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Mapoon Mission Station and the Privatization of Public Violence

Transnational Missionary Architecture on Queensland’s Late-Nineteenth-Century Colonial Frontier
Jasper Ludewig

Résumés

Résumé

La mission Mapoon et la privatisation de la force publique : une architecture missionnaire coloniale aux frontières du Queensland à la fin du XIXe siècle. Cet article étudie le rôle des missions religieuses et de leur architecture comme instruments de la politique coloniale en Australie. La mission Mapoon (une congrégation allemande de Moravie) s’établit dans la lointaine péninsule du Cap York dans la colonie du Queensland au tournant du siècle. La mission Mapoon fut conçue comme un dispositif de renforcement du contrôle aux frontières de la colonie à la fin du XIXe siècle, contribuant activement à la ségrégation des populations aborigènes, et à les isoler de l’expansion des colons. Le bâtiment de la mission fut l’incarnation matérielle de ce projet, reprenant plusieurs aspects du modèle original développé par les Piétistes moraves au XVIIIe siècle. Mapoon est un exemple de circulation transnationale d’individus, d’organisations, d’activités, au travers de frontières impériales, coloniales, ou nationales, poreuses. Ces échanges (idées, expertises, projets) remettent en perspective une possible « histoire de l’architecture australienne », en interrogeant l’identité australienne de cette époque, et ce qui pourrait légitimement être qualifié d’architecture « historique », si tant est que dès l’origine, l’Australie était déjà une entreprise mondialisée.

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1Disclaimer
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this publication contains names and images of people who have passed away.

2In November of 1891, Nicholas Hey (1862-1951) landed at Cullen Point on the remote west coast of the Cape York Peninsula in tropical northern Queensland (fig. 1). Hey was a German missionary, trained at the prestigious Moravian seminary in Saxony and tasked with establishing an evangelical mission to the Aboriginal groups—primarily the Tjungundji—who lived along the Peninsula’s western coastline. At twenty-nine years of age, Hey had been equipped by his Moravian education with the requisite skills for such an endeavor. Linguistics, carpentry, botany, mechanics, ethnography, medicine, music, and of course, theology, all formed part of the Moravian curriculum, and each would be called on during Hey’s almost thirty-year tenure in Cape York. Once a small settlement had eventually been constructed at Cullen Point, Hey and his Moravian colleagues dutifully bestowed a name upon their mission station. It was called Mapoon, after an anglicized Tjungundji word meaning “the place where people fight on the sand-hills.” Alongside the other two Moravian mission stations that would subsequently be established in Cape York—Weipa in 1898 and Aurukun in 1904—Mapoon grew to form part of the regulatory infrastructure of frontier Queensland, one of the six independent colonies claimed by the British Crown prior to Australian federation in 1901 (fig. 2).

Figure 1: Nicholas Hey (bottom right) pictured with his Moravian colleagues at Mapoon, Cape York, c.1893.

Figure 1: Nicholas Hey (bottom right) pictured with his Moravian colleagues at Mapoon, Cape York, c.1893.

James Ward (top left) was the original superintendent of Mapoon, however he succumbed to malarial fever within the first two years of arrival. Ward left behind his wife, Matilda (bottom left), who was the sister of Hey’s wife, Mary Anne (top right). This arrangement was in keeping with Moravian principles, which emphasised the role of Christian family life in evangelical settings.

Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS455.

Figure 2: 1898 map of Queensland showing key infrastructures and lines of communication.

Figure 2: 1898 map of Queensland showing key infrastructures and lines of communication.

Mapoon (M) is located on the western Gulf Coast of the northern Cape York Peninsula. Additional Moravian missions were established further south at Weipa (W) and Aurukun (A). Eventually, the individual Aboriginal reserves occupied by these three Moravian stations were amalgamated to form a continuous territory along the Gulf Coast.

Source: Runcorn (Australia), Queensland State Archives, item 629990, map, Queensland, showing telegraph lines and stations coastal steamer routes and primary lights, 1898.

  • 1 Generally, missionaries maintained a skeptical view of imperialism’s motives, although they often (...)
  • 2 See in particular, Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff, “Mansions of the Lord: Architecture, Interi (...)
  • 3 Of the notable exceptions to this general trend, none is directly concerned with the Australian co (...)
  • 4 See Brian Stanley, Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History, Princeton: Princeton Un (...)
  • 5 See, for example, Michael J. Lewis, City of Refuge: Separatists and Utopian Town Planning, Princet (...)
  • 6 Julie Willis and Philip Goad, “A Bigger Picture: Reframing Australian Architectural History,” Fabr (...)
  • 7 Paul Memmott’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture describes missionary architect (...)

3The influence of Christian missionaries on broader imperial processes has been rigorously interrogated in an extensive body of scholarship.1 The same cannot be said, however, for missionary architecture. It is telling, for example, that arguably the most influential study to explicitly consider the deployment of architecture as a missionary tool—Jean and John Comaroff’s canonical 1990s study of British Nonconformist missionaries in South Africa, Of Revelation and Revolution—was authored by anthropologists.2 Naturally, the Comaroffs’ study emphasizes the effects of architecture on the lived experience of its inhabitants but downplays the systems of knowledge, the cultural traditions, and the modes of production that informed its conception and construction. While historians of architecture are more attuned to the insights that can be offered by the very fabric of the missions, scholarship of this kind nonetheless remains limited in its breadth.3 Where it does exist, this scholarship has tended to focus on the African and North American contexts. In part, the disciplinary dearth of scholarship on this topic stems from a more general tendency of recent decades to treat nineteenth- and twentieth-century imperial settings as overwhelmingly secular, if not avowedly anti-religious. As recent studies have argued, however, religious institutions were fundamental in shaping the political and cultural history of European imperialism, both at home in the metropole and throughout the empire more broadly.4 Where histories of architecture have engaged with this latter scholarship, they have prioritized the ecclesiastical architecture of colonial churches, while neglecting missionary architecture.5 This imbalance is difficult to justify. Not only did missionary architecture form part of the wider manifestation of formal religion in imperial settings—in effect, existing on the other end of the same spectrum as the cathedrals and colleges erected in the colonial capitals—but it also contributed most directly to extending the physical limits of empire in real terms. In other words, religious buildings did not merely express a religious function; rather, they constituted a highly varied medium through which imperialism in part articulated itself, inextricably bound up with broader, secular processes of expansion and consolidation. Identifying similar gaps in histories of Australian architecture, Julie Willis and Philip Goad have concluded that the work of “Christian missions and government agencies as they attempted to first solve or treat, understand and then negotiate how best to design for indigenous communities,” forms part of an architectural history in need of recovery.6 Despite the limited attention devoted to such a recovery in their Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, this topic remains largely unexplored.7

4In this paper, the former Moravian mission at Mapoon will serve as a conceptual locus from which to advance an exploration along these lines. Primary source material encountered at the Moravian Archives in Herrnhut, Saxony, as well as government records held at numerous state archives in Australia, form the basis of the analysis presented. Seeking to address the lacunae outlined above, the discussion considers the extent to which missionary architecture was instrumentalized for the purposes of secular governance on Queensland’s late-nineteenth-century colonial frontier. In this way, the discussion can be understood as a response to the following questions: How was frontier governance enacted in colonial Queensland? What were the strategic objectives of this governance? What types of architecture did it prescribe or adopt? Who built this architecture, in keeping with which principles, and under what conditions? Whose interests was this architecture expected to mediate? What was the status of Hey and his Moravian colleagues within the wider project of Queensland’s development as a part of Greater Britain? As will be elaborated across the following sections, the answers to these questions reveal a history of transnational connection in which organizational structures, types of architecture and individual actors traversed porous imperial and national borders. Through its examination of this mobility—of expertise, ideas and institutional projects—and its registration at the Mapoon mission, this paper seeks to interrogate the conditions for telling a history of Australian architecture. It sets out to question the notional limits of these two categories—of what can meaningfully be called “Australian” in this historical moment, and of what is deemed permissible as an example of historical “architecture”—in order to reveal that, even at its founding moment, Australia was already a global enterprise.

