Klose, Rev. Samuel Gottlieb (1805-1889)

Prepared by: 
Christine Lockwood
Birth / Death: 

born 27 December 1802, Löwenberg, Silesia
died 14 August 1889, aged 86

Pastor Samuel Gottlieb Klose was in charge of the first school for Aboriginal children in South Australia, at Piltawodli on the banks of the Torrens River near Adelaide, from 1840 to 1845.* He demonstrated that Aboriginal people were capable of education, and his difficulties illustrate a clash of intentions between missionaries and governments.

(*In formal situations in Australia, Lutheran pastors use the title 'Rev.' (Reverend), following Anglican usage. Within the church, Lutheran tradition is followed and they are called 'Pastor', meaning 'shepherd' (Pfarrer in German). 'Pastor' can be used as a titlr or to refer to the office).

 

Early life and theological formation

 

Samuel Gottlieb Klose

Source: ‘Happy was our Valley:
The Douglas Family History’

Pastor Samuel Gottlieb Klose was formerly a shoemaker from Löwenberg, Silesia (in Prussia) and attended the preparatory mission school in Gruenberg before entering the seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society in Dresden (Dresden Mission Society or DMS) from which he graduated on 21 February 1840.1 Klose was ordained in Greiz on 26 February 1838 and commissioned for mission service on 2 March in Dresden, together with missionary Heinrich August Eduard Meyer. The two men sailed for South Australia on 4 April and arrived on 9 August 1840. Klose came as an unmarried man because the DMS disapproved of his choice of a wife.

 

Klose’s instructions

At their commissioning, Klose and Meyer were directed to the instructions given in 1838 to the DMS’s first missionaries in Australia, Pastors Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann and Christian Gottlob Teichelmann.2 These were strongly focused on spiritual work, not on remaking indigenous societies along European lines. The DMS held colonial governments responsible for protecting and providing for Aboriginal people. The missionaries were to focus on preaching and teaching in the local languages. The Supplementary Instructions to Klose and Meyer directed them to work as Teichelmann’s and Schürmann’s equals, with decisions taken jointly. The instructions to Klose continued:

We believe …that you, Brother Klose, should direct your attention less to the public preaching and more to teaching, private pastoral care and the external management of the station. You will not thereby cease to be an ordained servant of the divine word among the heathen...we simply wish that you, and indeed each of the other brothers, should recognise his particular gift which he has received from the Lord, and use it …with thankfulness and without resentment or status seeking…3

 

The seminary had recommended less linguistically capable students should become teachers rather than preachers. This may suggest languages were not Klose’s strong suit, though he did become fluent in the Kaurna language. Klose proved a conscientious and capable teacher, well-loved by his students. His correspondence suggests a kindly, humble man, gently spoken in his convictions, who related well with everyone. The Colonial Secretary called him ‘indefatigable’ and ‘really useful’ in carrying out his duties.4

 

Klose’s recruitment for South Australia

Missionaries Schürmann and Teichelmann had arrived in South Australia to work among the Aboriginal population in October 1838. They had been sent in response to a request from George Fife Angas, chairman of the South Australian Company, who promised to support them with £100 a year for as long as he was happy with them.5 Angas’ plans differed from those of the DMS. He wanted the missionaries to establish a Moravian-type agricultural mission (like that envisioned by J. D. Lang for Zion Hill) and ‘Christianize’ and ‘civilise’ Aboriginal people so they would give up ‘war and wandering’, envy and revenge, and learn English and the ‘arts of civilisation.’ Then they could ‘amalgamate’ with European settlers as useful workers and colonisation could proceed more peacefully.6 There were no clear arrangements for the missionaries’ financial support and no land was provided for a mission station.7 Angas’ support lasted only two years and DMS support proved inadequate, so the missionaries were left dependent on the government and vulnerable to its pressure. 8

 

'The City of Adelaide from the Torrens'
'The City of Adelaide from the Torrens 1846' by G F Angas
Source: State Library of South Australia B15276_1

Teichelmann and Schürmann took up residence at the'Native Location' established by the colonial government in Adelaide in 1838 and moved in 1839 to Piltawodli (or Pirltawardli9) on the Torrens River in present-day North Adelaide, opposite where the ‘old’ Adelaide goal was built, on the other side of the river, in 1841. The plan was to ‘civilise’ and teach Aboriginal people to settle, live in houses and grow food. Rations were distributed, an area fenced, gardens established and a school planned. Teichelmann and Schürmann relocated to Piltawodli, helped the local Kaurna people establish gardens and build houses, and started a school in the Kaurna language in December 1839. The school was first conducted in the open air, then in an unoccupied house.

