Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893)

Clamor W Schürmann - Time line 1815-1838

The first period of the Schürmann life history covers his childhood, youth and education in Germany until 1838.

Germany 1815-1838

Details are based on Schürmann’s autobiography, dated 4 January 1838 [CWS-A 1838], unless indicated otherwise.

  • 7.6.1815
    born to parents Johann Adam Schuermann, farm worker (1774-1816) and Maria Elisabeth Schuermann, nee Ebcker (1780-1826), in Schledehausen, near Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Kingdom of Hanover.
  • 14.6.1815 — Baptism
    Baptism [CWS-A 1836]1 ] at the Laurentius Simultanous (i.e. Roman-Catholic and Lutheran) Church Schledehausen
  • 26.05.1816
    Death of father.  Stepfather [CWS-A 1836].
  • 1821
    Primary School, initially upon insistence of his mother, then his step father
  • 1826
    Orphaned after the death of his mother
  • appr. 1829
    remained in maternal home with stepfather who paid for food and education until his Confirmation (“Einsegnung”)
  • appr 1829
    Pious friends of his mother introduced his older brother Johann Adam to the Christian mission, and he resolved “to become a preacher to the heathen”.  Through the intervention of the councillor of the consistory, Mertens, at Osnabruck, JAS was admitted to the Berlin Mission Institute established by Johannes Jänicke, then under the leadership of the Johann Wilhelm Rueckert.
  • 25.4.1830 — Confirmation
    “at school until I renewed my baptismal covenant in my 15th year and thereupon could be admitted to participation in Holy Communion” [CWS-A 1836]2 ]
  • 1831
    Through his brother, CWS became aware of the spread of Christianity in the world of his days and discussed it with his brother.
    A pious school teacher discussed with CWS the “blessed vocation” of his brother JAS.  Apparently, the relatives who had taken up CWS, and his guardian did not approve to the dreams of the young man and/or of his brother Johann Adam to become a missionary;  CWS therefore refrained to voice them in public [CWS-A 1836].
    During his visit due to military duty requirements, JAS encouraged CWS regarding to overcome all the obstacles (“trivialities”), but challenged him regarding his perception of a calling which frightened CWS.  As he could not resolve certainty, he almost gave up his dream [CWS-A 1836].
    Against the will of his legal guardian and his relatives [CWS-A 1836], CWS wrote to Rückert who accepted his application immediately.
  • 1831
    After the sudden death of his uncle-guardian, CWS considered his desire to become a missionary once more.  He came again across the popular booklet “Wegweiser für junge Wanderer am Scheideweg” [Guideline for young Travellers at the Crossroads], issued to young people after their confirmation and first Holy Communion, this edition by Johannes Gossner 1830.3 ]  CWS applied a reference to Joshua 24,15 (“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”) to himself, which provided a break through from the blockage and helped him to decide [CWS-A 1836].
  • 09.07.1832
    CWS received confirmation from the Jänicke Berlin Mission School to be accepted as mission student, upon a letter of request by his brother JAS.4 ]
  • 11.07.1832
    Being the youngest son, CWS would have inherited the family farm at Ellerbek according to the Royal Hanover Farm Heritage Law. He, however, renounced his entitlement in favour of his older brother, Johann Friedrich.5 ]
    Confirmation requested from the local bailiff that the older brother offered CWS a loan of 300 to 400 Reichsthaler for his missionary education in Berlin, if CWS renounced his right to inherit the farm, which the older brother would take over after nine years.6 ]
  • 23.07.1832
    After travelling with his brother JAS to Berlin, CWS entered the Jaenicke Mission Seminary.
  • 1832-1836
    With support of his brother, CWS studied German and Latin Grammar to be able to join the entry class.  Subjects of study:  Latin, Greek, English, Hebrew;  Geography, World and Church History;  Preaching.
  • 1836
    While CWS was completing year four at the Jaenicke Mission Institute, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPGP) in London issued a call for 2 missionaries in that Society.  Rückert nominated CWS and his colleague Gottlob C Teichelmann.  However, both rejected to sign the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church and thus formally convert, which they considered incompatible with their faith conscience.
  • 29.07.1936
    CWS and Teichelmann left the Jänicke Mission Institute, with a certificate by Rückert outlining their education and the circumstances of dismissal [CWS-A 1836]:7 ]