Frontier Violence and Modern Villages

  • 8 In this paper, “the Queensland Government,” or “the state,” refer either to the Queensland Colonia (...)
  • 9 Prior to colonization in 1788, more than five hundred different Indigenous nations, or clan groups (...)

5Queensland was the second-youngest of the Australian colonies, formed after its annexation from New South Wales in 1859. Although a number of predominantly coastal settlements had matured into thoroughly urban environments by the time of Mapoon’s establishment in 1891—especially the capital, Brisbane—the northern districts of the colony of Queensland still remained almost entirely unregulated by the state.8 Conversely, these same districts were among the most densely populated by Aboriginal people who had mostly been able to avoid the ravages of white occupation—racial violence, disease, abduction for labor and/or sex, and loss of Country—throughout the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century.9 However, with the European discovery of the material abundance of Queensland’s tropical north—gold, tin, cedar, grazing pasture, and pearl shell and sea cucumber beds—from the 1870s on, the northern districts of the colony, and Cape York in particular, increasingly became the site of frequent and violent frontier clashes between Aboriginal people and white settlers vying for access and control over the same areas of land.

  • 10 Noel Loos, Invasion and Resistance: Aboriginal-European Relations on the North Queensland Frontier (...)

6As the historian Noel Loos has argued, Queensland’s frontier was a fourfold phenomenon, taking on different forms and accruing in different ways on the grasslands, in the rainforests, around the mines and on the colony’s waterways – its manifestation across these different environments being determined by a consistent “lack of effective governmental control.”10 Indeed, two years after Hey’s arrival in Cape York, the renowned journalist A. G. Stephens clearly expressed his frustration with the state’s approach to frontier governance in the north:

  • 11 A. G. Stephens, Why North Queensland Wants Separation, Townsville: North Queensland Separation Lea (...)

Yet the people of Queensland have placed their administrative engine, the hub of their Government, in the extreme [southern] corner of a territory of 670,000 square miles; and expect that the power of the State will be equally exerted at Bowen and at Brisbane… Is the expectation reasonable?11

  • 12 Carl Lumholtz, Among Cannibals: Account of Four Years Travel in Australia, and of Camp Life with t (...)

Clearly, it was not. On his travels throughout northern Queensland around the time of Stephens’s writing, the Norwegian ethnographer Carl Lumholtz captured the extent of the racial violence on the colony’s frontier, reporting that pastoralists were shooting all Aboriginal men “because they were cattle killers; the women, because they gave birth to cattle killers; and the children, because they would in time become cattle killers.”12 Particularly vicious were the retribution killings carried out by the Queensland Native Mounted Police (nmp), especially where Aboriginal skirmishes had targeted the homesteads of European families. The symbolism of innocence and vulnerability embodied by white women and children fanned the flames of racial hostility. An article in the Cooktown Herald was particularly blunt:

  • 13 Cooktown Herald, June 24, 1874.

When savages are pitted against civilisation, they must go to the wall; it is the fate of their race. Much as we may deplore the necessity for such a state of things, it is absolutely necessary, in order that the onward march of civilisation may not be arrested by the antagonism of the aboriginals.13

  • 14 Noel Loos, Invasion and Resistance, op. cit. (note 10), p. 61.
  • 15 William Chatfield, letter to the editor, Port Denison Times, March 5, 1881.
  • 16 Cited in Raymond Evans, A History of Queensland, Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambridge University Pre (...)

7As late as 1889, following the murder of a white pastoralist south of where the Mapoon mission would be established just two years later, three nmp detachments were deployed to mete out the state’s revenge (fig. 3). It was reported that five Aboriginal camps were subsequently “dispersed”: the nmp’s vernacular for state-sanctioned massacre.14 Eventually, even pastoralists themselves began to take issue with the severity of the actions carried out by the nmp. William Chatfield, for example, declared that “we have a duty to perform toward the aborigines (which does not consist solely in administering lead) and I am convinced we shall find that doing that duty will in the long run pay the best.”15 Government officials attacked the nmp’s violent methods, deploring its “cruel, butchering work” as an “inhuman and uncivilised” affair that should be afforded “no sanction, either in civil or military law.”16 The violence precipitated by the nmp, it was proposed, needed to be replaced by a more humane and civilized system of managing Queensland’s Aboriginal population.

Figure 3: A rare photograph of a Native Mounted Police station and stables near Cooktown, c.1885.

Figure 3: A rare photograph of a Native Mounted Police station and stables near Cooktown, c.1885.

A regiment of troopers is depicted preparing to leave on a patrol. These patrols, and the often lethal violence that they engendered, were one of the key factors behind the influx of Christian missionaries into the northern districts of the colony in the late-nineteenth-century.

Source: Brisbane (Australia), State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library, Mounted Police Station in Cooktown, APO-8, Album of North Queensland Views.

8At the behest of Queensland’s reformist Premier, Samuel Griffith, Christian missionary organizations were directly approached to develop and operate such a system on behalf of the state. Mission stations were devised as cheap and comparatively low-risk sites of governance that would supplement the state’s presence throughout an otherwise largely unregulated frontier. As the discussion will elucidate, in addition to the widespread criticism of the nmp, such governance was not only deemed necessary in order to facilitate and expedite the extraction of wealth in the north, but also to restore Queensland’s humanitarian image as it looked to its future as a mature, modern polity within Greater Britain.

9The establishment of the Mapoon mission followed a typical procedure. After announcing an Aboriginal reserve, the Queensland Government would approach church organizations with the promise of rations and an annual government subsidy in return for the feeding, clothing, training, and segregation of the local Aboriginal people from contact with white settlement in a particular area of the colony. In the case of Mapoon, Weipa, and Aurukun, the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, seeking to further expand its own missionary work throughout the Australian colonies, accepted the state’s terms. Crucially, however, the Presbyterians were unable to provide their own missionaries, which therefore needed to be subcontracted from one of the large European missionary colleges. After receiving such a request from the Presbyterians in October of 1890, the German Moravians at Herrnhut agreed to supply two of their recent graduates. Nicholas Hey and his colleagues were dispatched to Cape York almost immediately. As a result of these arrangements, the missionaries would remain directly accountable to the interests of these three separate institutions—the Queensland Government, the Presbyterians and the Moravian administration in Herrnhut—for the duration of their tenure at Mapoon, much to their ongoing dismay and frustration.

10Upon arrival, it did not take the missionaries long to appreciate the severity of the violence that had preceded them. Explaining the frontier conditions in Queensland to an audience of German youths, a Moravian chronicler placed the blame for this violence on both sides:

  • 17 H. G. Schneider, “Mapoon, oder, wie man den Grund zu einer Mission legt,” Wecktimen: Erzählungen f (...)

The following would repeat itself very often. A black would steal from a white. As soon as he realised he had been robbed, the victim decided to take his gun and go into the “bush,” as the open Australian forest is called. There, he shot the first native he saw, whether thief or not, as determining the thief’s identity was a longwinded and perhaps even impossible undertaking. Some time thereafter, either the first or another white would be murdered by the blacks as revenge. Now, a number of whites armed themselves to the teeth, went looking in the bush for the first native camp they could find and killed every native they could in retaliation—man, woman and child.17

11In his own writing, Hey adopted the language of Christian humanitarianism when describing these conditions. Strategically, this was a humanitarianism that also appealed directly to the secular interests of colonial expansion: a necessity in the predominantly liberal secular polity of colonial Queensland. Hey’s tendency was therefore to portray “the native” as a condition of emptiness that Christianity was equipped to fill:

  • 18 Nicholas Hey, Mission Work and Its Problems, p. 7, Sydney (Australia), State Library of New South (...)