In 1839 Governor Gawler invited Schürmann to move to Encounter Bay while Teichelmann preferred to continue working among the Kaurna people.10 As it was DMS policy that missionaries should not work alone, in 1840 Klose was sent to work with Teichelmann and Meyer to work with Schürmann. In 1840 Angas diverted his support intended for Teichelmann and Schürmann, using it instead to cover Klose’ and Meyer’s fares on one of Angas’ ships, the Caleb Angas. Angas’ support ended in 1840 and Klose and Meyer received no further financial support. As a result, from the beginning, their financial position was precarious and their options limited.

 

 

Clash of policies

When Schürmann left Adelaide in September 1840 Klose moved into Schürmann’s Piltawodli house and took over his garden, which Klose needed if he was to survive on his limited stipend. Teichelmann became the chief teacher until Klose learned the Kaurna language sufficiently to begin teaching, first secular subjects and finally religion. In December 1840 the government built a new school-house, and from mid-1841 Klose had full charge of the school while Teichelmann focused on work among the adult Aboriginal population.11 The DMS committee approved of his focusing his efforts on the school but warned against allowing it to conflict with his missionary calling.12

 

Piltawodli Aboriginal School  Piltawoldi monument Piltawodli buildings 

Piltawodli Aboriginal School

Source: W.A. Cawthorne's Diaries for
1843, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

 

Section of Piltawodli monument looking towards location of school.

Source: C Lockwood

Map showing location of buildings at Piltawodli.

Source: C Lockwood, compiled with information from Piltawodli monument

 

 

The missionaries considered schools essential if Aborigines were to read the Scriptures and an Aboriginal church was to be established. They wanted schools as an integral part of Aboriginal communities and Klose hoped his students would share the gospel with their families.13 They had envisioned that land would be reserved and Aboriginal settlements established where they could base their schools and congregations. However Matthew Moorhouse (Protector of Aborigines 1839-1856) believed it was impossible to educate Aboriginal adults to be ‘useful people’ or to get them to ‘settle.’ He discouraged Kaurna people from settling at Piltawodli, preferring to disperse them among Europeans.14

 

Fundamental differences between government and mission educational aims became increasingly evident from 1841. When George Grey became governor (1841-1845) he actively opposed establishing Aboriginal settlements and preserving independent Aboriginal communities. In 1841 Teichelmann and Klose applied for a twenty-one year lease of the two half-acres Governor Gawler (1838-41) had allowed them to occupy at Piltawodli but the application was rejected.15 Aboriginal agriculture ended at Piltawodli in 1841 when Kaurna men prepared the ground and waited in vain for seed potatoes promised by the government.16

 

Klose and his fellow missionaries were committed to using Aboriginal languages for effective communication, particularly in Christian instruction, and observed that students made much faster progress as a result. The missionaries also understood the importance of language in maintaining local communities and their cultural identities. After initial reservations, Governor Gawler reluctantly supported the use of Aboriginal languages in education. Teichelmann and Schürmann in 1841 published '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' (NLA link) . They translated hymns, prayers and bible stories and the Ten Commandments.17 Klose was able to draw and build on this work.

 

Wailtyi letter

Letter by Wailtyi, a Piltawodli student, written
in Kaurna in 1843, thanking people in Germany
for sending him toys and asking for more.
Source: Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide

Klose found his Kaurna pupils eager, equal to European children in ability and a joy to be with.18 However Kaurna cultural practices, values and priorities did not fit easily into a European educational model. Irregular attendance became Klose’s greatest frustration, hampering student progress and limiting the curriculum. Government rations provided an incentive for attendance but progress varied as the students came and went depending on their parents’ seasonal migrations and cultural activities such as fights, initiations and funerals.19

 

Tribal elders and parents were keen that the children did not lose their traditional ways and beliefs and told the children not to believe what they were being taught at school. Aboriginal marriage customs and sexual practices also caused concern for the missionaries. At night older girls begged Klose for protection from their intended husbands who, though they already had wives, wanted to exercise their sexual privileges.20 The men accused Klose of wanting sex with the girls as he had no wife. Klose would have liked to resolve the problem by taking the girls into his home or establishing boarding facilities, but he lacked both the money and a wife to do this.21 Tribal relatives expected and sometimes coerced students, even with threats of sorcery, to leave school at puberty, the girls for marriage and the boys for initiation into manhood.

 

Klose did not expect rapid change in the children’s cultural traditions. He made a priority of reaching the children’s hearts with the gospel believing any necessary moral and cultural changes would flow from that. As the children lived in camps with their relatives until 1843, a realistic approach was taken to clothing and hygiene, discipline and attendance. Klose said, ‘I think it is too hard on them if we restrict them too much.’22 For the first two years the children attended the Piltawodli school naked, and the mission school focused initially on Christian instruction, arithmetic, music and reading and writing in the vernacular, with some instruction in English. The students proved quick learners and initial reports of the Piltawodli school students’ progress were positive.

