Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893)

Clamor W Schürmann - Primary Resources

After their ordination, the missionaries were given instructions which included the request to note their observations in a regular diary and report in letters and minutes about the development of their mission work.  Furtunately, Schürmann and Teichelmann followed this request by each writing a diary, and all four sent hundreds of pages of letters Dresden.  The story of their survival and becoming available will be documented elsewhere.

Unfortunately, very little has survived from the legacy of all four missionaries who as missionaries, teachers, linguists and pastors must have produced their own notes, collected papers and books, and corresponded widely.  Most of it has been lost.

Diary Clamor W  Schürmann 27 May 1838 (Photo ©Jan Schürmann)
Diary Clamor W Schürmann 27 May 1838
(Photo ©Jan Schürmann)

  • Autobiography
    Schürmann’s autobiography was written in Dresden 1836 and in 1838 and exists in various editions as manuscripts and in print.
    • [Lebenslauf von Clamor Schürmann, Dresden 13.09.1836]
      in: Letters from and to Clamor W. Schuermann 1838
      Transcript and tentative translation by Geoff Noller,
      manuscript held by the ALCA
      [CWS-A 1836]
    • Lebenslauf von Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann, Dresden 4. Januar 1838 (Manuscript in German and Latin as part of his final exams and ordination), Thuringia State Archive Altenburg; Transcript:  Antje Fasshauer, tentative translation: Geoff Noller
      [CWS-A 1838]
      • Printed Versions in:
        • 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.  Pages 12-14
        • Schurmann, Ted, and C. W Schürmann. I’d rather dig potatoes : Clamor Schurmann and the aborigines of South Australia 1838-1853. Adelaide: Lutheran Pub. House, 1987. Pages 255-256
  • Diary
    Schürmann began his diary at the day of embarkation for his voyage to South Australia, on 27 May 1838.  He ceased writing while in Port Lincoln on 2 January 1845 with the note that “The aborigines all left the town” and with a last page on “Practices in the initiation of a Warrara [warrior?]“, written 13 October 1845.  Whether the rest of the diary has been lost or was never written, is not yet clear.
    • Tagebuch von C.W. Schürmann begonnen d. 27ten Mai 1838, am Tage seiner Einschiffung nach Südaustralien. (Diary by C.W. Schürmann, commenced at 27 Mai 1838, the day of embarkation to South Australia); MS, held bei ALCA (Call No: File Schurmann (1), No 3).
      — Re-transcribed and re-translated by Geoff Noller, 2007.  Transcripts and translations held by ALCA.
      It is not yet clear why this diary had not been sent to the Dresden Missionary Society, as requested, and how it was obtained by the ALCA. 
      — Re-publication is being considered.
      [CWD-D (& date)]
    • Schurmann, Ted, and C. W Schürmann. I’d rather dig potatoes : Clamor Schurmann and the aborigines of South Australia 1838-1853. Adelaide: Lutheran Pub. House, 1987. –
      Until now, this is the only published version, abridged and edited, with comments and additional information relating to the Schürmann story.  According to the editor, grandson Ted Schurmann, it is based on a transcript and translation of the the original MS, created by Swiss migrant to Australia Hans Spoeri, in the mid-1980s.  This manuscript is held by the South Australian Museum archive (Call No: AA 283 Schurmann) and was handed over by Ted Schurmann to the then curator Dr Philip Jones (details could yet not be ascertained).
  • Letters
    All four missionaries wrote a large number of letters to the Dresden Mission board documenting their observations and ideas for advice and support from Germany.  Fortunately, these letters have been preserved at the archives of the Leipziger Missionswerk (LMW), the successor of Dresden Mission after their move to Leipzig in 1848.  The story of the access to this archive will be written elsewhere.