The white settler makes roads, cuts down trees, etc. Thus many of the most sacred places are destroyed, continuity with the past becomes impossible, and the natives naturally lose their desire to live because there is nothing left to live for. It is therefore the duty of the Church to give them a new objective in life.18

  • 19 Deborah Bird Rose, Reports from a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation, Sydney: unsw Press, 200 (...)
  • 20 Nicholas Hey, “Report, to the Convener of Foreign Missions Committee, of the State and Progress of (...)

12Deborah Bird Rose has similarly argued that missionaries’ allusions to emptiness and animality helped the colonial public to imagine a particular type of Aboriginality that bolstered the precepts of evangelisation—namely, “the pristine savage.” She continues, “They imagined this type as an absence—not only the absence of their own European civilisation but an absence of all civilisation: a veritable tabula rasa on which they would inscribe the redemption through their own cultural and colonising practices and through the spiritual authority of Jesus Christ.”19 In 1901, for example, a decade after first arriving, Hey reported that “the Mapoon station is gradually changing from a native camp into a modern village […] The young people especially take pride in their more comfortable dwellings and personal appearance. That cleanliness is next to godliness has proved true here also.”20 Missionaries, Hey implied in these portrayals of Mapoon, could serve as proxies through which the state’s power could be more easily exerted on Queensland’s northern frontier (fig. 4). The dual projects of colonial and ecclesiastical expansion were not easily disentangled.

Figure 4: A hand-coloured photograph of the “modern village” of Mapoon, c.1900.

Figure 4: A hand-coloured photograph of the “modern village” of Mapoon, c.1900.

From left to right can be seen the mission church and missionaries’ houses, set within a fenced-off and restricted precinct. Coloured photographs such as this were often used as projector slides by travelling missionaries seeking donations from church congregations throughout the Australian colonies. Black and white versions were also reproduced in missionary periodicals and circulated throughout the global missionary network.

Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS955.

  • 21 Bain Attwood, The Making of the Aborigines, Sydney, Boston, MA: Allen & Unwin, 1989, p. 95.
  • 22 On the “economy of violence,” see Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns, “A Journey through Forgetting (...)
  • 23 Ann Curthoys, “White, British, and European: Historicising Identity in Settler Societies,” in Jane (...)

13As these examples betray, missionaries were adept at playing what Bain Attwood has described as “the politics of expertise.”21 They leveraged this expertise in the form of an assertive humanitarianism and concomitant rejection of racial violence, which in turn provided the conditions for the state’s authoritarian and autocratic regimes of Aboriginal institutionalization to emerge: the frontier violence of the nmp was effectively replaced by an institutional economy of violence.22 As Ann Curthoys has observed, such dynamics are typical of white settler societies, which “generally have liberal and humanitarian traditions and sets of institutions that at times come into direct conflict with racial thinking, action and policy.”23 On Queensland’s northern frontier, this discrepancy was in part reconciled in the figure of the missionary who, as Hey embodies, promoted their expertise as instrumental to the state’s attempts to govern effectively.

Missionary Expertise and the Moravian Settlement Model

  • 24 The earlier Moravian missions in the southern colony of Victoria were closely connected to the Que (...)
  • 25 See, for example, Peter Vogt, “‘Everywhere at Home’: The Eighteenth-Century Moravian Movement as a (...)
  • 26 In Queensland, earlier attempts to establish mission stations had been instructed to follow the au (...)

14In leveraging his missionary expertise within the frontier context of colonial Queensland, Hey drew on a long history of Moravian evangelization. Already by the 1870s, Moravians boasted of a total of seventy thousand converts living in religious settlements throughout Europe, North America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia and the Australian colony of Victoria; a list as diverse in its geography as in the political conditions that prevailed in each context.24 Scholars have variously attributed the Moravians’ widespread recognition and influence to their unique religious culture and social organization; their self-understanding as a transnational theocratic community willing to collaborate with colonial governments; and their systematic approach to establishing religious communities, known as the Moravian settlement model.25 By the late nineteenth century, this model was widely recognized within evangelical circles as paradigmatic.26 An analysis of the Moravian settlement model, and the role played by architecture within it, reveals the status of Mapoon as an outpost in the Moravian world.

15Ever since their establishment in the early eighteenth century, everyday life on Moravian settlements was heavily regulated: devotion taking the form of what Max Weber would term praxis pietatis (practical piety), or the rationalization of life under God from the viewpoint of the productivity of one’s labors. Moravians were effectively modern conservatives, pursuing an alternative trajectory of Pietist reform to Enlightenment rationalism within the institution of religion in an attempt to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, and to do so by regulating every aspect—both worldly and internal—of the life of the individual: their desires, beliefs, and aspirations; their education, housing, and family structure; their productivity and everyday practice of Christianity, and their sense of moral duty. Martin Gierl, in his discussion of the cultural history of the modern Moravian movement, has provided a useful description of the attributes of the paradigmatic Moravian Pietist:

  • 27 Martin Gierl, “Pietism, Enlightenment, and Modernity,” in Douglas H. Shantz (ed.), A Companion to (...)

A Pietist is someone who reflects on his daily routine, who keeps a record of his life, who avows his faith by communicating constantly, while scrutinising himself and others; he is someone who is examined from one step to the next, who is monitored everywhere; who practices his social life according to internalised notions of virtue, who seeks to sanctify sexuality; who adapts himself to systems, who believes the world is ruled by a greater power, which he loves and in doing so loves himself. In the social flux of modern times, these controlled systems provide security.27

16In the frontier context of late-nineteenth-century northern Queensland, the characteristics Gierl outlines also produced model colonial citizens—the neatly dressed and well-behaved residents of the modern village of Mapoon described by Hey above. The spatial organization of the Moravian settlement model was carefully calibrated to foster these outcomes, displaying a remarkable uniformity across its global applications, from the eighteenth into the nineteenth century. The componentry of this settlement model was based on the Moravian township of Herrnhut in Saxony: the spiritual and administrative center of the Moravian world (fig. 5). Here, a central administrative precinct—referred to as the Ortsgemein—typically contained a Betsaal, or prayer hall, dormitories for men, women, widows and children, a school and a public square. Married couples lived in small houses, each with a private garden, arranged along an axial street network comprised of planted avenues. A Gottes Acker, or cemetery, was connected to the central administrative precinct of the settlement, typically by a processional avenue. In keeping with the Pietist principle that every aspect of one’s life was an appraisal of God, no distinction was made between the Betsaal as a sacred space of worship and the rest of the settlement as a whole. It followed that Herrnhut cultivated a distinct civic pride; streets were already being paved in 1765 when the population had reached approximately 1,200 people, at which time gas lanterns also illuminated the town’s footpaths. The footpaths themselves were adorned with the famous Herrnhuter Stern, or Moravian advent star, which was simultaneously being spread throughout the globe in various forms at the hands of Moravian missionaries. Gisela Mettele has outlined the role played by the Moravian settlement model in militating against the geographic and cultural distances traversed by Moravian missionaries into the twentieth century:

  • 28 Gisela Mettele, “Eine ‘Imagined Community’ jenseits der Nation. Die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine als t (...)