 

However criticism of Klose mounted over his failure to ‘civilise’ or Europeanise the children, cultivate manners less offensive to European sensibilities and teach practical skills necessary for ‘amalgamation’ as ‘useful’ members of colonial society. In 1841 the media attacked the missionaries’ ‘worthless school’ at Piltawodli.23 The value of what the students were being taught, their achievements and their ability to grasp what they were learning was scoffed at.24 The expectation was clearly that the children should speak English and adopt the externals of European dress, personal habits, manners, religious observance and lifestyle.25 In March 1841 the Wesleyan minister, Rev. John Eggleston, arranged for Wesleyan women to teach sewing, for which the girls showed exceptional aptitude.26 The children wore their new clothes only while at school because of the difficulties of keeping them clean in the camps.

 

Intervention

In June 1842 prominent colonial figures formed the 'South Australian Aboriginal Missionary Society in aid of the German mission to the Aborigines' in response to the missionaries’ financial predicament after Angas withdrew aid. The Society provided small amounts of financial assistance to Teichelmann and Meyer but support was short-lived as its members’ views were in line with those of government officials and incompatible with the missionaries’ basis approach. The Society met several times between June 1842 and September 1843 and reached a general consensus in favour of instruction in English.27 Many believed Christian truths and the ideals of civilised life could not be adequately conveyed in Aboriginal languages; moreover, providing vernacular teachers was difficult, the children learned English easily and they would be civilised sooner if their languages were extinct as they perpetuated traditional habits and beliefs. Society members believed Aboriginal survival depended on amalgamation with Europeans and acquiring their language and customs and thought civilising efforts should focus on the children, separating them from their tribes.28 They only disagreed on whether this separation should be voluntary or by coercion.29 This was clearly a marked departure from the DMS’ instructions to Klose.

 

Aboriginal inhabitants by George French Angas

Portrait of Aboriginal inhabitants by George French Angas

George French Angas, print after W. Hawkins, lithographer
Portraits of the aboriginal inhabitants (2) 1846-47
from South Australia illustrated by George French Angas
(London: Thomas McLean, 1846-7) lithograph,
printed in colour, from multiple stones;
varnish highlights by brush sheet 37 x 55.6 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

As the 1840s progressed, Aboriginal people were increasingly seen as ‘pitiable and offensive pests.’30 Grey’s policy was to disperse and assimilate them into British colonial society as workers. Like the South Australian Missionary Society he felt that civilising efforts should focus on insulating Aboriginal children from adult Aboriginal influence and educating them in English. Governor Grey considered Aboriginal languages valuable for understanding Aboriginal culture but of no future value. .31 The emphasis was to be on practical skills with school leavers serving apprenticeships and becoming ‘useful’ to the colony. Protector Moorhouse, Adelaide clergy and other prominent people agreed and believed assimilation implied that English would supplant Aboriginal languages.32 Protector Moorhouse believed that if children became Christian ‘it followed necessarily that they would adopt civilised habits’ and that they needed to speak English if they were to deal with Europeans on equal terms.33 Klose’s ‘superficial knowledge’ of English was held against him.34

 

Governor Grey became increasingly involved in Aboriginal education. In June 1843 he began trialling girls’ boarding facilities at Piltawodli, employing Jane Russell as matron. Klose appreciated her care and Christian encouragement. He believed both the girls and their parents were happy as the girls were better fed and warmer than when living in the Kaurna camps. Parents who were temporarily leaving Adelaide began voluntarily leaving their children at the school.35 Klose supported Grey’s initiative, which he hoped would overcome absenteeism, protect the girls and slow the spread of venereal disease to the children. There were always two or three students, girls or boys, with venereal disease, some as young as eight.36 However, Aboriginal men still took the girls from the boarding school to nearby houses for sex.37 These were the houses Teichelmann, Schürmann and some Kaurna men had constructed at Piltawodli and were intended for Aboriginal use. In 1844 Grey demolished them. Klose approved but Teichelmann and the Aboriginal people were upset.

 

On 16 April 1844, Klose married Elizabeth Duncan, née Holbrook, in the Trinity Anglican Church on North Terrace. Elizabeth, a devout High Anglican and widow with a five-year-old son, was born in 1808 in Derbyshire, England. She had been a teacher in England and on Gawler’s advice came to South Australia in 1838 to teach. In January 1839 Elizabeth married James Duncan, who died of dysentery three months later. Teichelmann and Schürmann had travelled to South Australia with her on the same ship and recommended her to Klose. As Klose’ wife, Elizabeth took a significant role in caring for the girls at the Piltawodli school. Klose described her as a devout child of God who devoted herself to the children. This included teaching, and sewing lessons for the girls each afternoon to make clothes for themselves and the boys. Some girls also learned domestic skills by working with Elizabeth in the house. Klose wrote, ‘In her I have a true helpmeet, who out of love for her Lord stands beside me in my vocation.’38 The school children were constantly with Klose and Elizabeth in the house and garden, occupying their full attention.

