Timeline of Events Relating to the Wellington Valley Mission

1824 - 1827


    * October: John Harper, schoolmaster of the Native Institution, sent to the Wellington Valley agricultural station by Reverend William Walker to reconnoitre the site for a possible Wesleyan Missionary Society mission. Harper was formally employed by the Society in April 1825 to conduct the mission on a £20 salary. He spends almost two years based on the settlement, working with Aborigines and convicts, also conducting various exploratory excursions. His account of his proceedings, recorded in a diary for the Society, provide the first detailed observations of local Aboriginal society and culture.


    * June: John Harper returns to Parramatta to front a special district meeting of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, called to investigate claims that he had presented an ”exaggerated picture of his proceedings at Wellington Valley”, after extracts from his diary are published in the colonial press. Harper is cleared, but the Wellington Valley mission is abandoned and Harper proceeds to Twofold Bay. The Wesleyans ultimately fail to obtain the land grant and financial assistance required to proceed with a mission.