Document of the month - December 2009

The Document of the month - December 2009 is a letter from Hans Paludan Smith Schreuder to the head office of Norwegian Mission Society, written in South Africa, 1844.

About the document

The provenance of this document is evident. It was written by Schreuder 16 November 1844 in Umlaze to "Bestyrelsen for det norske Missionsselskab", i.e. the head office of the Norwegian Mission Society (NMS) in Stavanger, Norway. The letter was received by the General Secretary and kept among the records of this unit of the NMS administration.

In the catalogue of the Mission Archives it belongs to collection A-1045, "The office of the General Secretary", box 130, "Incoming letters, from the Mission fields", folder 1, "Incoming letters 1844-1848, South Africa".

Of all the documents in the Mission Archives this document is most likely the oldest item received from a mission field of NMS. It is, however, known that Schreuder sent at least two letters from South Africa to Norway earlier in 1844, but the location of these originals is currently not known by the Mission Archives.

At some point in the early 20th century (perhaps around 1920) binders with steel rings were introduced in the archives of the NMS administration. A lot of documents were mounted in these binders, and the holes can be seen in the left edge of this letter. When the collection was catalogued in 1983 (or perhaps earlier) the documents were removed from the binders and placed in the current folders and boxes.

About the creator

Hans Paludan Smith Schreuder (1817-1882) from Sogndal, Norway, was a missionary in South Africa 1844-1882. He got his candidatus theologiae degree in theology from the University of Oslo in 1841, and he was ordained in Oslo 10 May 1843. In 1866 he was ordained in Bergen as Bishop of Mission of the Lutheran Church of Norway.

Schreuder and E. E. Thommesen (b. 1819) were the two first missionaries of the Norwegian Mission Society (NMS). They departed from Kristiania (Oslo) 5 July 1843. Schreuder served in NMS until 1873, when he established and led "The Church of Norway Mission by Schreuder".

Published: 2009‑12‑30