San Francisco

Feb. 17, 1881

 

Bishop Nestor

 

Rev-d & Dear Sir

 

Being informed that you how purchased from Mr. Livingstone and others their property on Powell Street for your Church, and also that you have paid or agreed to pay for it 36 (thirty six) thousand dollars, a sum entirely out of proportion, and ten thousand dollars over and above its real market value, evidence of which can be produced that previous to your purchase of it it was proffered to me by their Broker, Mr. Abrams [for] Twenty Six thousand dollars, and I am pretty sure it could be bought for twenty five thousand ($25.000-00) dollars. He had it for six months previous to your purchase of it, for sale, and failed to get any offer near what he asked of the above figure. Now finding that you have agreed to pay for it ten thousand dollars more than it is worth, I deem it my duty as a Christian gentleman, and being conversant with the value of Real Estate in this city to lay the matter before you knowing that you are not a judge in matters of this character. I take the liberty of saying that you have been grossly deceived as to its value and overpaid for it to the amount of, at least, ten thousand dollars, by some unchristian, unscrupulous and designing person, who no doubt profits by the trade. Should you allow this transaction to be perpetrated after the knowledge of these facts beforehand, and in the event of its coming to the hearing of the Holy Synod at St. Petersburg, which, no doubt, it will from the notoriety it has already acquired, you, yourself is the best judge as to how that Holy body and procurums (sic) there-of should look upon you in reviewing this statement of the transaction. I am also informed that Mr. Niebaurn who is now acting Consul, Commercial Representative of your Government; in this city, disapproves the purchase with this information laid before him. With all these facts stated to you, and their proof al hand. I await your answer and remain

 

Most Respectfully your servant-

 

Edward Durkin

Real Estate Agent

422 Montgomery St., S.F.

 

From The Right Reverend Nestor, Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska, 1879-1882. Correspondence, reports, diary. Vol. 2. Translated and edited by G. Soldatow, AARDM Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1993, pp. 240