To his Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Novoarkhangelsk, Vicar of the Diocese of Kamchatka and Honorable Sir.
From the missionary Nicholas Kovrigin, priest of the Orthodox Church which is being built in San Francisco.
A Most Humble Petition.
The Slav, Joachim Chuda, who was performing the duties of sexton in our local house of prayer, has left San Francisco. It is not possible to find anyone suitable to take over this position. Although I sent a timely letter about this need to his Eminence Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow and the Ober Procurator of the Holy Synod, no positive arrangement in this matter ensued from their part. In the meantime a sexton is urgently needed. Therefore, I am once again taking the liberty of troubling your Grace with this most respectful request. Can you not find it possible to send to San Francisco one of the resident sextons of the Cathedral in Novoarkhangelsk? Of course his travel expenses should be paid by the Church, since from a lack of funds the Society was unable to fulfill my request in this case. In connection with this I find it necessary to bring to your Graces attention the following situation. The sum allotted by the highest authority to aid the Society in compensating the clergy and punctually received up until now semiannually was suspended from 1 July of this year. It is now August, I have received no compensation, and I must resort to personal loans. Besides it is evident from the newspapers that the ranks of the clergy in America as well as their compensation have been augmented, and the funds allotted for this matter have already been received at the local Consulate. For this reason I am taking the liberty of requesting your Grace to find it possible to make good my salary from these allotted funds, and to propose that the Novoarkhangelsk Spiritual Consistory communicate with the local Consul, Mr. Klinkovstrem, to disburse the sum required for my support.
If your Grace would be so kind as to send a sexton, please raise his salary as well, since the difference in the standard of living between Sitka and San Francisco is significant, and, therefore, the wages should be commensurate with the requirements.
I am honored to be your Graces most humble, obedient and unworthy supplicant before God, missionary priest Nicholas Kovrigin.
July 27/9 August, 1870