  

Elizabeth Klose

Elisabeth Klose.

Source: 'Happy was our Valley, The Douglas Family History.'

Boarding facilities improved attendance and progress at the school and permitted an expansion of the curriculum to include geography, English and instruction in agriculture, sewing and everyday domestic and practical skills.39 Klose recognised that his students were learning English from settlers and in view of government policies, he saw no future for them except employment with Europeans.40 Fifteen children attended regularly in 1843, increasing to twenty when accommodation was provided for boys in 1844. In April and May, when Aboriginal people congregated in Adelaide in anticipation of Queen’s Birthday celebrations accompanied by the handout of rations, attendance rose to forty-four. In 1844 Klose reported that the children were working well and making good progress in the secular subjects while God’s Word was making an impression on them.41 Klose recognised the need for the children to have breaks from study and time to accompany their parents. Students who attended school regularly for five months were given the sixth month off.42

 

1844 saw further changes with Grey asserting increasing control over Aboriginal schools. Increasing numbers of ‘Murray’ people from further east43 were coming to Adelaide. This provoked conflict between Kaurna and Murray children at Piltawodli. Grey started an English-language government boarding school for Murray children in Walkerville and insisted that all instruction at the Piltawodli should school be in English. Learning English occupied most of the Walkerville students’ time.44 Klose observed that the children did not understand the rote religious instruction in English given at the Walkerville school.45 He began teaching secular subjects in English, but insisted on using both Kaurna and English in religion classes.46

 

Teichelmann became increasingly uneasy about Grey’s plans for Aboriginal education, especially the exclusive use of English and criticized Klose’s acquiescence.47 Since 1843 Teichelmann had been living at Happy Valley, south of Adelaide, where he was working to establish an Aboriginal farm settlement he called Ebenezer. In 1844, he wanted to end the missionaries’ relationship with the government and move the Piltawodli mission school to Ebenezer. Klose opposed this move because the cost of food, clothing and school materials, currently provided by the government at around £60 to £70 per year would fall on the missionaries, and Klose believed Ebenezer’s proceeds would not cover this cost.48 Klose’ opposition to moving the school caused tension with Teichelmann. In 1844 the frustrated Teichelmann handed the task of mission treasurer over to Klose and focused on language work and evangelism among adults while trying to make a go of Ebenezer.

 

The closure of the Piltawodli school

The Dresden missionaries considered the Piltawodli school a mission school subsidized by the government.49 Klose’s salary came from the DMS while the government supplied accommodation, a school building, student rations, a matron’s salary (from 1843) and £100 a year divided between the four missionaries (1842-1845).50 In 1845 Governor Grey made it clear that he considered the Piltawodli school to be government property and under the Protector’s control and supervision.51 The government had provided boarding facilities at the Piltawodli and Walkerville Schools because both Moorhouse and Grey believed that success with the children depended on separating them from their relatives.52 In July 1845 the Walkerville and Piltawodli schools were amalgamated and the students moved to a new Native School Establishment under Anglican supervision, built near Government House so the students could learn ‘civilised’ habits through contact with 'better-class Europeans'.53 It emphasized training in ‘civilised’ bodily habits and appearance and practical skills to prepare girls for domestic service and boys for apprenticeships.54 Efforts were to be made to deter them from returning to their tribes at puberty.

 

After the closure of the Piltawodli school the school-house, attendant’s house, Teichelmann’s house and the last two Aboriginal houses were demolished. This was to deter Aboriginal people from frequenting Piltawodli following settlers’ complaints about fights, tree cutting, begging, nudity and immorality. During the demolition process seven old people and two small children were physically removed. Klose, who continued to live there, pleaded that at least one hut be left for shelter for Aboriginal people but the Governor ordered that no natives were to remain within the Piltawodli fence.55 The Location was taken over by the Royal Sappers and Miners.

 

Whether Klose would be employed at the new Native School Establishment was uncertain and his students were distressed at the prospect of losing their teacher.56 Shortly before the move to the new school they all ran away and joined their parents, something they had never done before. Klose persuaded most to return but the three eldest boys only complied when ‘compelled’ by Moorhouse.57 At Moorhouse’s request, Gottlieb and Elizabeth continued to teach at the new school without a contract but Klose questioned his role as a Lutheran pastor at a school under the supervision of the Anglican colonial chaplain, Rev. James Farrell.58 In February 1846 Klose informed the Colonial Secretary that the DMS agreed to his continuing in the school as long as the children’s religious instruction was ‘entirely entrusted to him.’ The new Governor Robe reacted by terminating Klose’s employment and all remaining government support for the Dresden missionaries.59 Teichelmann felt that Klose had been ‘bitterly deceived and imposed upon’ by Grey.60

