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A 19th century system of agricultural exploitation and taxation in kind in Java, Netherlands East Indies (NEI), introduced by governor-general Van den Bosch (1830 4) to pay for the expensive Java War (1825 30).

Fine reproductions are available by clicking the image.
Java - Indonesia - Stableboy with Horse

The Javanese had to produce cash crops on an agreed proportion of their land, initially 20 per cent, which were shipped to The Netherlands and sold for the Dutch government by the Nederlandse Handelsmaatschappij (Netherlands Trading Company).

By 1850 about 45 per cent of the population of Java was subject to the system, which was liable to be abused by local officials, particularly in the selection of the land to be used, and the percentage of the yield involved.

Ship rigged with mat sails.

This policy led to an improvement of the NEI infrastructure, and was very profitable for The Netherlands, with profits from the colonies providing up to a third of the government income in the 1850s. But liberals regarded it as forced labour.

Bradstreet Rairden, Jr. (son of Mary Tarbox Rairden of Woolwich, Maine, and Captain Bradstreet Rairden of the 347-ton bark Henry Warren) went to sea in November 1874. He took command of the bark Evie Reed at Portland Maine in August 18, 1881 at the age of 23 and left the vessel due to sickness with Java fever, at Batavia, Java on March 1884. He settled at Aujer and set up as ship-chandler and commission merchant. He also became the United States consul in Batavia.

Old Port, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia.

In July 1888, Emma Pray of the China trade ship Governor Goodwin, arrived at Anjer-Lor to discover that the ship chandlers were Scott and Rairden, "the only English speaking men in Anjer." When he met Emma, Mr. Rairden courteously invited her to "go down to his house, and see his wife, and said we ere to stop of tiffin with him. I didn't know that the had a wife," Emma commented, but went along anyway, to "a very pretty little house, and found Mrs. Rairden to be a young Englishwoman." Her maiden name was Frances Elizabeth Collins (born in Bootle, England, July 16, 1865); she had arrived in Java on the bark John A. Gaunt with her sister, her brother-in-law being the captain. Over the five weeks that the ship had lain in Anjer, Frances "met Mr. Rairden, became engaged to him, and two days before the vessel was to sail, they were married on board ship by a minister whom they sent for from Singapore.

The Indonesian coat of arms bears the inscription ‘Unity in Diversity’. There are over 300 socio-linguistic groups in Indonesia, each with a distinct culture and heritage. Only about one in six Indonesians speaks the national language at home. Even fewer speak Indonesian as their first language. The mother tongue of the vast majority is a regional language, for example, Javanese, Balinese, Minangkabau or Acehnese. Nursery rhymes, childhood stories, myths, legends and cultural mores are as diverse as the languages. Not surprisingly, most Indonesians first develop a regional identity, only learning the national language, Indonesian, when they begin school and with it an Indonesian identity.

February 10, 1864, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

The Cruise of the Pirate Alabama in the Java Waters.
From our files of the Singapore Straits Times, which are to December 4th,
we extract the following:
The Alabama at Anjer.

From the Extra which was issued to our subscribers early this morning, and which we now reprint, together with some further particulars of the capture of the two American ships Amanda and Winged Racer, by the CSS AlabamaShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports., it will be perceived that our own eoci eoturcs regarding the whereabouts of this renowed Confederate cruiser have been pretty near the mark.CSS Alabama. Builder, Captain, Plans.We doubted, from the first, the presence of the Alabama in the Bay of Bengal; because the field there was decidedly inferior, in print of attraction, to that of the neighborhood of the Straits of Sunda; and besides, the risk of capture was more than had to be encountered in the latter vicinity. The amount of American shipping which, to and from China, Java and the Archipelago, must find its way through the Straits of Sunda and the Straits of Malacca, quadruples the gross of that which is loaded in all the ports of the Bay of Bengal, and in addition to this, the cargoes of the former ships are generally of a much superior value. Another advantage obtained by the Confederate vessels by cruising in these parts, is the constant fine weather, and the consequent greater effectiveness of steam power, as well as the immense number of ports to which they may by turn resort for repairs and outfits. Captain Raphael Semmes.

It will be seen by a perusal of the extract which we give from the Java Times, that the communication which was made to Captain Semmes regarding the proximity of the United States steamer Wyoming had not the effect of intimidating him, but that the Alabama continued to cruise about, no doubt confident that it was time enough to take to her heels when in Federal pursuer.

The Alabama mounts, it is said, six guns and two pivots; but as she is a slight built boat, it is not probable that she contemplates a trial of strength with her enemies her defence is her speed, and we know that in this respect the is far superior to the Wyoming, and at least equal to the Vanderbilt. We have seen that these Confederate vessels have invariably been enabled, in some way or other, to rendezvous, and it is more than probable that the Georgia and Tuscaloosa are not far away; indeed, it is quite likely enough that one or the other of them may turn up here at any hour.