Members of the Brüdergemeine [Herrnhut Moravians] traversed global structures and encountered diverse cultures, while always remaining within the microcosm of their own community; unified in their organization, communication and a common form of living. They shunned temporal things as much as possible, seeking instead to organize the microcosm of their community within the macrocosm of the Kingdom of God. They consciously assumed a position of detachment [einer Art Neben- und Gegenraum] from the surrounding world [Umwelt] and anchored themselves on a religious basis in a transterritorial imagined community.28

17That the Moravians conceptualized themselves and their work in this way can be seen as early as 1758 in a lithograph of an imagined landscape, most likely completed by the Moravian architect Christian Gottlieb Reuter. Figure 6 (fig. 6) depicts sixty-three Moravian Ortsgemeine as comprising a continuous terrain, despite including settlements that are located throughout present-day Germany, the Netherlands, England, Greenland, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Algeria, Russia and Iran. European settlements, which occupy the center of the image, share a common terrain depicted as a large mountain—at the peak of which sits Herrnhut—while foreign diaspora settlements and mission stations, at the edges of the image, are depicted as sited on their own diminutive, island-like mountains and separated from the European mainland by rivers, lakes and precipitous ridges. The image is in this sense a map that orders physical space according to the organizational hierarchy posited by the Moravians in Herrnhut, as opposed to the territorial and political boundaries asserted by contemporary empires and nation-states. Reuter’s arrangement of the settlements depicted in the image provides visual confirmation of this hierarchy, serving to consolidate the authority of Herrnhut in the Moravian world while conversely also connecting the Moravian periphery to the central workings of the Church in Saxony. Moravian settlements were not simply locations; they were also strategic points in a religious dominion, on the basis of which the Moravians claimed a position of spiritual authority in an increasingly connected world, including in northern Queensland.

Figure 5: Plan and perspective of the Herrnhut Ortsgemein produced by J.G. Krause and Michael Keyl in 1782.

Figure 5: Plan and perspective of the Herrnhut Ortsgemein produced by J.G. Krause and Michael Keyl in 1782.

Source: Dresden (Germany), SLUB Dresden/Deutsche Fotothek.

Figure 6: An imagined landscape depicting all sixty-three Moravian Ortsgemeine established before 1758.

Figure 6: An imagined landscape depicting all sixty-three Moravian Ortsgemeine established before 1758.

European settlements, including the important Moravian centres of Herrnhut, Saxony (1722), Herrnhaag, Hesse (1738) and Niesky, Saxony (1742) are depicted centrally – on the largest landmass presented in the image. North American settlements, including Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1741), occupy the foreground, flanked by settlements in Suriname and Guyana. Moravian missions in Asia and the Subcontinent are depicted to the right of the image alongside sites in Africa, including the first Moravian mission in South Africa at Gnadenthal (1737).

Source: Nazareth, PA (USA), Moravian Historical Society Collection, www.moravianhistory.org.

18Despite the variations between the settlements depicted in figure 6, in terms of their scale and the style of their buildings, the image nevertheless reveals a consistency in planning. Ortsgemeine are organised along street axes; streets themselves are planted with regularly spaced trees, which form avenues that lead from the center to the edges of each settlement; modest, regularly spaced houses are bounded by fences, within which neatly planted fields are clearly demarcated. The Gottes Acker recurs throughout the image, typically located at a slight remove from the Ortsgemein of a given settlement and delineated by walls or hedging surrounding burial plots. A plan of the Mapoon station sent to Germany around 1904 demonstrates the extent to which it too had been organized as a Moravian Ortsgemein (fig. 7). The mission house, Betsaal, school and children’s dormitories constituted a central administrative precinct, while a road network—comprised of three orders; the Dorfstrasse (village street), the geplante Strasse (planned street) and the Kokosnuss Allee (Coconut Avenue)—demarcated garden allotments. The so-called “native village” was set out along the Coconut Avenue, which, according to Moravian precedent, led from the Betsaal to the Gottes Acker, past a series of wells, bridges, fences and storerooms that further articulated the different spaces of the settlement (fig. 8). Fences and gates demarcated increasingly secure zones throughout the mission station, leading from the fields and surrounding bush (least secure) to the interior of the mission house (most secure). A Herrnhuter Stern arranged from pieces of coral greeted visitors as they approached the mission house from the Mapoon pier (fig. 9).

Figure 7: Plan of the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1904.

Figure 7: Plan of the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1904.

Produced by Arthur Richter – the Moravian missionary recently arrived in Cape York on his way to establishing the third Moravian station at Aurukun. 1: the mission house, 2: the Betsaal, 3: children’s dormitories, 4: Coconut Avenue, 5: the native village, 6: garden plots, 7: the Gottes Acker, 8: large coconut plantation.

Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, Mp.272.12.a.

Figure 8: View of the Coconut Avenue at Mapoon depicting Aboriginal housing located outside of the Ortsgemein in the native village, c.1910.

Figure 8: View of the Coconut Avenue at Mapoon depicting Aboriginal housing located outside of the Ortsgemein in the native village, c.1910.

The houses shown are the second iteration of a design proposed by Hey, the first being constructed from timber and thatch and being arranged too closely together. One coconut tree was allocated to each family household, which was also provided with a garden to the rear. The fence of the Ortsgemein would have been located approximately at the point from which this photo was taken.

Source: Frank H. L. Paton, Glimpses of Mapoon: The Story of a Visit to the North Queensland Stations of the Presbyterian Church, Melbourne: Presbyterian Church of Australia, 1911, p. 14.

Figure 9: A Herrnhuter Stern, a symbol of global Moravian unity, arranged from coral at the entrance to the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1900.

Figure 9: A Herrnhuter Stern, a symbol of global Moravian unity, arranged from coral at the entrance to the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1900.

Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS963.

19Apart from the first mission house at Mapoon, which was prefabricated and shipped into Cape York aboard the Queensland Government steamer, Albatross, all other buildings were fabricated in situ (fig. 10). Hey wasted no time in establishing a workshop where locally sourced timber could be dressed into posts and boards for use in constructing the mission’s facilities, while the provision of corrugated roof sheeting remained the responsibility of the government. Hey’s correspondence with Herrnhut frequently reveals his exasperation at the rate of timber’s decay in the tropical climate, as well as the difficulty of working in such conditions. The Mapoon site’s propensity for flooding meant that key buildings were raised on posts, their elevated position enabling greater oversight of the mission reserve.

Figure 10: The original prefabricated mission house erected at Mapoon, c. 1895.

Figure 10: The original prefabricated mission house erected at Mapoon, c. 1895.

Nicholas Hey is pictured in the centre of the image. Over time, numerous additions and extensions were made to the house by Hey himself, typically with assistance from Aboriginal labourers and using materials prepared in the mission’s dedicated workshop.

Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS963.

