office he held for several years. Soon after retiring from that office he was appointed by the King of Greece as Consul for that nation, to reside at San Francisco, which office he held down to the time of his death, and which he filled with honor to himself, and to the satisfaction of every Greek resident in the State.
Lasar Jovovich, and Luke Jankovich. The Russian plenipotentiary in the transferal of Alaska to the Federal Government, Alexis Peschurov, signed up as a member of the Society and paid his dues for several months in advance.
At that time money was cheap in California. The country was not yet overpopulated. Monopolies were not fully established. Compensation for labor was generous. There were no cheap Italian, or especially Chinese, laborers. The Society members, with few exceptions, were generous in their support of the common cause. The Director of the Russian colonies in America, Prince Maksutov, when he passed through San Francisco on his way to Russia, consoled the brethren with a promise of petitioning the Russian bishop in Sitka to send them a parish priest. At the same time he donated two hundred dollars to the Society.
And indeed, in the following year of 1868 the Priest Nicholas Kovrigin and the Reader Basil Shishkin arrived in San Francisco from Sitka. Liturgy was celebrated in the house of the Serb Peter Sekulovich at 3241 Mission Street, near 28th Street. At that time this was considered to be outside of town. I remember that first service, to which I went with my mother. We had to walk a long way along unpaved streets. Furthermore we were mercilessly drenched by rain. At last we reached a small house; we crossed over a ditch (or temporarily excavated gutter) on a plank and entered the church. The ≥church≤ was set up in a divided room. At the end opposite the entrance the Holy Antimension lay on a covered table. A little table in a corner served as the table of oblation. I remember two icons on the walls: the Savior and the Mother of God. There were approximately twenty communicants at that Liturgy. When it was time to approach the Cup of Salvation, my older brother followed my father and I wanted to follow my mother. But I was held back and told that ≥no little ones are allowed there.≤ This circumstance requires an explanation. Western Serbs, e.g. Dalmatian and others, do not allow their small children to receive communion of the Holy Gifts. The clergy in some places to this day have been unable to restore the Orthodox custom of communion of children.
That same summer, the Priest N. Kovrigin returned to Sitka, but at the beginning of the following year, 1869, he came back to us with his whole family - to remain here as a permanent priest. The parishioners installed him in a spacious house with excellent new furniture at 516 Greenwich Street. In this houseπs parlor there was a temporary church without an iconostasis. I remember this house chapel for it was here that I made my first confession and communion. At divine services Consul Klinkovstremπs three adult daughters sang harmoniously. They, like their mother, were Orthodox. Joachim Chuda, a Serb, served as a reader and altar server; parishioners paid him $50 a month. Besides providing the monthly rent for the priestπs apartment and the space for the church, the parishioners also maintained the priest by their own means. The Orthodox community in San Francisco lived thus until the summer of 1871. In that year the first Bishop of the Aleutian-Alaskan Diocese relocated here with his staff from Sitka. And so San Francisco became the cathedral city of the Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.
In summer of 1870 San Francisco parishioners were granted the joyous opportunity of seeing two Orthodox bishops. As far as I can remember, it happened in September, when the newly ordained Bishop John (Mitropolsky) arrived from Europe via New York. At the same time the Right Reverend Paul, the last Vicar Bishop of New Archangel in the far-flung Amur Diocese, was leaving America for Siberia from San Francisco.
In 1871 the Alaskan Spiritual Consistory, which is still in existence, was established in San Francisco. At the same time the bishopπs school was transferred here from Sitka. In that year the Russian church in San Francisco occupied a more suitable space than before, at 915 Jackson Street. The bishop took up residence in the same house.
From the time of the arrival of the Right Reverend John, priests, after his example, began to proclaim the word of truth to the flock in San Francisco. A Saturday school for the children of parishioners was opened where they were taught the Catechism and the Russian language. Here, under this bishop served: Archpriest Paul Kedrolivansky, as Reader and later Deacon and Priest, Nicholas Mitropolsky (Vladykaπs brother), Deacon Michael Netzvetov, Deacon Basil Shishkin, Reader Moses Salamatov, Priest N. Kovrigin, Deacon M. Salamatov, Deacon Basil Kashevarov and Reader Peter Kashevarov. Michael Vladimirov was choir director and singing teacher. He also taught mathematics at the school. Besides the clergymen that taught at the school, Vladyka himself also had seven classes a week, in Holy Scripture and the Slavonic language. A native Greek, Dimitrios Frankiades, from the University of Athens, was teacher of the Greek and English languages.
