Bishop Vladimirs Serious Complaints.
Natives Robbed and Overcharged.
He Charges the Commercial Companys Agents With Oppression.
Bishop Vladimir of the Graeco-Russian Church has just returned from a tour among the missionary stations of his church in the far north. In an interview with a Chronicle reporter yesterday the Bishop expressed himself as being indignant at the treatment of his priests at the various missionary stations by the agents of the Alaska Commercial Company. He charges that the agents are in the most part refugees from Russian justice and are intolerant in their treatment of the priests and people. They set themselves up as despots on a small scale, and when their behests are not at once acceded to they enforce obedience by refusing to sell provisions or fuel to those who excite their animosity. The agents compel the priests to allow them the use of the church money for trading purposes by starving and freezing them into submission.
The agents have a monopoly of the supply depots and they well know how to use their power. The Bishop states that the agent at Oonalaska compelled the priest stationed there to give him $6000 of the church money, and it was only after being threatened with legal process that the money was returned. Father Marcus, the priest at Kodiak, was nearly beaten to death by the agent there, the Bishop says, because he interfered to save two young Russian girls whom the agent was endeavoring to induce to lead immoral lives. The Bishop added that it would shame humanity to tell of the vile abuses to which women were constantly subjected by the agents.
The native population of Alaska is decreasing very rapidly and the situation is becoming very grave. Whisky and immoral diseases are rapidly making their influence felt, and the death rate caused mainly by these two evils if something appalling.
Bishop Vladimir states that he has seventeen schools in Alaska, which have an attendance of 8-- pupils. He says that the necessaries of life are exceedingly costly in Alaska. Flour retails at $16 a barrel, or as much more as can be obtained.
The San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, August 27, 1891, p. 7:7