March 1868

Your Grace the Right Reverend Master!

Recently, a Slavonian society was formed in San Francisco, which is under the chairmanship of the Russian Consul [Martin] Klinkovstrom. This society consists of members who belong to our Orthodox Church. The purpose of the society is purely religious and mostly consists in acquisition of funds for the construction of a church and support of a priest. The society’s affairs progress well, our brothers-Slavs act harmoniously and constantly make donations. They already have significant capital, and at their last meeting, which took place with my presence, it was decided to purchase a plot of land sufficient to build a church, a house for a priest, and a small hospital. All citizens of S.-Francisco are in favor of this project, and many have made significant donations, and thus the church capital is growing every day. There is no doubt that this year or early next year there will be an Orthodox church in S.-Francisco.

The Slavs invited me to the meeting that took place at the beginning of February, and asked me to petition on their behalf before Your Grace to send a priest to S.-Francisco for the satisfaction of their spiritual needs. Wishing to assist them in their good intentions, I promised to write a request for the fulfillment of the desires of these our brothers. The transportation of a priest to S.-Francisco I will take upon my personal account, and the society will take upon itself the maintenance of a priest in S.-Francisco.

In the last mail, I received from Russia a package addressed to Your Grace, which I have the honor to attach to this letter. Also, I have the honor to enclose a letter to Your Grace from the Messrs. directors of the Slavonian society.

Last year Agapius Honcharenko arrived in S.-Francisco, who escaped from a certain monastery. At the beginning, he was conducting divine services here, but, since he is not following the precise rules of our Church, all those who share our faith left him and renounced him as a schismatic.

Allow me to ask you, Your Grace, to accept my assurance of true respect and loyalty to you of

Your humble servant

Prince D. Maksutov

On this petition there is a resolution of Bishop Paul of Novoarchangelsk (Sitka) to send Father Nicholas Kovrigin and Reader Vasily Sishkin to San Francisco, dated "March 13, 1868, Wednesday of the fifth week of Lent."