Born in Schledehausen near Osnabrueck, the missionary seminarian Clamor Schuermann has been studying at Jaenicke Mission Seminary for four years and commands a good theological proficiency, and besides the antique languages Hebrew, Greek and Latin he also studied English and Chinese.  His character was beyond blame all the time.  Since this young man holds talents that may make him a useful missionary by the grace of God, and if he will remain humble, we would wish him sincerely to be promoted as a missionary amongst heathen.  Unfortunately, at this point of time our institute is itself incapable to promote him other than through the English [Anglican] or Dutch [Reformed] churches, none of which is of course Lutheran.
Berlin, August 27, 1838[should be 1836], The Preacher Dr Rückers [Rückert], Chairman of the Jaenicke Mission Seminary.

  • August 1836
    Dresden Mission Society resolved to accept the two young men as their first missionaries.
  • 01.09.1836
    entered Dresden Mission seminary together with GC Teichelmann.  Subjects of study:  Hebrew and Greek with exegetic exposition of the Biblical text;  dogmatic, church history, homiletic.
  • 1837
    [In a complicated twist of history, which will be described elsewhere, Lutheran Pastor August Kavel,  business man and philanthropist George Fife Angas for the South Australian Company in London, and Georg Wermelskirch for the Dresden Missionary Society negotiate to have a total of four missionaries accompany the migration of settlers from England and Germany to South Australia.  The initial contact between Angas and Kavel may have been mediated by Johannes Menge, a German mineralogist in the employ of the SA Company in the first few years, who had spent some time in London before migrating to Australia.]
  • 1838
    After the mission board decision to send CWS and Teichelmann to New Holland, formal studies were replaced by specialised private studies, in particular Hebrew which CWS considered to be his weakest.
  • 03.01.1838
    The Dresden Mission Board issued this certificate:8 ]

The Missionary student Clamor Wilhelm Schuermann from Schledehausen near Osnabrueck, in the Province of Hannover, has been studying at the Education Institute of the Evangelical-Lutheran Mission Society since September 1836.  During this time he studied successfully German, English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, as well as the entire scope of Theology, e.g. the exegesis of the Old and New Testament, Dogmatics, Systematics, Apologetic, Archaeology, Church History, Homiletic and Education.  He proved to be of a blameless, godly character and, in particular, proved that he is truly serious with his decision to help spreading the Kingdom of God amongst the heathen.
Give God, that after passing his exams successfully he will be granted the ordination of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church for Christ’s service amongst the heathen and that he may become a blessed tool for the conversion of many people in New Holland.