20Four key building types, prescribed by the Moravian settlement model, comprised the missionaries’ building programs in Cape York: the mission house, the church and school building, the children’s dormitories, and the Aboriginal housing constructed in native villages. The mission house, as the first building erected on each station, served the missionaries as a space of first contact on the mission reserve, playing a didactic role in embodying Christian family life in architectural form. By setting strict conditions of entry and carefully arranging its interior in keeping with a middle-class Christian domesticity, the missionaries expected their house would make a positive impression on the Aboriginal people who came into the mission station from throughout the wider area. By locating the mission church and school building close to the mission house, often in a way that delineated a public square between them, the missionaries also hoped to encourage these visitors into a more formal setting in which the missionaries could spread their doctrine. To ensure that younger visitors to the station would be kept within their sphere of influence, missionaries also quickly constructed children’s dormitories in direct view of the mission house and offered additional rations—tobacco, tea, flour, and sugar, all of which were addictive substances—to those parents who agreed to leave their children under the missionaries’ supervision. This triangle of buildings—the mission house, the church and school building, and the children’s dormitories—comprised the main buildings in the mission Ortsgemein. In addition, missionaries also provided housing, a small garden and furniture to those Aboriginal members of the mission community who regularly attended daily church services and agreed to commit to a monogamous Christian marriage. In effect, the Moravians attempted to structure the everyday life of Aboriginal mission residents around a series of transformations tied to different architectural settings: from attending the mission school and living in the dormitories as children to eventually marrying, working in agriculture, fishing, or carpentry and moving into the native village in order to start a family as young adults. This cycle, it was imagined, would repeat itself ad infinitum as the mission station increasingly developed into a voluntary theocracy under strict missionary supervision. Meanwhile, the state incurred only the cost of supplying limited building materials and a meagre annual subsidy.

  • 29 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Connected Histories: Notes towards A Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia (...)

21The Moravian settlement model was not a template that materialized mission stations in an identical manner, irrespective of local conditions. It did not proffer a step-by-step guide determining precisely how buildings should be constructed. However, it did delineate how the architecture of the mission station could be used as a vehicle for inaugurating and regulating forms of living conducive to the transmission of Christianity. The value of historicizing an architecture of this kind is in the subsequent ability to draw connections between mission stations, their physical organization and the cultural histories that they refracted in discrete and localized ways. To invoke Sanjay Subrahmanyam, the Moravian settlement model “flowed across political boundaries,” becoming transformed through manifold local expressions while also remaining legible enough for the historian to recognize that diffusion, transmission, and variation produced “not separate and comparable, but connected histories.”29 In this way, although the Mapoon mission was established in order to address the discrete frontier conditions that confronted the Queensland Government in the late nineteenth century, it simultaneously also formed part of the long history of the Moravians’ global missionary project. The physical fabric of the Mapoon mission station existed at the intersection of these interests: a hybridization of extra-state missionary architecture and the strategic objectives of the state.

Gray Architecture and the Privatization of Public Violence

  • 30 G. A. Bremner, Johan Lagae and Mercedes Volait, “Intersecting Interests: Developments in Networks (...)
  • 31 G. A. Bremner, “Tides That Bind: Waterborne Trade and the Infrastructure Networks of Jardine, Math (...)

22That the buildings erected at mission stations such as Mapoon were often rudimentary, provisional, and therefore seemingly incommensurable with the concerns of contemporary metropolitan architects seems to be a factor in the dearth of architectural scholarship on the Australian missions. And yet, while the aesthetic, technical and authorial criteria that are typically used to delineate the disciplinarity of architecture clearly distinguish the buildings prescribed by the Moravian settlement model from the more conventional objects of an architectural historiography of Australia, in keeping with the present discussion it can also be meaningfully argued that—in terms of the actual operations of colonial governance—the building programs of missionaries were as instrumental in their own way in accomplishing the colonial project in material terms than the edifices erected in the colonial capitals. Recently, G. A. Bremner has made a similar argument, offering the term “gray architecture” as a heuristic device encompassing the “somewhat banal and mundane array of structures that facilitated global empire and its myriad connections.”30 In accord with Bremner’s definition, examples of gray architecture might include, but are not limited to, the factories, warehouses, mills, agricultural facilities, roads, bridges, canals, jetties, and fences that far outnumber landmark architecture in the historical record. Bremner argues that due to two factors: their “radical instrumentality,” causing them to fade into the background of a given situation, and the typically indiscernible nature of their authorship, these elements of the built environment have “escaped consideration in the annals of architecture.” Rather than dismissing gray architecture on this basis, however, Bremner suggests we should in fact “recognise and consent to [its] inherently unstable and indeterminate status,” viewing it as a productive basis for theoretical articulation.31 In this sense, it is precisely on the basis of their “grayness” that those buildings, technologies, and settlement models, previously overlooked within architectural historiography, can be approached as evidence of larger systems and processes of imperialism.

  • 32 Horace Tozer, Queensland Parliamentary Debates, Brisbane: Edmond Gregory, Government Printer, 1897 (...)
  • 33 William Parry-Okeden, Report on the North Queensland Aborigines and Native Police, with Appendices(...)
  • 34 Archibald Meston, Report on the Aboriginals of Queensland, Brisbane: Edmund Gregory, Government Pr (...)

23The role played by Mapoon on Queensland’s late-nineteenth-century northern frontier serves as a salient example of Bremner’s argument. As a radically instrumental, and yet carefully planned and finely calibrated site in a larger territory, Mapoon made visible and consolidated colonial control, mediating the government’s claims of ownership and authority in what constituted a highly bureaucratic project of organizational collaboration. According to Queensland’s colonial secretary in 1897, the colony’s northern missions not only functioned as “instruments for distributing food supplies,” but also ostensibly played a role in the government’s regulation of public health by quarantining Aboriginal people from white settlement.32 At the same time, Queensland’s commissioner of police suggested that the number of mission stations in northern Queensland should be increased; he described them as “an auxiliary to the work of the police” that were to be “subsidised by the Government during the continuance of good work” and that should occupy locations “carefully selected and approved by the Government” in order to protect both the strategic and economic interests of the state.33 Meanwhile, according to Archibald Meston—one of two government-appointed “protectors of Aboriginals” in the colony—the work performed by Hey at Mapoon contributed to a wider “system of government” that aided Queensland’s development towards becoming a mature polity within Greater Britain.34 In the eyes of the state, then, the gray architecture of the Moravian settlement model was useful insofar as it could be adapted and redeployed in meeting the objectives of frontier governance.

  • 35 John Macarthur has described the importance of the telegraph to foreign investment in Queensland’s (...)
  • 36 Armand Mattelart, Mapping World Communication: War, Progress, Culture, [First published as La Comm (...)
  • 37 G. A. Bremner, “Tides That Bind: Waterborne Trade and the Infrastructure Networks of Jardine, Math (...)

24These official positions are captured in the map produced by the Queensland Survey Department in 1898 (fig. 2), in which Mapoon is depicted as a nodal “town” alongside a line of newly built fortified telegraph stations, a government outpost on Thursday Island, intercontinental shipping routes and lighthouses, mail supply lines, and the ever-emergent railway network. When viewed collectively as imbricated sites of governance, Mapoon can be understood to have formed part of a regulated zone that accelerated the possibilities for the exchange of information; extraction of commodities by private enterprise and their efficient distribution from northern Queensland to global markets; and, ultimately, investment and taxation.35 Mapoon therefore contributed to generating and securing prosperity for the state, at the same time as it worked to clear this productive territory of an Aboriginal presence, further facilitating foreign investment, trade and settlement. Together, these developments worked to rationalize Queensland’s northern frontier, akin to what Armand Mattelart has described as “a project of mastering space.”36 No particular telegraph station, mission house, jetty, or fence line was decisive; rather, all were subservient to the larger project of colonial development and the economic aspirations it pursued.37

  • 38 On the privatization of public violence, see Joseph-Achille Mbembe, “On Private Indirect Governmen (...)

25By drawing on the capital and expertise of Hey and his Moravian colleagues as extra-state agents, the Queensland Government effectively privatized the public violence—the removal of Aboriginal people from their family, community and Country onto isolated mission stations—for which it was ultimately responsible.38 Outsourcing its responsibility in this way, the state ventured to overlook the German affiliations of the Mapoon missionaries—at a time when Germany had become a rival imperial power in the South Pacific—in its attempts to meet the imperatives of frontier governance explored in this paper. In part, this was only possible due to the longstanding reputation of the Herrnhut Moravians as a transnational theocratic community unfettered by nationalist allegiances. As the case of Mapoon therefore reveals, colonial governance not only occurred in the straightforward establishment of systems, technologies, and representations of power, but also in the form of radically instrumental and yet highly bureaucratic architectural settings, embedded in a transnational geography.

