Geelvink Bay : Carl Wilhelm Ottow and Johann Gottlob Geissler, A Brief Survey of the Land and People on the Northeast Coast of New Guinea (Mansinam, 29 January 1857)


  • Jan A. Godschalk


Translator's Introduction Carl Wilhelm Ottow was born on 24 January 1827 in Luckenwalde, south of Berlin, Germany. His father (who died in 1830) worked in the cloth-making trade, and Carl was apprenticed in it by repairing uniforms. His mother (she was married again before too long to her late husband’s brother), a devout but domineering woman of strict Pietist and Lutheran convictions, had a great influence on him, and Carl developed early in life a strong zeal to evangelize. Through the impact of the preaching of the Revd Johannes Gossner in Berlin he became convinced of his call to mission work abroad. In 1852 he was set apart as a missionary workman in Gossner’s Bethlehem church. Soon after Ottow left for Holland to take a brief training session with the Revd Ottho Heldring in Zetten (Hemmen). There he also met his future co-worker Johann Gottlob Geissler. Geissler was born on 18 February 1830 in Langen-Reichenbach, near Torgau (in Saxony, Germany). His father was a tailor and an active Lutheran.