Raphale Semmes. Author Warren F. Spencer.

Nothing would be more welcome to Captain Semmes than to encounter one of the private American steamers which continue to pass this on their way to China; these vessels are invariably of great speed, and it might be thought that for this reason they are safe; but, besides the chance there is of their falling to strategy, we know that thry are seldom, when on their voyage out, in a condition to put forth their full powers, and would doubtless, after a long chaae, fall to such a pursuer as the Alabama. If one of those vessels did so fall, we knew very well that the torch would be spared in her case, to make her the means of still further spreading the flams to Federal property. We do not think Captain Semmes can be ignorant of the number of these steamers that find their way through the Straits ol Malacca, and for this, among other reasons, we conclude that before very long we shall have an opportunity of inspecting the Alabama for ourselves. It is to be hoped that if what we say proves true, the Confederaate cruisers will receive a somewhat less encouraging reception here than was given to them at Cape Town.

The Capture of the "Amanda" and Winged Racer."

Batavia, November 14th. 1863. 0n the morning of the 12th instant the officers and crew of the American ship Amanda (660 tons register) arrived here at the United States Consulate, reporting that on the night of Friday, the 6th instant, one hundred and twenty miles south south-west of Java Head, in the Indian Ocean, the Amanda was burned by the so-called Confederate steamer Alabama, Semmes commander. She had on board a full cargo of sugar aiid hemp shipped by Messrs. Ker & Co. of Manila, asd bound to Queenstown. After the crew of the Amanda were taken on board the Alabama, the vessel was burned, and the Alabama steered for Sunda Straits, where she arrived at night-time and anchored close under the coast of Sumatra.

When there, she was informed by a Dutch vessel lying at anchor, that the U.S. Steamer Wyoming was at Batavia, upon which she steamed on, alwas keeping close to the Sumatra coast, and finally running out of Sunda Straits, stood in near North Island on the 10th, and at 5 p.m. signalized the American clippership Winged Racer (770 tons register), Cummins, commander, which was owned by Robert L. Taylor, Esq. of New York, and had on board a full cargo of sugar and hemp, bound from Manila to New York, shipped hy Messrs. Peele, Hubble & Co. After distributing, her crew in three of the ship's boats, they were permitted to take such clothing, provisions and water they wanted and the boats could carry, and the ship was burnt. Captain Cummins, who had his wife and child, went on board the British ship Julia, bound from Shanghai to London, then at anchor not far off, and they were landed at Anjer. The Alabama then put ihe crew of the Amanda into a boat in which they arrived at Batavia.

The Winged Racer sunk at half past eight. When the Alabama was last seen she was steering for the northward. The U. S. steamer Wyoming left Batavia, on the morning of the 8th inst, for a cruise; having been detained at Batavia in order to repair her machinery. The Amanda was the first vessel destroyed by the Alabama since she left Cape Town.

By later telegram, the Alabama was cruising between North Inland and Nicolas Point. The Wyoming had gone on a cruise to Christmas Island, supposed to be a coaling station for rebel steamers.

From the Java Times, November 13th.

Great excitement was occasioned yesterday forenoon by the intelligence that the crews of two American vessels, captured by the celebrated Alabama, had arrived in an almost destitute condition from the coast at the American Consulate. The news spread like wildfire, and the speedy arrival of the cruiser herself at Batavia, as well as the probable reception she would meet with from the Government, became the general subjects of conversation.

We are able to give our reades the following information regardeing the capture of these vessels, which we obtained from some of the crew of one of them. The account therefore, though undoubtedly true in the main, if not altogether, must not be taken as official.

On Thursday last, the Amanda, Captain Larrabee, 600 tons burden, Stewards and Cronsbury, of Bangor, Maine, owners, bound from Manila to Cork, for orders, with a cargo of 315 tons sugar, and 4000 bales hemp, loaded, we believe, by Messrs. Ker & Company, of Manila, for account of Messrs. Halliday, Fox & Company, of Longon, when about 200 miles from Java Head, and in company with two or three British vessels, was steering southwest. A large vessel was perceived coming up astern, and was taken for a Spanish gunboat, but, on nearing, she showed the British colors, and ordering the Amanda to back her mainyard and lay by, informed her that a boat would immediately be sent off to her.