  • 39 On the closure of Mapoon, see Geoffrey Stephen Wharton, The Day They Burned Mapoon: A Study of the (...)

26By 1919, every Moravian missionary stationed to Queensland had either retired or been refused entry to Australia as a result of the First World War. This included Nicholas Hey, who had been naturalized as an Australian citizen and had assumed a post within a Presbyterian congregation in suburban Sydney. Eventually, the Mapoon mission station was devolved from church to government control before it was demolished and burnt to the ground in 1963 to make way for the widespread mining of bauxite that continues to this day.39 Whether construed as a mechanism in the governance of Queensland’s colonial frontier; as an Australian site in the global territory of Moravian evangelization; as a conduit for German influence in the region; or as a remote community in which Aboriginal people were able—under strictly controlled conditions—to organize outside the hostility and violence of frontier Queensland, Mapoon’s architecture is a constant (fig. 11). The historiographic task therefore becomes to reveal and trace this multiplicity and, in so doing, to demonstrate the significance of Mapoon as a transnational architectural project.

Figure 11: Perspective view of “Christian Village Mapoon”, c.1910.

Figure 11: Perspective view of “Christian Village Mapoon”, c.1910.

Source: Artist unknown. Held at the National Museum of Australia.

  • 40 Ash Amin, “Placing Globalization,” Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 14, no. 2, 1997, p. 133. DOI: (...)

27This, however, is not to propose that an architectural history of the Mapoon mission should simply eclipse local conditions in favor of the metanarrative of globalization; rather, it is to imagine globalization as a manifold, in which the competing regimes of the transnational missionary project and the early-twentieth-century rise of the Australian nation-state coexisted as opposite sides of the same coin. As Ash Amin has suggested, beyond the territorial idea of “sequestered spatial logics” in which the local, regional, national, and global are considered mutually exclusive, lies the ability to interrogate the “intermingling of global, distant, and local logics” as irreducible forces shaping a hybridized globalization.40 This intermingling was clearly legible in northern Queensland. Here, between 1891 and 1919, the Queensland Government co-opted the project of Moravian evangelization in order to secure the territory of its frontier districts. This privatization of public violence had an architecture that has remained largely overlooked by historians despite the fact that Mapoon, and other missions like it, were instrumental to Queensland’s political future within the Australian commonwealth and Greater Britain more broadly.

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Notes

1 Generally, missionaries maintained a skeptical view of imperialism’s motives, although they often also directly facilitated the expansion of empire. From a vast and longstanding literature, see, in particular, Giordano Nanni, The Colonisation of Time: Ritual, Routine and Resistance in the British Empire, Manchester; New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 2013 (Studies in Imperialism); Norman Etherington, “Missions and Empire Revisited,” Social Sciences and Missions, vol. 24, nos. 2-3, 2011, p. 171-189. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/187489411X581030; Amanda Barry, Joanna Cruickshank, Andrew Brown-May and Patricia Grimshaw (eds.), Evangelists of Empire? Missionaries in Colonial History, Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre, 2008 (Melbourne University History Conference Series, 18); Andrew Porter, Religion versus Empire? British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700-1914, Manchester; New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 2004; Brian Stanley (ed.), Missions, Nationalism and the End of Empire, Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2003 (Studies in the History of Christian Missions); Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830-1867, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002.

2 See in particular, Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff, “Mansions of the Lord: Architecture, Interiority, Domesticity,” in Of Revelation and Revolution: The Dialectics of Modernity on a South African Frontier, Chicago, MI: The University of Chicago Press, 1997, vol. 2, p. 274-322. See also Idem, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism and Consciousness in South Africa, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991, vol. 1.

3 Of the notable exceptions to this general trend, none is directly concerned with the Australian colonies. See Bram Cleys, Jan De Maeyer, Bruno De Meulder and Allen Howard (eds.), Missionary Places, 1850-1950, Imagining, Building, Contesting Christianities, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2018 (kadoc-artes, 17); Emily Elizabeth Turner, Mission Infrastructure Development in the Canadian North, c.1850-1920, PhD dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 2018; Itohan Osayimwese, “The Colonial Origins of Modernist Prefabrication,” in Colonialism and Modern Architecture in Germany, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 (Culture Politics and the Built Environment), p. 187-241; G. A. Bremner, “Narthex Reclaimed: Reinventing Disciplinary Space in the Anglican Mission Field,” Journal of Historical Geography, vol. 51, 2016, p. 1-17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2015.10.013; Itohan Osayimwese, “Architecture with a Mission: Bamum Autoethnography during the Period of German Colonialism,” in Nina Berman, Klaus Mühlhahn and Patrice Nganang (eds.), German Colonialism Revisited: African, Asian, and Oceanic experiences, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2014, p. 31-49; Sarah Treadwell, “Heavenly Groundings: Missionary Architectural Practice in Nineteenth-Century New Zealand,” in Andrew Leach, Antony Moulis and Nicole Sully (eds.), Shifting Views: Selected Essays on the Architectural History of Australia and New Zealand, St Lucia, Queensland: The University of Queensland Press, 2008, p. 95-102.

4 See Brian Stanley, Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018 (Princeton History of Christianity); Joseph Hardwick, An Anglican British World: The Church of England and the Expansion of the Settler Empire, c.1790-1860, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014 (Studies in Imperialism); Stewart J. Brown, Providence and Empire: Religion, Politics and Society in the United Kingdom, 1815-1914, London: Routledge, 2013 (Religion, Politics and Society in Britain); Hilary M. Carey, God’s Empire: Religion and Colonialism in the British World c. 1801-1908, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. On the Australian colonies specifically, see Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder, The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History, 1740-1914, Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2018 (Australian History (Monash University Publishing)).

5 See, for example, Michael J. Lewis, City of Refuge: Separatists and Utopian Town Planning, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017; G. A. Bremner and Louis P. Nelson, “Propagating Ideas and Institutions: Religious and Educational Architecture,” in G. A. Bremner (ed.), Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016 (The Oxford History of British Empire. Companion Series), p. 159-197; Idem, Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840-1870, New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2013; Louis P. Nelson, The Beauty of Holiness: Anglicanism and Architecture in Colonial South Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2008; Dell Upton, Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia, New York, NY: Architectural History Foundation, 1986 (Architectural History Foundation books, 10).

6 Julie Willis and Philip Goad, “A Bigger Picture: Reframing Australian Architectural History,” Fabrications, vol. 18, no. 1, 2008, p. 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10331867.2008.10539619. Accessed 18 July 2020.

7 Paul Memmott’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture describes missionary architecture as “vernacular,” owing to the fact that it drew on both European and Aboriginal traditions of construction. Mission buildings, sheds and cultivated grounds were fenced off from outside to establish a “mission precinct or territory” that served to demarcate traditional Aboriginal practices and lore (outside) from the legally prescribed and spatially delimited territory of the mission (inside). Although Memmott’s work has been invaluable as a corrective against the object-oriented nature of architectural scholarship in the Australian context, his emphasis on the vernacular inherently underplays the extent to which mission stations formed part of the highly organized, transnational administrative structures of the missionary project that are prioritized in the discussion presented here. See Paul Memmott, “Mission settlements,” in Julie Willis and Philip Goad (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2012, p. 459-461.