    The original MS of the letters and reports are held, as deposit on behalf of LMW, by the Archives of the Francke Foundations in Halle, Germany. A “Findbuch” has been created (Online), the 42 Schürmann letters are listed on pages 175-177 (II.36.1.3 Korrespondenz Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann). Transcripts, created by Jutta Klenke at LMW in the mid-1980s, and translations by Geoff Noller and others are held by the Lutheran Archives Adelaide (ALCA, Schürmann Letters).
  • Other writings
    • A series of poems written in South Australia, unpublished MS and transcript/translation by [??] held by the Lutheran Archives Adelaide (ALCA, Schürmann (5), 1).  Nothing more seems to be known about these poems:
      1. In Anblick der Küste Südaustraliens. (At first sight of the South Australian coast.), composed 11 October 1838
      2. Sonnet:  Sei mir gegrüsst, mein neues Vaterland (Greetings from me, my new fatherland)
      3. Sonnet:  Wenn schon ich keine Ruf empfangen habe (lf l have not yet received a call)
      4. A series of eight poems on the occasion of CWS’s first encounter with Bertha Teusler and his failure to win her hand.
      5. Sonnet:  Wann wirst Du, Jesu die Verheissung / Erfüllen (When, Jesus, will you fulfil / The promise)
    • 1845
      Notes on a circumcision amongst an Aboriginal tribe around Port Lincoln.  MS and translation by [???] held by Lutheran Archives Adelaide ALCA (File: Schuermann (5), No 2)
    • 1853-1854
      58 sermon drafts for the period of transit from South Australia (Bethany) via Portland Vic to Hochkirch (Tarrington) Western Victoria, some of them undated and without localisation.  The drafts were written in tiny pencil script on paper folded to post card size, 439 pages.  They have been indexed and scanned but not yet transcribed and translated, and are now available at the Lutheran Archives Adelaide (ALCA, Schürmann, No 4).  No such sermon files exist for Schurmann’s time as missionary in SA or as pastor in Hochkirch, Victoria.
  • Publications
    • 1839 to 1848
      Articles and letters to the editor in various news papers in early South Australia (see Trove Database of the National Library in Australia)
    • 1840
      Teichelmann, C. G, and C. W Schürmann. Outlines of a grammar, vocabulary, and phraseology, of the aboriginal language of South Australia, spoken by the natives in and for some distance around Adelaide. Adelaide: Pub. by the authors, at the Native location, 1840.  (Google book).
      > Re-published in 1962 by the Public Library of South Australia.
    • Schürmann, C. W. A vocabulary of the Parnkalla language spoken by the natives inhabiting the western shores of Spencer’s Gulf : to which is prefixed a collection of grammatical rules hitherto ascertained. Adelaide: G. Dehane, 1844. –
      > Re-published by the Public Library of South Australia in 1962.  (Google Book)
    • 1846
      Schürmann, C. W. The Aboriginal tribes of Port Lincoln in South Australia : their mode of life, manners, customs, etc. Adelaide: George Dehane, 1846.
      Re-published in:
      > Taplin, George, A Meyer, Wyatt, C. W Schürmann, J. D Woods, J. W. O Bennett, and S Gason. The native tribes of South Australia, comprising the Narrinyeri. Adelaide, 1879. (Digital Library, University of Adelaide)
      > Schürmann, C. W, George Gawler, J. H Hughes, C. G Teichelmann, Louis Piesse, and South Australian Colonist. The aborigines of South Australia. Adelaide: South Australian Museum, 1900.
    • 1883 to ?
      Editor of the German “Der Lutherische Kirchenbote fuer Australien“, published in Hochkirch (Tarrington) Victoria for the Ev. Lutheran Church in Australia (ELCA)
    • 1888
      Nachruf (Obituary) for Pastor Christian Gottlob Teichelmann, in Der Lutherische Kirchenbote, edited C. W. Schurmann, 1888, page 111

For reference:

Administrator. Missionary Clamor W Schürmann (1815-1893) :: Clamor W Schürmann - Primary Resources, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2020.
(Created: 13.11.2014. Last updated: 14.01.2019.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=people_colonial_SchurmannCW&nr=394>. Viewed 14.07.2020.