A boat was accordingly lowered, filled with armed men, and sent alongside the doomed vessel, when the Alabama hoisted the Confederate flag, (white ground, with a red square, a blue cross and thirteen stars). The lieutenant, on coming aboard the Amanda, ordered the master and mate to accompany him to the cruiser, and to bring with him the ship's papers and other documents. They were then conducted betore Captain Semmes, who, after perusing the papers, pronounced the Amanda to be the legally captured prize of the Alabama. Hereafter they were sent back to their own ship, and with the rest of the crew were ordered to break bulk. This lasted till midnight, when the bedding of the crew was cut up into small pieces, laid all over the hold, and set on fire. The men were then, almost suffocated, sent on board the Alabama, and placed below in irons, with the exception of one man who was sick. Next morning they were turned on deck.

The Alabama then bore towards the coast of Sumatra, where they on Sunday morniog spoke a Dutch merchantman, who informed them that the Wyoming had been at Batavia, but had left that port on a cruising expedition. Next morning she made weigh and stood for the straits, and when abreast of North Island saw a vessel making for the Sumatra coast. The Alabama fired two shots after her, and showed the St. George's cross. The vessel hoisted the American colors, when a boat with armed men was sent alongside; the St. George's cross was then lowered, and the Confederate flag was. She proved to be the Winged Racer of New York, 1,800 tons burthen, bound from Manila to New York, laden with cargo of sugar.

The master went on board alone and the two mates had to follow afterwards, when an officer of the Alabama took her in charge and brought her to in anchor near North Island, under the range of the Alabama's guns. The Winged Racer was ther stripped of all her ropes, sails, coals, provisions and nautical instruments, and set on fire, she sank at about half-past eight on the morning of the 11th inst. The men then got into their own boats, and were allowed to take with them a few articles of clothing, water, raw salted beef, three muskets and some gunpowder. The crew of the Amanda were also placed in one of the boats, with a few provisions and articles of clothing. The master of the Winged Racer, with his wife, childr and nurse, were transferred to the British vessel Julia, from Shanghai to London, which will probably land them at Anjer. During their stay on board the Alabama they were most kindly treated, and allowed ths same rations as the crew.

The Amanda was valued by Captain Semmes at $140,000 and the Winged Racer at $300,00.

The Alabama has six guns and two pivots. When the Alabama was last seen, she was steering to the northward. This is the fifty-eighth prize that she has captured.

Statement of the Chief Mate of the Amanda

The following is the statement made on oath be fore the Deputy Commissioner of Police here, by the Chief Mate of the late ship Amanda, destroyed in Sunda Straits by the Alabama;

I am the chief officer of the U. S. barque Amanda commanded by Isia Lerby. We left Manila on the 22nd of September, bound for Queenstown, in Ireland, for orders. Our crew consisted of fourteen, including oficers and one female stewardess. Our cargo consisted of hemp and sugar. I cannot state the value of it, but we had a full ship, and the Amanda's tonnage is six hundred tons. On the 6th of this month, 120 miles SSW of Java Head, at 4 p.m., we saw a steamer coming up astern. I was on deck at the time and immediately gave intimation of the same to the Captain. At this time we had no ensign up, and when three miles from as, this steamer, which has since turned out to be the Confederate steamer Alabama, fired a gun l believe it was a blank cartridge. We at once hoisted tbe American flag, never dreaming that the Alabama was it those waters, the, too, hoisted the American flag. She then came up alongside, under our lee, and hailed us, ordering us to back the malntopsail and saying that she would board us.

Our Captain gave the nenessary orders, and an armed boat's crew came on board, with two officers. They asked the Captain our ship's name, and at the same time the boats boarded us, the Alabama chained the American flag for the Confederate flag. Our Captain gave the ship's name, and stated that she was an American ship, when the officer informed him that she was a prize to the Confederate war steamer Alabama, and told him to get his papers and report himself alongside of the Alabama, at the same time ordering myself and the second officer into tbe boats. We all went on board the Alabama leaving the prize ofiicer and his crew, as also our own, on board of the Amanda. When we got on board the Alabama, we were placed beween two guns. The Captain was called into the cabin before Captain Semmes and gave up his papers, Our ship was then condemned, and we were sent back with orders to bring one bag of clothing to eact man. Our baggage was all collected, the captain being allowed one box, and all was put int the Alabama's boats, with the captain and stewardess, who returned to the Alabama. The boat then returned with the First Lieutenant, sailmaker, boatswain and carpenter. I was then ordered with my crew to break out the provisions, which was done. This occupied us until half-past eleven at night . The main hatch was broken open to get at the cargo of sugar, but being low down we could not get at it. We were than ordered into the boats and the ship set fire to, in the following manner: The bedding from our staterooms was burst open, and the straw and coir saturated with kerosene oil, placed below the cabin table, and a quantity of loose hemp forward was also fired. We left her, but kept sight of her till 2 a.m., when she was out of sight, owing to the weather being thick. There is no doubt though, that the ship was perfectly destroyed.