8 In this paper, “the Queensland Government,” or “the state,” refer either to the Queensland Colonial Government, prior to Australia’s federation in 1901, or the State Government of Queensland, following Federation. Mission stations always fell within the remit of the colonial/state government and were never an explicitly federal/national issue as far as management and operational oversight were concerned.

9 Prior to colonization in 1788, more than five hundred different Indigenous nations, or clan groups, managed and developed territory—often referred to as “caring for Country”—throughout the continent in keeping with diverse cultural beliefs and complex social structures. This care included forms of agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry, as well as traditions of architecture and construction ranging from individual shelters and houses to large, semipermanent villages. Archaeologists have estimated the Aboriginal occupation of the Australian landmass to be in excess of 50,000 years. The assertion that Australia was terra nullius—or unowned according to eighteenth-century international law—allowed Captain James Cook to claim its eastern coastline on behalf of the British Empire at Possession Island, off the Cape York Peninsula, in 1770. Non-Indigenous Australians’ insights into the extent of Indigenous transformations of Country have accelerated in recent years, following publications by Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe in particular. See Bill Gammage, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2011; Bruce Pascoe, Dark Emu. Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?, Broome, WA: Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation, 2014.

10 Noel Loos, Invasion and Resistance: Aboriginal-European Relations on the North Queensland Frontier, 1861-1897, Canberra: anu Press, 1982, p. 28.

11 A. G. Stephens, Why North Queensland Wants Separation, Townsville: North Queensland Separation League, 1893, p. 7. URL: https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-666781915/. Accessed 28 June 2020.

12 Carl Lumholtz, Among Cannibals: Account of Four Years Travel in Australia, and of Camp Life with the Aborigines of Queensland, London: J. Murray, 1889, p. 373.

13 Cooktown Herald, June 24, 1874.

14 Noel Loos, Invasion and Resistance, op. cit. (note 10), p. 61.

15 William Chatfield, letter to the editor, Port Denison Times, March 5, 1881.

16 Cited in Raymond Evans, A History of Queensland, Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 138.

17 H. G. Schneider, “Mapoon, oder, wie man den Grund zu einer Mission legt,” Wecktimen: Erzählungen für die Jugend, vol. 3, 1900, p. 12-14; my translation: “Sehr häufig wiederholte sich namentlich das Folgende. Ein Weißer wurde von einem Schwarzen bestohlen. Der Bestohlene ergriff, sobald er den Diebstahl bemerkt, sein Gewehr und ging in den “Busch,” wie man den undichten australischen Wald bezeichnet. Dort Schuss er den ersten besten Eingeborenen nieder, dessen ansichtig wurde, möchte es der Dieb sein oder nicht; denn das ausfindig zu machen, war ein zu weitläufiges, ja voraussichtlich aussichtsloses Unternehmen. Einige Zeit darauf wurde dann wieder der Bestohlene oder ein andrer Weißer von den Eingeborenen aus Rache ermordet. Nun scharten sich eine Anzahl Weißer bis an die Zähne bewaffnet, suchten im Busch das Lager irgendeines Stammes auf und töteten zur Wiedervergeltung alle Eingeborenen, denen sie habhaft werden konnten, Mann, Weib und Kind.”

18 Nicholas Hey, Mission Work and Its Problems, p. 7, Sydney (Australia), State Library of New South Wales, Board of Ecumenical Missions and Relations Presbyterian Church of Australia, mlmss 1893.

19 Deborah Bird Rose, Reports from a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation, Sydney: unsw Press, 2005, p. 131.

20 Nicholas Hey, “Report, to the Convener of Foreign Missions Committee, of the State and Progress of the Mapoon Mission,” Periodical Accounts relating to the Moravian Missions, vol. 4, no. 48, 1901, p. 600. URL: http://collections.mun.ca/cdm/compoundobject/collection/cns_permorv/id/21505/rec/82. Accessed 28 July 2020.

21 Bain Attwood, The Making of the Aborigines, Sydney, Boston, MA: Allen & Unwin, 1989, p. 95.

22 On the “economy of violence,” see Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns, “A Journey through Forgetting: Toward a Jurisprudence of Violence,” in Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns (eds.), The Fate of Law, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1991, p. 209-273.

23 Ann Curthoys, “White, British, and European: Historicising Identity in Settler Societies,” in Jane Carey and Claire McLisky (eds.), Creating White Australia, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009, p. 23. See also Leigh Boucher and Lynette Russell, “‘Soliciting sixpences from township to township’: Moral Dilemmas in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Melbourne,” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 2012, p. 162. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2012.693042.

24 The earlier Moravian missions in the southern colony of Victoria were closely connected to the Queensland stations. Friedrich August Hagenauer, the Moravian missionary in charge of Ramahyuck station, was in fact instrumental to the Moravian expansion into Queensland. In 1885, Hagenauer had been commissioned by the Presbyterian Church to conduct a survey tour of northern Queensland in order to identify a suitable site for a new Moravian-Presbyterian mission; however, the plan faltered during negotiations concerning subsidies with the Queensland Government. When Hey and his colleagues arrived in Victoria in the 1890s on their way to Queensland, Hagenauer greeted his Moravian peers at the dock before taking them to see Ramahyuck. This visit made a strong impression on the recent arrivals, who described the advanced state of the mission in letters sent to Herrnhut. The Ramahyuck mission would continue to send donations to Mapoon for decades. See Matilda Ward, “Beginnings at Mapoon,” Sydney (Australia), State Library of New South Wales, Board of Ecumenical Missions and Relations, MLMSS 1893, Box 3, File 6.

25 See, for example, Peter Vogt, “‘Everywhere at Home’: The Eighteenth-Century Moravian Movement as a Transatlantic Religious Community,” Journal of Moravian History, vol. 1, 2006, p. 7-29. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41179817. Accessed 28 July 2020; Gisela Mettele, “Eine ‘Imagined Community’ jenseits der Nation. Die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine als transnationale Gemeinschaft,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft, vol. 32, no. 1, 2006, p. 51.

26 In Queensland, earlier attempts to establish mission stations had been instructed to follow the authoritative Moravian precedent. See, for example, John Dunmore Lang, Queensland, Australia: A Highly Eligible Field for Emigration, and the Future Cotton Field of Great Britain: With a Disquisition on the Origin, Manners, and Customs of the Aborigines, London: E. Stanford, 1861, p. 390.

27 Martin Gierl, “Pietism, Enlightenment, and Modernity,” in Douglas H. Shantz (ed.), A Companion to German Pietism, 1660-1800, Leiden; Boston, MA: Brill, 2015 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, 55), p. 389.

28 Gisela Mettele, “Eine ‘Imagined Community’ jenseits der Nation. Die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine als transnationale Gemeinschaft,” op. cit. (note 25), p. 54; my translation: “Die Mitglieder der Brüdergemeine bewegten sich in den großen Strukturen und zudem in verschiedenen Kulturen, verblieben dabei aber doch immer im Mikrokosmos der eigenen Gemeine, der durch ein enges Netz von Organisation, Kommunikation und gleicher Lebensweise zusammengehalten wurde. Mit den Dingen der vergänglichen Welt wollten sie möglichst wenig zu tun haben, wesentlich war die Einordnung des Mikrokosmos der eigenen Gruppe in den Makrokosmos der göttlichen Heilsordnung. Sie konstituierten sich gewissermaßen in einer Art Neben- und Gegenraum zu ihrer jeweils bestehenden Umwelt und verankerten sich auf religiöser Basis neu in einer über territoriale Grenzen hinweg gestifteten Gemeinschaft.”

29 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Connected Histories: Notes towards A Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia,” Modern Asian Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, 1997, p. 748. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/312798. Accessed 28 June 2020.