The church on Jackson Street was small: it was located in two rooms with sliding doors. It was consecrated to the Holy Orthodox Prince Alexander Nevsky. The iconostasis for this church and the majority of vessels, vestments, liturgical books and other items had been donated by His Imperial Highness, the Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich, from one of the ships of the Russian Navy. What was yet lacking for hierarchical services, was supplied by the reserves of St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral in Sitka. In 1873 the bishopπs church with all its various institutions was moved to another part of town, to the west, and namely to the huge house of Mr. Casebolt on Pierce Street between Vallejo and Green Streets (Green street was not yet laid out then), near the military base and fort Presidio. Members of the clergy lived, as usual, in private apartments, with the exception of the school superintendent, who lived in the bishopπs house. Although it was inconvenient and far for the parishioners to travel to church, they nevertheless attended, approximately 40 people in number every Sunday. At that time the Saturday school for parishionersπ children was discontinued. But the location was healthy and peaceful, and quite suitable for the diocesan school.
Having given the background on "the best organized of all the Greek colonies in the States of the Union" under the Russian bishop and the Serbian Consul, I return to the NYT article:
Even in those distant localities they do not forget their native land. They write to their families in Greece from time to time, and are subscribers to a Greek newspaper, to learn the news. To the positive knowledge of the writer eight copies of a Greek newspaper are sent to Greek miners in Placer County, California, and a Greek roaster of pea-nuts in Galveston, Texas, is a subscriber to one of the best Greek newspapers. The only subscribers in America to an Ecclesiastical Review, published in Athens, are an American Episcopalian clergyman in New-York and a Greek boarding-house keeper in Chicago, Ill.
There are no students from Greece in this country, with the exception of one, who is studying agriculture at the expense of the Greek Government, in the Illinois Industrial University, in Champaign, Ill., on the scanty allowance of $40 per month.
The average salary of sailors, on board Greek vessels, is about $10 per month; it is no wonder, therefore, that those who come to this country are reluctant to go back, getting, as they do, from $30 to $40 per month. But they get even more on land. Last year a Greek vessel arrived at this port from Sicily with a cargo of brimstone. The crew, consisting of twelve men, refused to go to Havana, where the vessel was bound, and remained in New-York. They soon found their way to Athens, below Albany, where they engaged to work at the railroad depot. They ahve worked there for one year, saved $300 each, which they sent to Greece through their Consul, and worked their passage home recently on board an American vessel. Their abstinence from drinking and their hard work were much remarked by the employees of the railroad.
But the most remarkable incident of the strength of family ties among the Greeks which came to our knowledge is that of a Greek boy who came to this country thirty years ago. He was educated for the ministry and pursued his avocation. A year ago he made inquiries about his relatives in Greece, and finding that a sister of his, a widow, was still living, but very poor, he opened a correspondence with her. They have never seen each other, but the expatriated Greek felt an inherent duty to assist her. He sends her now very regularly a yearly pension, with which she lives at present comfortably in Athens.
We mentioned above a Greek vessel which arrived at this port last year. The father of her Captain has a rather curious history. He was the owner of a small vessel employed in the grain trade during the Crimean war. At the time he was in the City of Kertch, in the Crimea. The Russian ports were blockaded by the allies. A Russian regiment was ready in Arrapa, on the Black Sea, to come to the Crimea. But how? The Greek Captain made an arrangement with the Russian General to run the blockade, and bring the regiment where it was needed. He ran the blockade successfully, took the regiment on board, and was nearing the coast of the Crimea, when he was discovered by the English cruisers, who began to fire on him. He succeeded in landing the Russians safely, but his vessel was captured. The Russian General was delighted. Acting on superior orders, he paid to the Greek 5,000 silver roubles, and added a Russian schooner in the bargain. But the port was shortly bombarded by the allies, and his schooner was destroyed. Nothing daunted by this reverse, the Greek started for St. Petersburg, and, laying his case before the Emperor Nicholas, he had the satisfaction to receive 10,000 silver roubles as an additional compensation for his services to the Russian cause, besides a medal of honor.
There are twelve commercial Greek houses in this city, dealing largely in cotton, grain, and East India produce; four more are in New-Orleans, similarly engaged; one in Mobile, one in Memphis, Tenn., and two in Boston, Mass. These latter deal principally in Mediterranean produce, mostly dried fruit from Constantinople and Smyrna, exporting thither New England rum, machinery, and Yankee notions.
A few more contemporary records from 1873 San Francisco:
Place of worship, 911 Jackson street. Rev. Paul Kedrolivansky, Arch Priest, residence, 911 Jackson Street. Rev. Nicholas Kovrigin, Pastor; residence 2216 Mason Street.
A society was incorporated under the title of the Greek Russian Slavonian Orthodox Eastern Church on the second of September, 1867, the objects of which are "to have a church wherein will be held on Sundays and other holidays religious services according to the ritual of the orthodox Eastern Church, to care for its sick members and bury its dead."