 

Native School Establishment, Adelaide

Native School Establishment Adelaide (Samuel Thomas Giles)

Source: National Library of Australia an2376875

 

Klose's reflections on mission work

Klose was devastated. He had done all he could to accommodate the government’s wishes as long as he could proclaim the Christian message according to his conscience and further his Society’s goal of an Aboriginal Lutheran church. His letters portray trust and affection between him and his students. Writing to Robe, he said the children, while at Piltawodli, had been ‘constantly’ in his house or garden out of school hours. ‘I was always happy when I had them with me, I assure your Excellency, it was a hard thing when they were taken from me.’61

 

Klose argued his school had proved that Aboriginal children could be educated and without it the government would never have established its own school.62 The press saw things differently. In July 1845 the South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal’s editor declared that ‘not…the slightest good had been gained’ from the educational plan followed for the previous eight years.63 There was not ‘the remotest hope of success in civilizing the natives’ but if there were any success it would be ‘exclusively due to his Excellency.’64 In fact the Walkerville school had been modelled on Klose’ school.65 Grey had instructed Mr. and Mrs. Smith to conduct the Walkerville school ‘both as regards instruction and internal economy and arrangement…on precisely the same principles as those observed at the existing school for native children’.66 Anne Scrimgeour suggests the mission schools were sacrificed to Grey’s ambition to build a school that would enhance his reputation as a colonial administrator.67

 

Klose did not baptise any of his students. However, he saw his students’ questions and enjoyment of prayer meetings and morning devotions as evidence of the stirrings of faith. He was encouraged when he heard children praying. Tainmunda and Kartanay, who helped Mrs. Klose in the house, always prayed before bed. He was cautious about claiming any ‘conversions’ because he knew how the children liked to please. However, he thought it significant when he heard them formulating prayers in their own language, not just repeating prayers learnt in English. But so often, as the students seemed to be approaching maturity in the faith, they were pressured to return to their families. Klose consoled himself that his students were acquainted with ‘the way of salvation.’68 In 1845 Klose reported teaching his students the Epistle to the Romans in English as he tried to make Christianity ‘really clear and sweet’ to them.69 Nevertheless, when some of his students showed mature Christian knowledge by using an apostolic blessing in a farewell address for Anthony Forster, in English, the Adelaide Observer’s editor and a correspondent were outraged, assuming others had put the words into their mouths.70

 

 

Continued effort at Piltawodli

While focusing on the children, Klose never lost sight of the adult population. He had hoped to develop textbooks that his students could read out to their parents.71 He held prayer meetings for the conversion of the Aboriginal people on the Location and made weekly visits to the nearby jail to minister to, interpret for and comfort Aboriginal prisoners.

 

Gottlieb and Elizabeth had expected to end their days at Piltawodli. When their teaching work ended, they stayed at Piltawodli ministering to Aboriginal people. Though Aboriginal people were excluded from the fenced area, they continued using Piltawodli as a winter camp and refuge when visiting Adelaide. In the 1840s the more numerous ‘Murray’ tribesmen were moving into Kaurna territory, stealing women and terrorising the Kaurna whose attempts to defend themselves were frustrated by government suppression of tribal fighting.72

 

In 1846 ten brick sheds were built as winter accommodation near the Torrens River, seven on the north bank for the ‘Murray tribe’ and three on the south for Kaurna people , following Klose’s advice on the best location for these camps. On Sundays Klose gathered Aboriginal people to discuss the Christian faith with them, or visited their camps if they were nearby. When there was little response, he reminded himself of his own failings and those of other Christians who had heard the gospel for many years. He was confident God’s word would eventually bear fruit.

 

In 1846 Klose again applied to lease land at the Location so that he could provide employment for Aboriginal people but the government refused his request.73 Settlers increasingly considered Aboriginal adults a nuisance and a Vagrancy Act was passed in 1847 to stop them coming to Adelaide and to confine them to the clusters of huts allocated to them.74

 

 'A  tribe of natives on the banks of the River Torrens' by A Schramm

A tribe of natives on the banks of the River Torrens, Adelaide by A. Schramm

Source: Adelaide, a tribe of natives on the banks of the river Torrens 1850,
oil on canvas, 86.7 x 130.2 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 143355

 

The end of the mission

In January 1846 the four Dresden missionaries met in conference. Teichelmann had run into financial difficulties at Ebenezer. It was decided that he should move back to Adelaide and minister to recently-arrived Germans and ‘Murray’ people congregating there.

