As the result of Dr Lang’s visit to Pastor Gossner at the Bethlehem Evangelical Church in Berlin, ten laymen expressed willingness to undertake the journey:
Gottfried Haussmann, farmer, and his wife Louise Wilhelmina.
Johann Gottfried Wagner, a shoemaker.
Peter Niquet, bricklayer, and his wife Marie Sophia
Ambrosius Theophilus Wilhelm Hartenstein, weaver, and his wife Wilhelmine Christina
Johann Leopold Zillmann, blacksmith, and his wife Clara Louise.
Friedrich Theodor Franz, a tailor.
Ludwig Doege, a gardener.
August Rode, a cabinetmaker, and his wife Julia Emilia.
August Olbrecht, a shoemaker.
Moritz Schneider, medical student, and his wife Caroline. (Moritz died from typhus in the Sydney quarantine station).
The party was joined by two clergymen, Carl Wilhelm Schmidt and Christoph Eipper, and their wives Louise and Harriet. Without these two clergymen the English parliament refused to provide financial assistance for the undertaking. 4
In all, with their wives and children, the party numbered twenty persons.
In July 1837, the missionaries and their families sailed from Bremen for Greenock, Scotland, where they embarked on “the fine firstclass Bristol-built ship Minerva, 380 tons, under the command of Captain Thomas Furlong.”
The Minerva arrived at Sydney on January 23, 1838. On March 19, several of the missionaries left for Moreton Bay in the Government schooner Isabella, 126 tons, Captain More. They arrived at Moreton Bay on March 30, 1838, the remainder of the party arriving in June of the same year.
When the missionaries arrived at Moreton Bay, the Settlement was on the verge of being transformed from a penal to a free settlement. The convicts, who in 1831 numbered 1,066, were being gradually withdrawn, and in 1837, the year before the arrival of the missionaries, only 300 were left.
The area between the Settlement and the coast remained in the undisturbed possession of the blacks. In this area, a site was allotted for the formation of the mission station, covering about 640 acres, by Major Cotton, Commandant of the Penal Settlement at the time of their arrival.
In his 1841 account Pastor Eipper describes the missionaries settlement:
“Their settlement is situated on a hill, from which they have given it the name of Zions Hill, it consists of eleven cottages with enclosed yards, kitchens, storehouses, etc.: these cottages are built in a line on the ridge of the hill from east to west. In front of the houses small gardens are laid out down the hill towards a lagoon; at its base and in the rear of the yards larger gardens run down on the opposite descent. The houses are either thatched or covered with hark; the walls are built with slabs and plastered with clay both inside and outside, being whitewashed with a species of white clay found on the spot, and mixed with sand. The ceilings are formed of plaits of grass and clay wound about sticks laid across the tie-beams, and the floors of slabs smoothed with the adze; each cottage having two or three rooms and one fireplace.”
4. Nundah and Districts Historical Society Inc. op.cit.