  • 01 to 04.02.1838 ~ Examination and Ordination
    Upon request by the Dresden Mission Board, the Consistory of the independent Dukedom of Altenburg conducted the exams and a public ordination for Schürmann and Teichelmann in agreement with Ministry of Religion in the neighbouring Kingdom of Saxony.9 ]  However, in response to a second request a memorandum by the Dresden Mission Board the Ducal Consistory stated in October 1839 (paraphrased):10 ]
So gern sich höchstgedacht seine Herzogl. Durchl. im Frühjahr des verflos- / senen Jahres haben finden lassen, die Ordination der von der Dresde- / ner Missions-Gesellschaft nach Süd-Australien abgesendeten Heidenboten / Teichelmann und Schürmann hier vornehmen zu lassen, Last year, His Ducal Highness expressed support for the ordination of the missionaries to the heathen, Teichelmann and Schuermann, dispatched to South Australia by the Dresden Mission Society.
da der Grund / der Ablaßung dieser Ordination im Königreich Sachsen nach der Erklärung / des Herrn Kultministers von [Karlawig] darin bestand, daß damals die / Dresdener Missionsanstalt noch keinen detaillierten Plan über ihre Einrich- / tung eingereicht hatte und deshalb die erforderliche förmliche Concession / Seiten des Königlichen Gouvernements noch nicht erfolgt war, so müssen / doch höchstdieselben jetzt, wo nach Verlauf eines mehr als anderthalbjäh- / rigen Zeitraums seitdem diese Koncession noch nicht ertheilt worden / zu seyn scheint, bedenken tragen, die Ordination weiterer Missionszöglinge / anzuordnen, da die Vornahme derselben in hiesigen Landen doch immer / etwas Anormales ist und Seine Herzogl. Durchlaucht nicht wünschen können, / dadurch mit der befreundeten Nachbar-Regierung des Königreichs Sachsen / und, soviel die Person des Missionspredigers Wermelskirch betrifft, mit / der Krone Preußens in weitern Konflikt zu kommen. / Reason:  According to a statement by the Minister of Religion [?, Karlawig] such an ordination was not yet possible [in Saxony] because the Dresden Mission Society had not yet issued a plan of its establishment, and therefore a formal permission was not yet granted. After more than one and a half years, such a formal permission from the Royal Government [in Saxony] has still not been granted, and concerns arose to order the ordination of other mission students.  In our country, these [ordinations] are still rather exceptional, and His Ducal Highness cannot wish to cause further conflicts with our neighbour government of the Kingdom of Saxony for these reasons and with the Kingdom of Prussia because of the [Dresden Mission Society] preacher Wermelskirch.
Wenn diesen entgegenstehenden Bedenken, deren Gewicht auch von / Ew. Excellenz nicht verkannt werden wird, die bei Sr. Herzogl. Durchl. / unserem gnädigsten Herrn, an sich verwaltende große Geneigtheit / hochdero Wünsche zu fördern, hat weichen müssen, so zweifeln wir doch / nicht, daß es Ew. Excellenz gelingen werde, die bei der Ordinierung von / Zöglingen des Dresdener Missions-Institutes im vorigen Jahr abgewalte- / ten geringen Umstände noch zeitig genung zu entfernen oder die Ermäch- / tigung zu deren Ordination anderswo auszuwirken, wo im Ver- /  hältniß zur Krone Sachsen und Preußen die dießorts zu beobachten- / den Rücksichten nicht in gleicher Maase bestehen. / The Honourable Highness has not misjudged the importance of these concerns against further ordinations.  For these reasons, the inclination of His Ducal Highness, our most Gracious Lord, had to give way against in order to reject these wishes.   We are, however, in no doubt, that the Honourable Excellency will find other ways in time to avoid these minor circumstances, or to initiate ordination at other places, where considerations in our relationship with the Crown of Saxony and Prussia do not exist to a similar extend.
Es gereicht uns übrigens zum Vergnügen, Ew. Excellenz bei die- / ser Veranlassung die Versicherung unserer ausgezeichnetsten / Hochachtung von Neuem darzulegen. / Furthermore, it is our pleasure to use this occasion to express our most highest esteem once more to His Honourable Excellency.
  • Thursday, 01.02.1838
    Morning between 9am and 12.30 noon
    Final examination:  Dogma of Baptism, about the Ministry, the General Symbols of the Christian Church and especially of the Protestant-Lutheran Church, translation of Old and New Testament passages into Latin, presentation of a sermon.