 

The next month Klose lost his position at the Native School Establishment and was left with few options. The remaining Kaurna were seeking refuge in the northern reaches of their territory or had assimilated into other tribes and Klose was in no financial position to follow the Kaurna or start mission work in another area. 75 The DMS supplied him with a basic stipend but not enough money to buy land and support Aboriginal settlements or mission stations. A 'native location’ north of Adelaide had been briefly contemplated in 1842 but nothing eventuated76 and in 1846 it was abundantly clear that the government was unwilling to support the establishment of Aboriginal settlements, preferring to see Aboriginal people dispersed and employed by colonists.

 

Klose joined Teichelmann in ministering to Germans resident in Adelaide while still hoping to minister to Aboriginal people in the area. Because they now had so little so show for their Aboriginal mission work, in September 1846 the four Dresden missionaries decided to retain their association with the DMS but to relinquish its monetary support, which they believed could more profitably support the flourishing Indian mission of the DMS.77 They decided to support themselves while seizing whatever opportunities arose for assisting and evangelising Aboriginal people.

 

Klose and Teichelmann organised a small congregation among Adelaide Germans in 1846 called Trinity Lutheran church. Some of its members later formed the still flourishing Bethlehem Lutheran Church. With support from a small government stipend as part of state aid to churches (1847-1851), Klose served the congregation for five years, until 1851.

 

Meanwhile the two missionaries tried reaching out to Murray people some of whom spoke Kaurna, but with little success. They no longer had a schoolhouse at Piltawodli where they could gather people nor access to government rations they could distribute to encourage attendance at such gatherings. Moreover, enforcement of the 1847 Vagrancy Act discouraged Aboriginal people from congregating in Adelaide. Meanwhile, the Adelaide Anglican diocese was formed in 1847 and Bishop Augustus Short claimed the right to supervise the Dresden missionaries’ work among Aboriginal people, with all converts becoming members of the Church of England, as they were English subjects.78 Seeing no future for an Aboriginal Lutheran church, the missionaries asked the DMS to release them, and advice that the DMS had granted their request reached them early in 1848.79 The Lutheran Mission of the DMS in South Australia was now officially closed, but the four Dresden pastors pledged to assist Indigenous people as they were able as individuals.80

 

 

The move to Happy Valley

Klose house, Piltawodli
Location of Klose house at Piltawodli.
Stone near bottom right are remnant foundation stones.

Source: C Lockwood

Because he was receiving insufficient income to live on through his ministry to Trinity Lutheran congregation, in 1848, Klose decided to move to the country and support his family through farming while commuting to hold serves for Germans in Adelaide. He asked the government to reimburse him for what he had spent on his house and garden at Piltawodli.81 Before her marriage Elizabeth had owned a house in Waymouth Street, Adelaide. She used money from its sale to make extensive improvements and extensions to the Klose house at Piltawodli which was initially a basic two-roomed rammed earth (pise) dwelling, with a dirt floor, built by Teichelmann and Schürmann with Aboriginal helpers on government land with government supplied materials. The Kloses also fenced and developed an extensive garden with some 50 vines and over 50 fruit trees.82 The government refused compensation but allowed him to let the house for two years and keep the income.83

 

Klose bought the Ebenezer property at Happy Valley and lived there with his family while he served the Trinity Lutheran congregation until the Victorian gold-rush drained the congregation of members and Klose was dismissed in 1851. He, too, then tried his hand at the gold fields with some success.

 

In retirement the Kloses with their family of four daughters assimilated into the Anglo-Saxon community. In Happy Valley they became active members of the local Congregationalist church. In 1856 Klose mortgaged his property and drought and depression made it difficult to repay. Klose conducted weekly services in 1864 and served as deacon 1866-82, during which time the mortgagee foreclosed in 1871. Gottlieb died in 1889 aged 86 and Elizabeth on 20 October 1891, aged 83.

 

 

 

1 To read more see Christine J Lockwood, ‘The Two Kingdoms: Lutheran Missionaries and the British Civilizing Mission in early South Australia,’ PhD University of Adelaide, 2014. https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/84754.  Also Anne Scrimgeour, 'Colonizers as Civilizers: Aboriginal Schools and the Mission to ‘Civilize’ in South Australia, 1839-1845', PhD, Charles Darwin University, 2007.

2 'Instructions for the two missionaries of the evangelical-Lutheran Mission Society at Dresden, Chr. G. Teichelmann from Dahme (ducal Saxony) and Clamor W. Schuermann from Schledehausen (via Osnabrueck) 1837', in George Friedrich Heinrich Rheinwald (ed.), Acta Historica-Ecclesiastica Seculi XIX, Hamburg, Friedrich Perthes, 1840:676-82. A translation from the German can be found as a Appendix A in Christine J Lockwood, ‘The Two Kingdoms: Lutheran Missionaries and the British Civilizing Mission in early South Australia,’ PhD University of Adelaide, 2014. https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/84754

3 ‘Supplementary instructions on the commissioning of the missionaries Cordes, Meyer and Klose, 1838,’ HAE Meyer, Additional correspondence from Dresden and Leipzig Mission and individuals there. HAE Meyer, Biographical Box, translated by Lois Zweck and Heidi Kneebone, LAA.

