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Ahapii Honcharenko

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Ahapii Honcharenko

Ahapii Honcharenko, born on August, 31,1832, in Kryvyn, Skvyra county, Kyiv gubernia, died 5 May 1916 in Hay-ward, California. Orthodox priest, publicist, and first Ukrainian political emigre to the United States. A descendant of a Cossack family, he graduated from the Kyiv Theological Seminary and entered the Kyiv Cave Monastery. Sent to Athens in 1857 to serve as deacon at the embassy's church, he began to contribute articles to A. Herzen's Kolokol. He was discovered and arrested in 1860, but escaped and traveled extensively before immigrating to the United States in 1865. A subsidy from the federal government enabled Honcharenko to establish in San Francisco a newspaper the Alaska Herald, with a Russian- and Ukrainian-language supplement Svoboda aimed at the inhabitants of recently purchased Alaska. He published the paper, glorifying the Ukrainian Cossacks, popularizing T. Shevchenko's poems, defending democracy, individual freedom, and private initiative, and attacking Russian autocracy and imperialism, the conservatism and corruption of the Russian church, and capitalist monopolies. He also prepared the Russo-English Phrase Book (1868) for American soldiers serving in Alaska. He retired to a farm in Hayward that he named "Ukraina ranch". There in the early 1900s a group of Ukrainian immigrants from Canada and Galicia organized a short-lived commune called the Ukrainian Brotherhood.


 
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