    3pm Afternoon:
    Public sermon at the Altenburg Bartholomew Church as part of the exam.
  • Friday 02.02.1838
    Written exam about Philippians 2.5-11, with discussion under exegetic and dogmatic criteria and about which they were to present an educational concept for use in Public Christian Education.
    Christian catechism with school boys.
    “In light of the achievements during the aforementioned exams it was found that Teichelmann had passed his exams ‘satisfactorily’ and Schuermann ‘specially satisfactorily’.”11 ]
  • Sunday 04.02.1838
    Ordination worship service at the Bartholomew Church Altenburg in the presence of a large attendance of citizens of all strata of society, watching this event rather unusual for Altenburg, and the entire membership of the Ducal House.12 ]
  1. Voß, Georg (Evangel. Kirchspiel Schledehausen): Verzeichniß der Gebornen und Getauften in dem Evangel. Kirchspiele Schledehausen vom Jahre 1827.  Geführt vom evangelischen Prediger zu Schledehausen Georg Voß. Vol 1 .  07.06.1815, LKS, Kirchenbücher, p1. [ ▲ ]
  2. Gerding, W (Evangel. Kirchspiele Schledehausen): Verzeichniß über die Confirmierten in dem Evangel. Kirchspiele Schledehausen vom Jahre 1823.  Geführt von W. Gerding Coop. min.  1823, LKS, Kirchenbücher. No 32, pp7-8. [ ▲ ]
  3. (Evangeliste), Johannes Gossner. Wegweiser für junge Wanderer am Scheidewege: Ein Nachruf an die eingesegnete Jugend die zum ersten Mal das heilige Abendmahl genoss. G. L. Schuler, 1830. — This booklet was published in a number of editions over some time and by different authors, addressing young people after their confirmation. — GoogleBook [ ▲ ]
  4. Letter by the guardians of the Schürmann children to local Bailiff, 11 July 1832.  MS held by the Osnabrück State Archive (?), transcript by Antje Fasshauer, translation GR [ ▲ ]
  5. Heinfried Schurmann, letter in January 1952, quoted in Schurmann, Ted, und C. W Schürmann. I’d rather dig potatoes : Clamor Schurmann and the aborigines of South Australia 1838-1853. Adelaide: Lutheran Pub. House, 1987. Page 15. [ ▲ ]
  6. Letter by the guardians of the Schürmann children to local Bailiff, 11 July 1832. [ ▲ ]
  7. Certificate by The Preacher Dr Rückers, Berlin, August 27, 183[6], MS attachment to minutes of Theological Exams and Ordination at the Ducal Consistory in Altenburg, 1 and 2 February 1838.  ThStA 50 9/238 / 1a.  Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, Translation: GR [ ▲ ]
  8. Wermelskirch, G.  [Certificate for CWS].  MS attachment to minutes of Theological Exams and Ordination at the Ducal Consistory in Altenburg, 1 and 2 February 1838.  ThStA 50 9/238 / 1a.  Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, Translation: GR [ ▲ ]
  9. Hesekiel, Fr. Darstellung der Ordinationsfeier von zwei nach Südaustralien bestimmten Missionaren in der St. Bartholomäikirche zu Altenburg am 5. Sonntage nach Epiphanias 1838 : als Einleitung ein Abriß der Lebensgeschichte der beiden Glaubensboten von ihnen selbst geschrieben. Altenburg: Pierer, 1838. Page III. [ ▲ ]
  10. [Ewanbraun] Ducal Saxon Secret Ministry, Memorandum to the Ducal Consistory Altenburg, 25 October 1839.  MS attachment to minutes of Theological Exams and Ordination at the Ducal Consistory in Altenburg, 1 and 2 February 1838.  ThStA 50 9/238 / 1a.  Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, Translation (paraphrased): GR [ ▲ ]
  11. Grosse, Hesekiel and Sachse [Teachers at the Dresden Mission Education Institute].  [Report about the Exam].  MS attachment to minutes of Theological Exams and Ordination at the Ducal Consistory in Altenburg, 1 and 2 February 1838.  ThStA 50 9/238 / 1a.  Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, Translation (paraphrased): GR [ ▲ ]
  12. Hesekiel, Fr. Darstellung der Ordinationsfeier von zwei nach Südaustralien bestimmten Missionaren in der St. Bartholomäikirche zu Altenburg am 5. Sonntage nach Epiphanias 1838 : als Einleitung ein Abriß der Lebensgeschichte der beiden Glaubensboten von ihnen selbst geschrieben. Altenburg: Pierer, 1838. Page IV [ ▲ ]

For reference:

Administrator. Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893) :: Clamor W Schürmann - Time line 1815-1838, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 11.11.2014. Last updated: 11.02.2016.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=people_colonial_SchurmannCW&nr=272>. Viewed 06.07.2020.