At 2 a. m., the fires of the Alabama were allowed to go down, and the steam let off and sail made, standing away to the northward and eastward. We were all, except our captain, put in irons and placed in two boats which were hanging to the davits. Our captain was placed with the engineers. The next morning the irons were taken off and we were not again ironed. Two days after this, at 4 p.m., we came to anchor on the coast of Sumatra, near Flat Point, and lay there till the 10th when we got under weigh with steam and sail, and proceeded through the Straits of Sunda, keeping close in to the coast of Sumatra. At 4 p.m. on this day, we made the U. S. clipper ship Winged Racer, and when close enough for her to be made out as an American ship, the Alabama hoisted the St George Cross, or English white ensign. The Winged Racer was standing in shore trying to come to anchor, and did not answer the flag. The Alabama then fired a blank shot; the Winged Racer then then hoisted her ensign but did not heave to. The Alabama then fired another gun, which caused the Winged Racer to heave to. The same course was then followed as with our ship. The Winged Racer left Manila shortly after us, and was bound for New York. This ship, alter being condemned, was taken into near North Island, when she was brought to anchor and her provisions brought on board the Alabama. The Captain of the Winged Racer received orders to fit out two of his boats to convey his baggage and crew to any place he liked to go to; our Captain was also ordered to fit out another of the boats for himself and our carew. The boats were fitted and provisionss for about two days -- a box of bread and four pieces of raw salt beef, without means to cook it, some water, but no spirits. When all the boats were ready it was about 2 a.m. on the 11th. We were then ordered to leave the ship and steer for North Island, distant about five miles. At 3 a.m. we saw the Winged Racer on fire. We anchored our boats close into the shore until daylight, our boat leaking very bad, and requiring two men constantly to bail her. At daylight we were obliged the haul our boat up and repair her. After we finished this, there were three vessels seen at anchor, about eight miles off the Island, so we proceeded to them. The other two boats of the Winged Racer had reached them. Two of the vessels were English; one, the Julia, a full-rigged ship, which we boarded; the other's name I do not know. The third was a Spanish ship. The Captain of the Julia took Captain Cummings of the Winged Racer, who had his wife with him, as passenger to Anjer, while the rest of us stood for Batavia, where our boat reached next day at 10 a.m.; one of the Winged Racer's boats coming in there also, at 5 p.m., and the third boat going to Anjer.

On arrival in Batavia, we all went to the U. S. Consul, who found boarding homes for us, the crew being sent on board the guard ship. We were three days in Batavia, when we were sent up here by the Dutch mail steamer, in all twenty-two, leaving behind our Captain. Captain Cammings and his wife, and about twenty men. I brought a letter from the Consul at Batavia to the Consul here, and he has given usi an order to be admitted into the Sailor's Home. What we are to do I cannot say: none of us have anything but a few clothes, having lost everything we possessed when taken by the Alabama. The Alabama stood away to the northward, and where she has gone to I cannot say.

The crew of the Alabama are principally foreigners, viz: French, Dutch, English, Irish, and almost every nation, and from what I could hear while on board, they have generally been taken out of prizes. While on board, the greater part of our men were asked to volunteer: one did; he was a Dutchman. The officers of the Alabama are all Southerners, except one who is an Englishman; he was prizemaster on board our ship. The Alabama's crew consisted of 160 all told. The crew boast that none of them have either been wounded or sick since the ship has been on commission.

The officers of the Alabama stated that the capture of our vessel and the Winged Racer made up their number of prises to fifty-nine.

HIRAM E. SWAYNE, Chief Officer
Taken and stated, this 19th day of November, I863, before me,
K. B. S. Robertson
Deputy Com. of Police

Movements of Federal Cruisers

By our latest advices from Mauritius, the Vanderbilt was still lying there, but neither the Wyoming nor Dacotah had yet made their appearance. Nothing is mentioned of the Alabama and other Confederate cruisers, either in the Mauritius or Indian papers. The Federal war steamer Wyoming returned to Batavia on the 30th ultimo for coals, fresh provisions, etc.. after, we believe, an unsuccessful cuise outside the Straits of Sunda, and sailed again on the 8th instant for a similar cruise. Times, Nov 21st.

The American steamer Wyoming arrived in the harbor a few days ago, and left the following evening. She is still cruising about outside the harbor limits, but in sight of the town. Times, December 4th.

January 29, 1896, Echo, London, United Kingdom


Sunda Strait. 1888.

While boring for water north of Burlington, Java, the operator who was running the drill, found it had struck a layer of sand and wet earth, in which was thickly mixed seaweed and small shells, at a depth of 150 feet. After passing through this the drill struck a mass of bones, that were so hard the 6-inch casing was broken and the drill destroyed. Samples of the bone brought to the surface show it to be pure ivory. It is thought to bo the bed of an ancient lake, and that the bones of some monster of a remote period have been discovered.

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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