4 Colonial Secretary’s Office (CSO) to Teichelmann, 8 Feb 1846, GRG24/4/1845/156, State Records of South Australia (SRSA).

5 Angas to Wermelskirch, 26 August 1837, ALMW 1.48/45, London Files, Leipzig Mission Archives, Halle: Francke Foundation Archives; Eighteenth annual report of the Evangelical-Lutheran Mission Society in Dresden 1836-1837: 19-20.

6Angas to Schürmann and Teichelmann, 28 May 1838, PRG174/10/140d-f,i,George Fife Angas Papers 1808-1880, PRG174, Adelaide: State Library of South Australia (SLSA).

7 Teichelmann to Angas, 2 January 1843, PRG174/5/21-26, George Fife Angas Papers, SLSA.

8 Angas claimed his supported ended for financial reasons. He faced a severe financial crisis in 1840 when his agent bought extensive land in the Barossa Valley. However he was also disappointed that the missionaries did not almost immediately set up an inland mission station.

9 In 2010 the spelling of ‘Piltawodli’ was changed to ‘Pirltawardli’. Piltawodli, however, is the more commonly known spelling.

10 This did not eventuate as Governor Gawler persuaded Schürmann to go to Port Lincoln as sub-Protector of Aborigines instead.

11 Moorhouse to CSO, GRG24/6/1845/148, SRSA.

12 DMS to Missionaries, 25 May 1841: 19, Correspondence from DMS to all missionaries as a group, 1839-1949. Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 1/Folder A, translated by Marcus Krieg, Erich Meier, Herma Roehrs and Werner Hebart, LAA.

13Collected letters from the missionaries and conference reports, 1838-1846, Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 1/Folder A, translated by Marcus Krieg, Erich Meier, Herma Roehrs, and Werner Hebart, LAA; Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002:20.

14 4 July 1839, Schürmann Diaries 1838-1845. C W Schürmann box 1, translated by Geoff Noller, LAA; Schürmann to DMS, 3 March 1840, Schürmann Correspondence 1838-1893. Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 2/Folder S, translated by Marcus Krieg and others, LAA. Moorhouse repeated this opinion before the Select Committee of the Legislative Council upon ‘The Aborigines’, 1860.

15 CSO, GRG24/4E/1841/133, SRSA.

16 April 1841,C G Teichelmann Diaries 1839-1846. Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 3/Folder TA, translated by Marcus Krieg, LAA.

17 Rob Amery, "The First Lutheran Missionaries in South Australia, Their Contribution to Kaurna Language Reclamation and the Reconciliation Movement." Journal of Friends of the Lutheran Archives, no. 10, October 2000: 32-33.

18 29 December 1840, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper No.2. North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002:14.

19 E.g. Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 22,25.

20 10 December 1841, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 21. The girls were occasionally locked in the schoolhouse at night but were afraid to sleep there alone.

21 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002:21.

22 3 September 1844, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 34.

23 E.g. South Australian Register, 30 October 1841: 2.

24 South Australian Register, 6 February 1841.

25 Southern Australian, 13 November 1841.

26 20 August 1841, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 20.

27 Adelaide Observer, 16 September 1843: 6.

28 Ibid; Southern Australian, 8 September 1843: 2C.

29 Keith Seaman, 'The Press and the Aborigines: South Australia's First Thirty Years', Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia 18, 1990: 33; South Australian Register, 26 Nov 1842: 2.

30 South Australian Register, 3 June 1845: 3.

31 Adelaide Observer, 16 September 1843: 6.

32 Adelaide Observer, 16 September 1843: 6.

33 Moorhouse to CSO, 8 July 1844, GRG24/6/1844/712, SRSA.

34 Editor, Adelaide Examiner, 17 December 1842.

35 7 July 1843, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 25.

36Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002:25.

37 10 February 1844, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 33. Teichelmann says 14-18 year-old boys were the culprits. Teichelmann to DMS, 4 January 1844, Teichelmann Correspondence 1838-1853, Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 3/Folder TB, translated by Geoff Noller, LAA.

38 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper No.2. North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 36.

39Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 34-5.

40Letter, 3 September 1844, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 35.

41 3 September 1844, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 35.

42 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002:35.

43 Schürmann calls them Pitta Meyunna (Pitta people). He also refers to Marimeyo or Eastmen.

44 Moorhouse to CSO, 8 July 1844, GRG24/6/1844/712, SRSA.

45Teichelmann Diaries, 25 August 1845, LAA

46 Moorhouse to CSO, GRG24/6A/1844/712, SRSA.

47 Teichelmann Diaries, 29 December 1844, LAA.

48 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 32.