30 G. A. Bremner, Johan Lagae and Mercedes Volait, “Intersecting Interests: Developments in Networks and Flows of Information and Expertise in Architectural History,” Fabrications, vol. 26, no. 2, 2016, p. 236. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10331867.2016.1173167.

31 G. A. Bremner, “Tides That Bind: Waterborne Trade and the Infrastructure Networks of Jardine, Matheson & Co.,” Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal, no. 52, 2019, p. 43.

32 Horace Tozer, Queensland Parliamentary Debates, Brisbane: Edmond Gregory, Government Printer, 1897, p. 1538.

33 William Parry-Okeden, Report on the North Queensland Aborigines and Native Police, with Appendices, Brisbane: Edmond Gregory, Government Printer, 1897, p. 38.

34 Archibald Meston, Report on the Aboriginals of Queensland, Brisbane: Edmund Gregory, Government Printer, 1896, p. 13. URL: https://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/docs/digitised_collections/remove/92163.pdf. Accessed 28 July 2020.

35 John Macarthur has described the importance of the telegraph to foreign investment in Queensland’s gold fields at Charters Towers, located south of Cape York, during the late nineteenth century. See John Macarthur, “‘The World’ and Charters Towers: Gold, Stock Exchanges and the Electric Telegraph in the First Era of Globalisation,” in Philip Goldswain, Nicole Sully and William Taylor (eds.), Out of Place (Gwalia): Occasional Essays on Australian Regional Communities and Built Environments in Transition, Crawley, WA: UWA Publishing, 2014, p. 129-182.

36 Armand Mattelart, Mapping World Communication: War, Progress, Culture, [First published as La Communication-monde. Histoire des idées et des strategies, Paris: Éditions La Découverte, 1991; Translated by Susan Emanuel and James A. Cohen], Minneapolis, MN; London: University of Minnesota Press, 1994, p. 4.

37 G. A. Bremner, “Tides That Bind: Waterborne Trade and the Infrastructure Networks of Jardine, Matheson & Co.,” op. cit. (note 31), p. 32.

38 On the privatization of public violence, see Joseph-Achille Mbembe, “On Private Indirect Government,” in On the Postcolony, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001 (Studies on the History of Society Culture, 41), p. 66-101; Idem, On Private Indirect Government, Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, 2000.

39 On the closure of Mapoon, see Geoffrey Stephen Wharton, The Day They Burned Mapoon: A Study of the Closure of a Queensland Presbyterian Mission, Honours Dissertation, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 1996, p. 63-68.

40 Ash Amin, “Placing Globalization,” Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 14, no. 2, 1997, p. 133. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/026327697014002011.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Nicholas Hey (bottom right) pictured with his Moravian colleagues at Mapoon, Cape York, c.1893.
Légende James Ward (top left) was the original superintendent of Mapoon, however he succumbed to malarial fever within the first two years of arrival. Ward left behind his wife, Matilda (bottom left), who was the sister of Hey’s wife, Mary Anne (top right). This arrangement was in keeping with Moravian principles, which emphasised the role of Christian family life in evangelical settings.
Crédits Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS455.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 4,6M
Titre Figure 2: 1898 map of Queensland showing key infrastructures and lines of communication.
Légende Mapoon (M) is located on the western Gulf Coast of the northern Cape York Peninsula. Additional Moravian missions were established further south at Weipa (W) and Aurukun (A). Eventually, the individual Aboriginal reserves occupied by these three Moravian stations were amalgamated to form a continuous territory along the Gulf Coast.
Crédits Source: Runcorn (Australia), Queensland State Archives, item 629990, map, Queensland, showing telegraph lines and stations coastal steamer routes and primary lights, 1898.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 5,1M
Titre Figure 3: A rare photograph of a Native Mounted Police station and stables near Cooktown, c.1885.
Légende A regiment of troopers is depicted preparing to leave on a patrol. These patrols, and the often lethal violence that they engendered, were one of the key factors behind the influx of Christian missionaries into the northern districts of the colony in the late-nineteenth-century.
Crédits Source: Brisbane (Australia), State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library, Mounted Police Station in Cooktown, APO-8, Album of North Queensland Views.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 14M
Titre Figure 4: A hand-coloured photograph of the “modern village” of Mapoon, c.1900.
Légende From left to right can be seen the mission church and missionaries’ houses, set within a fenced-off and restricted precinct. Coloured photographs such as this were often used as projector slides by travelling missionaries seeking donations from church congregations throughout the Australian colonies. Black and white versions were also reproduced in missionary periodicals and circulated throughout the global missionary network.
Crédits Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS955.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 4,2M
Titre Figure 5: Plan and perspective of the Herrnhut Ortsgemein produced by J.G. Krause and Michael Keyl in 1782.
Crédits Source: Dresden (Germany), SLUB Dresden/Deutsche Fotothek.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 517k
Titre Figure 6: An imagined landscape depicting all sixty-three Moravian Ortsgemeine established before 1758.
Légende European settlements, including the important Moravian centres of Herrnhut, Saxony (1722), Herrnhaag, Hesse (1738) and Niesky, Saxony (1742) are depicted centrally – on the largest landmass presented in the image. North American settlements, including Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1741), occupy the foreground, flanked by settlements in Suriname and Guyana. Moravian missions in Asia and the Subcontinent are depicted to the right of the image alongside sites in Africa, including the first Moravian mission in South Africa at Gnadenthal (1737).
Crédits Source: Nazareth, PA (USA), Moravian Historical Society Collection, www.moravianhistory.org.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 3,3M
Titre Figure 7: Plan of the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1904.
Légende Produced by Arthur Richter – the Moravian missionary recently arrived in Cape York on his way to establishing the third Moravian station at Aurukun. 1: the mission house, 2: the Betsaal, 3: children’s dormitories, 4: Coconut Avenue, 5: the native village, 6: garden plots, 7: the Gottes Acker, 8: large coconut plantation.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 5,3M
Titre Figure 8: View of the Coconut Avenue at Mapoon depicting Aboriginal housing located outside of the Ortsgemein in the native village, c.1910.
Légende The houses shown are the second iteration of a design proposed by Hey, the first being constructed from timber and thatch and being arranged too closely together. One coconut tree was allocated to each family household, which was also provided with a garden to the rear. The fence of the Ortsgemein would have been located approximately at the point from which this photo was taken.
Crédits Source: Frank H. L. Paton, Glimpses of Mapoon: The Story of a Visit to the North Queensland Stations of the Presbyterian Church, Melbourne: Presbyterian Church of Australia, 1911, p. 14.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/png, 5,1M
Titre Figure 9: A Herrnhuter Stern, a symbol of global Moravian unity, arranged from coral at the entrance to the Mapoon Ortsgemein, c.1900.
Crédits Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS963.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 5,2M
Titre Figure 10: The original prefabricated mission house erected at Mapoon, c. 1895.
Légende Nicholas Hey is pictured in the centre of the image. Over time, numerous additions and extensions were made to the house by Hey himself, typically with assistance from Aboriginal labourers and using materials prepared in the mission’s dedicated workshop.
Crédits Source: Herrnhut (Germany), Moravian Archives, LBS963.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 4,1M
Titre Figure 11: Perspective view of “Christian Village Mapoon”, c.1910.
Crédits Source: Artist unknown. Held at the National Museum of Australia.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/8032/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 446k
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Jasper Ludewig, « Mapoon Mission Station and the Privatization of Public Violence »ABE Journal [En ligne], 17 | 2020, mis en ligne le 09 décembre 2020, consulté le 23 janvier 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abe/8032 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abe.8032

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Jasper Ludewig

Lecturer, The University of Newcastle, Australia

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