TIME LINE OF THE FIRST EXPLORATION JOURNEY
OF MORAVIANS TO LABRADOR IN THE SUMMER OF 1752


Sketch of the mission house of 1752 in Nisbet Harbour
Courtesy of Moravian Archives, Herrnhut


In the summer of 1752, the Moravian mariner and trade agent Johann Christian Erhardt (1718-1752) and four missionaries--Georg Wenzeslaus Golkowsky (1725-1813), Johann Christian Krumm (1719-1759), Matthaeus Kunz (1722-1775), Christian Friedrich Post (1710-1785)--journeyed to Labrador to establish a mission house and explore the possibilities for a Moravian settlement. The initiative was a joint missionary and trade venture. In August of 1752, the four missionaries built a log house on a stone foundation and planned to stay for a year. Jens Haven's identification of the location of the house in 1775 and archaeological and other evidence suggests that this house may have been built in Ford's Bight near Makkovik. Erhardt and the ship’s crew went farther north to trade for whalebone and then to return to England, but Erhardt vanished with six companions near an island north of the mission house, when they followed some Inuit in search of more whalebone. Their disappearance led to the temporary abandonment of the missionary initiative. On a search mission in 1753, one of the bodies from Erhardt's party was found. Although this mission ended in tragedy, the disappearance of Erhardt and his companions stimulated the Moravian carpenter Jens Haven to continue to explore the viability of a mission to the Inuit of Labrador. Three exploratory journeys (1764, 1765, 1770) and a land grant of 100,000 acres led eventually to the permanent establishment of Nain in 1771.


18 May 1752

Departure of the ship Hope from London to Labrador
under the leadership of the Moravian mariner and trade agent Johann Christian Erhardt and four Moravian missionaries

24 May

Land's End

3 July

A sailor, who died of injuries from a fall from the topmast,
is buried at sea

11 July

Erhardt identifies the Hope's location Near Cape Charles and Belle Isle

29 July

First contact with the Inuit of labrador

31 July

Landing at "Nisbet Harbour," possibly near today's Makkovik.
It was named after the ship's owner,
the Moravian businessman Sir Claude Nisbet

1 August

Erhardt and the missionaries explore the area around Nisbet Harbour,where they find a freshwater lake and a large mountain,
from which three inlets can be seen.

Erhardt calls the mountain "John's Mountain"

5 August

A suitable locale is found for building a house
near a freshwater rivulet

9 August

The foundation stone is laid and the place is named "Hopedale"
("Hoffnungsthal") in hope of what Jesus would make of their endeavour.
Later, when today's community of Hopedale was established in 1782,
it was named in honour of the first Hopedale, which was then called "Old Hopedale."

12 August

Foundation of the house is completed

13 August

Erhardt and the Brethren celebrate the founding festival of the  renewed moravian church with a holy communion service

21 August

Roof of the house is finished and The roof covered with Juniper bark

22 August

Sealing of the house and building of doors and windows

1 September

Chimney is being built

2 September

Floor of the living quarters is finished

3 September

First Dinner eaten in the new house

5 September

Erhardt and the Hope leave for more trade
with the Inuit and their return to England

12 SeptembeR

Last entry in Erhardt's diary

13 September

Erhardt and six companions, among them the captain and clerk,
follow Inuit behind an island to trade whalebone.
the party is not seen alive again.

15 September

The Hope leaves for Nisbet Harbour,
where they arrive at 5:30 pm

16 september

An UNSUCCESSful attempt is made to search for the missing men,
using the missionaries' boat 

20 September

the house is boarded up and left by the four missionaries,
who now join the crew and head toward St. John's, Newfoundland

29 September

Arrival of the Hope near St. John's Harbour

30 September

St. John's, Newfoundland

21 October

Departure of the Hope from St. John's with 132 passengers,
mainly Irish fishers employed in Newfoundland

16 November

Arrival of the Hope in Waterford, Ireland

24 November

Arrival in Deal, where missionaries Post and Kunz
go as messengers by land to London

28 November

Arrival of the missionaries Krumm and Golkowsky in Westminster,
where they are met by Count Zinzendorf and the Moravian Brethren

Hans Rollmann