49 Teichelmann to Moorhouse, 27 January 1845, GRG24/6 /1845/115, SRSA.

50 The latter was offered on the condition that Schürmann continue working around Port Lincoln. From October 1844 Grey divided the £100 equally between Klose, Meyer and Schürmann, paying directly to them. He considered Teichelmann to have left mission work. Memo, 22 October 1844, GRG24/6/1844/1179, SRSA. In March 1846 Klose and Schürmann’s payments were discontinued. Meyer’s was continued a while longer. Memo, 23 March 1846, GRG24/4/1846/299, SRSA. At this time £100 a year was considered sufficient for the most basic needs of an unmarried labourer.

51 GRG24/6G/1845/724, SRSA.

52 Protector’s Report, 27 July 1840, Papers Relative to South Australia, London: William Clowes 1843:324. which repository?

53 Anne Scrimgeour, ‘Notions of Civilisation and the Project to Civilise Aborigines in South Australia in the 1840s,’ History of Education Review 35, no. 1, 2006: 40-41.

54 Anne Scrimgeour, ‘Notions of Civilisation and the Project to Civilise Aborigines in South Australia in the 1840s,’ History of Education Review 35, no. 1, 2006: 42-43.

55 29 August 1845, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 44.

56Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 44.

57 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 43.

58 Klose was registered in Dresden as Gottlieb. Usual German> custom was to use the Christian or given name closest to the surname. Nevertheless he is often referred to as Samuel in English literature.

59 GRG24/6A/1846/96, SRSA.

60 Teichelmann to DMS, 5 January 1847, Teichelmann Correspondence 1838-1853, Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) Letters 3/Folder TB, LAA.

61 GRG24/6/1848/207, SRSA.

62 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 45.

63 26 July 1845, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002.

64 19 July 1845, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002.

65Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 45.

66 GRG24/4E/1844/628, SRSA.

67 Anne Scrimgeour, ‘Notions of Civilisation and the Project to Civilise Aborigines in South Australia in the 1840s,’ History of Education Review 35, no. 1, 2006: 234. For a detailed discussion see Chapter 6. Grey failed to mention the Lutheran missionaries’ involvement in Aboriginal education in dispatches to London.

68 14 September 1844 and 29 August 1845, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 36-38,43.

69 Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 43.

70 Adelaide Observer, 11 and 18 January 1845.

71 20 August 1841, Joyce Graetz, ed. Missionary to the Kaurna, the Klose Letters, Friends of the Lutheran Archives Occasional Paper no.2, North Adelaide: Friends of the Lutheran Archives, 2002: 19.

72 Klose to CSO, GRG24/6/1848/207, SRSA;South Australian, 15 June and 17 September 1847.

73 Klose to CSO, GRG24/6/1846/1165, SRSA and GRG24/6/1848/207, SRSA; Colonial Secretary to Klose, 21 October 1846, GRG24/4/127a, SRSA.

74 Robert Foster, 'The Aboriginal Location in Adelaide: South Australia’s first ‘mission’ to the Aborigines', Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia vol 28, no. 1 & 2 , December 1990: 28-29.

75 Teichelmann to Angas, 2 January 1843, PRG174/5/21-26, George Fife Angas Papers, SLSA. According to Moorhouse Kaurna territory extended ten miles north of Adelaide, whereas Norman Tindale later put the boundary near Crystal Brook. Tindale, Norman B. (1974).Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental  controls, distribution, limits and proper names, Berkley: University of California Press. See also map of Aboriginal Australia inThe Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, ed. D Horton, Canberra: Aboriginal Studies press, 1994. 

76 Teichelmann to Moorhouse, 1 March 1842, GRG24/90/302, SRSA; Meyer to DMS 12 February 1842, H A E Meyer, Correspondence with the Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society in Dresden 1839-1850, Adelaide Missionaries (Dresden) 2/Folder M, translated by Heidi Kneebone, Cynthia Rathjen, Sandy Martin and Lois Zweck, LAA.

77 Teichelmann to DMS, 5 January 1847, Teichelmann Correspondence Folder TB, LAA; Meyer to DMS, 26 January 1847, H A E Meyer, Correspondence with the Committee, LAA.

78 Evangelisch-Lutherisches Missionsblatt, 1 July 1849: 195 (Dresden: ELMS); Meyer to DMS, 29 August 1848, H A E Meyer, Correspondence with the Committee, LAA.

79 Hermann Karsten, Die Geschichte der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Mission in Leipzig, Guenstow, 1893:65.

80 Klose to Robe, 15 February 1848, GRG24/6/1848/207, SRSA.

81 Klose to Colonial Secretary, 15 February 1848, GRG24/6/207, SRSA.

82 Klose to Colonial Secretary, 15 February 1848, GRG24/6/207, SRSA.

83 Colonial Secretary to Klose 24 February 1848, GRG24/4/81, SRSA.