Officers.– S. Martinovich, President; B. Radovich, Secretary. [Page 853]
GREEK RUSSIAN SLAVONIAN BENEVOLENT SOCIETY.– Organized September 2d, 1867. Meetings held first Monday of each month, at 911 Jackson Street.
The objects of the society are to have a church wherein will be held on Sundays and other holidays religious services according to the ritual of the Orthodox Eastern Church, and to care of its sick members and bury its dead.
Officers.– Samuel Martinovich, President; N. Dabovich, Vice-President; L. Jovovich, Treasurer; E. Radovich, Secretary. [Page 858]
SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS DIRECTORY.
Kedrolivansky P., Archbishop Russo Greek Church, dwl 911 Jackson.
Kovrigin, Nicholas, pastor Greek Church, dwl 426 Chestnut. [Page 693]
Russia, M. Klinkofstrom, 510 Battery.
Greece, George Fisher, 56 Mont Block. [Page 698]
Fisher, George, consul for Greece, office 56 Montgomery Block, dwl. 439 Minna
To the Right Reverend John, Bishop of the Aleutian Isles and Alaskahttp://www.holy-trinity.org/history/1873/03.03.Synod.Mitropolsky.html
In accordance with the prescript of His Imperial Majesty, the Most Holy Synod heard:
on the state of the American episcopal cathedra and the churches in its jurisdiction as reported by Your Grace...
Ordered: in 1870, upon the establishment of the Orthodox episcopal cathedra in America, by the opinion of the State Council, approved by the Emperor, it was decided to issue from the State Treasury as the subsidy for this cathedra and the churches in its jurisdiction 38,000 rubles annually for three years...
You report that you can present detailed information on all that is needed for the establishment of the Orthodox Church in America not earlier than after the return from the business trip of the priest Nicholas Kovrigin whom you sent to inspect the American Orthodox churches. At the same time, pointing out the various needs in the diocese entrusted to you, you petition for:
1) the establishment of an Orthodox church and school in S.-Francisco;
2) raising salaries to the Orthodox clergy in America and subsidies for the library;
3) the satisfaction of the request of the Slavs who live in S.-Francisco, regarding their being compensated from sums collected in Russia for the construction of a church in that city, 6500 dollars, for the plot they purchased for the church and cemetery;
4) the allocation of 4,000 dollars remaining from the 38,000 rubles budgeted for the American cathedra, as subsidies to clergy and churches subordinate to this cathedra;
5) the deduction from the sum of 866 rubles and 92 kopecks, issued for the American cathedra, and erroneously given by the Irkutsk Diocesan authorities to the Priest Nicholas Kovrigin at his departure for service in America, and transfer of this money to its proper place;
6) an expression of gratitude by the Most Holy Synod via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the trade house of Hutchinson, Kohl, Maksutoff & Co. [which were sold the financial concerns of the Russian-American Company as the US government were sold the sovereignty of Alaska, and the see of Sitka retained jurisdiction] for their assistance in your communications with subordinate churches and for their various donations.
Your Grace also inquires in your report instruction regarding how parts of the Orthodox divine services should be translated into English language and to what music church hymns should be set.
Upon reviewing all these matters and the recommendations of the Economy Department on these questions, the Most Holy Synod has decided:
1) to direct Your Grace to present to the Synod, before the expiration of the first half of this year, a detailed report as requested by the Most Holy Synod on the basis of the State Council demand approved by the Emperor. This report should contain the exact information regarding the need for the further issue by the Russian Government of sums for the support of the Orthodox clergy and churches in America. Attached to the report should be a register of all Orthodox churches present in America, the number of clergymen and parishioners of every church. At the same time a report is needed on whether the budget should be rearranged and whether some lines should be increased and others perhaps reduced. Is it feasible to reduce the number of clergy or liquidate some churches and chapels, attaching parishes to other churches?
2) The petition of the society of the Orthodox Slavs who live in S.-Francisco, regarding their being compensated in the sum of 6500 dollars, for the plot they purchased for the church, is based on information they received about the voluntary collection in Russia for the construction of a church in S.-Francisco. However, the collection for this purpose from 1868 brought only an insignificant sum of 17,350 rubles. In future, judging by past examples, the collection will be even smaller, and then the construction of the church would not be realized in the near future. At the same time, the prolonged ownership of a parcel of land would demand great expenses. And the society itself has no monetary means, as can be seen from a) their request from the Synod for money to buy the land, and b) the society’s still not taking upon itself the support of the clergy appointed at their requests in 1868. The condition was then that our Government would support the clergy for the first two years only. Then it was taken into consideration that in accordance with the society’s by-laws, the Russian Consul and Vice-Consul are its permanent members. However, from your report it cannot be determined whether they were present when the society made that decision to purchase the land for the church. Therefore, it is decided to let Your Grace know that the proposal to purchase land to build a church in S.-Francisco is considered by the Holy Synod premature.
3) Regarding the request for the one-time assistance to the clergy in America from the sums remaining from the budget. To allow Your Grace to distribute 1350 dollars as the requested financial aid to the clergy, and to spend the rest on the actual needs of the Aleut churches, not spending this money for any other things which are not in the budget.
4) Considering the favors shown to our church in America by the trade house of Hutchinson, Kohl, Maksutoff & Co., to suggest the Lord Ober-Procurator of the Synod ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express gratitude to the said Trade House.
5) Regarding your inquiry of how parts of the Orthodox divine services should be translated into the English language and to what music church hymns should be set. It was decided to leave the resolution of these questions directly to your discretion, in cooperation with the rector of our Embassy church in London, Archpriest Popov, who is already occupied with this business, and with our priest in New York, [Nicholas] Bjerring. On that point bear in mind that there is no money allocated either from the State Treasury or from the funds of the Most Holy Synod either for such translation or musical notation.
Finally, the decision will be made regarding the raising of salaries of the church clergy in the American cathedra and an establishment of a church in S.-Francisco, upon receiving from you detailed information about the situation of the American Orthodox churches. For the execution of this, it was decided to send to Your Grace this decree.
March 3 1873
I went on about the Amerindian converts because they have no earthly homeland, but here. They formed the core of the Orthodox Church here, and eventually did get what the U.S. promised them. The Orthodox Church, in the form of the Churches that Russia had built up, belonged to them by treaty. That diocese was as much a part of the Russian Church as any in Siberia, and similarly constructed, in canonical order.
Now, when Russia moved its border back, that didn't place them in "diaspora." They didn't go anywhere. In fact, true to its founding as a missionary Church, on the principle of the Great Commission, if it went anywhere, it predated Alaska into the U.S. The Russian presence in CA had a hand in course of its history, including practically entering the U.S. as a State. Like Athena from Zeus' forehead, CA entered as a center in America, centered on the SF-Sacramento-East Coast axis. Rather than going to Oregon in the North or to L.A. in the South (as had originally been proposed), the Pony Express, Transcontinental Railroad, Transcontinental Telegraph, etc. went to SF. And when SF went into the U.S. the Russian presence there, AK's Southern branch as it were, entered into the American mainstream, as a forerunner of the move of the See of Sitka to SF, and thence NY.
Example of what I mean: Hawaii's quarter came out this year. Apropos, as the first Hawaiian president took office.http://www.netstate.com/states/quarters/images/hi_qtr.gif
Now, for one thing, it's interesting in that it doesn't have any English on the face. In fact, it might be the first U.S. coin to have any language besides English or Latin on it. Is Hawaiian an American language? It is spoken in the U.S. In fact, it is probably spoken no where else but the U.S. (btw, the coins of the Kingdom of Hawaii had English on them too).
But what is really interesting is that it is the first coin minted by the U.S. to have the image of a monarch (at least since George III). Now, is Kamehameha I an American king? His kingdom is of the U.S. His law is still on the books. He and his successors are buried in the U.S., their palace is in the U.S. The last of their line ended her days as a U.S. citizen, and with a pension from the U.S. territorial authority.
(btw, the Russian-American company was first in Hawaii too with Orthodoxy).
So too, with the incorporation of CA and AK into the U.S., the Orthodox Church did not remain "foreign" to the U.S., as she had been a native Church from the beginning. As Mr. Coin points out in his excellent critique of the Chief Secretary's speech: they did not come to the superpower called the U.S. to create a diaspora. They were incorporated into the U.S. and helped to make it a superpower.
There is no Orthodox Church in this country. There are a number which exist in parallel.
Hence the fact that the Chief Secretary's nerve is hit by Met. Jonah's comment that "with the formation of the
OCA “the presence of any other jurisdiction on American territory becomes uncanonical, and membership in the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America becomes the criterion of canonicity of all bishops in America." It hit too close to home. Fact is, with the formation of the Orthodox Church in this country, and the formation of this country, there is a direct path that leads to the OCA as being the one bishop of the American cities that the canons call for. It is the refusal of the precursors of the GOA to acknowledge this that has led to the jurisdictional mess. Not the refusal to share in delusions as to the meaning of canon 28 of Chalcedon.
The speech itself is actually pointless.
No, it is pointed. Like a missile.
I'll just add that Hawaiians were at Fort Ross, and Alaska too, when the Czar ruled in North America.