«Its Causes, Course and Consequences A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in History in the ...»
Unrelenting south winds prevented the ships I departure from Ternate until 12 September, and even then the contrary winds made progress so slow that the fleet did not reach Ambon till 1 October.
At the time of Buyskes ' arrival, the state of affairs in the Moluccas was serious. All the negories of Saparua were in revolt. Fort Duurstede was in Dutch hands but so surrounded that fetching water from the well, only 25 paces from the walls, was a dangerous business. Of the negories 77 Buyskes Buitenzorg Report dated 25 September, 1818.
of Haruku only Samet and Haruka remained loyal, but many of even their inhabitants sympathized with the rebels. Nusa Laut was completely under the rebels' sway. The South coast of Ceram also was sympathetic to the rebels' cause and had sent armed men to Saparua, Haruku and Hitu. Only the Leitimor peninsula of Ambon had remained loyal.
Buyskes' first action was the dismissal of Van Middelkoop and Engelhard on the grounds of incompetence and conduct which compromised them to the extent that the civil service could not have faith in their authority.
In Van Middelkoop's case, incompetence had resulted in injudicious orders regarding the supply of timber, and the payment in paper money in areas where this could not be exchangedi both these actions were bound to lead to dissatisfaction in the population.
On 3 October Buyskes assumed control of government hims, but since, because of his military duties, he could not give it his full attention, he transferred Resident Nuys from Ternate to run the day-to-day business of government.
Buyskes was convinced that an enemy, attacked from two or more directions, can be considered defeated, especially if his discipline is weak. He made the restoration of peace in Ambon his first priority and when the twenty kora-koras from Ternate and Tidore arrived on 12 October, he was ready to deal with the rebels at Hitu peninsula.
On 10 October he had signed a Proclamation to the negories at Hitu's west coast from Wakasihoe to Hila,
attack on Hitu on 12 October was made from the sea at Larike and Hila while at the same time a land force crossed over the mountains of Hitu from Laha and Baguala, but even before these actions had started, the negory heads of Seit and Lima travelled to Ambon to offer submission. They were, however, suspect since they had left their women and children behind and so they were kept in Ambon. In most negories the government troops, on their march, were met by delegations wanting to surrender, claiming that their negories had always really been loyal, but had been forced by the Raja Oeloepaha to take part in the revolt. The few skirmishes that did take place usually ended with the flight of the rebels, hotly pursued by the Ternatese Alfur auxiliaries who killed hundreds of them.
October. Their quick success restored confidence in the government and its military force. A number of negories, which had hesitated until then, came to offer submission.
Spirits soared amongst the Ambon burgers who now were keen to fight the rebels. More than 300 volunteered and they were armed with weapons confiscated from the rebels.
Buyskes decided to lead the operation against Haruku and Saparua personally. The negories of Pilauw and Kailolo showed only weak resistance. Buyskes had given orders that pilauw was not to be destroyed but, "to punish the rebels and at the same time satisfy the rapacious auxiliaries, a plunder of 24 hours was permitted". The
Proclamation had reached the mountains and now hundreds of villagers returned. All rebels were locked up in the church and it was felt that an example had to be set. Twenty one leaders, including the aged schoolmaster, were picked out and led to the church square where they got orders to kneel and say their prayers, after which they were executed. Was this punishment legal? Was it useful? Much discussion took place later regarding its legality. On the matter of its usefulness some have argued that the shooting was a salutary warning but others felt that all it did was to strengthen the resolve of the rebels. In the light of what happens in our twentieth century, we should perhaps be careful with our judgement. Ver Huell l s comment is worth
"It is certain that this punishment had a strong influence on all the people who were still rebellious and it has saved much blood, since the idea of surrender now took stronger root. It was therefore essential that a severe example was seti and as strict justice was observed, they became convinced that this war was not waged against them out of bloodthirst, but to bring them back from their erring waysn80.
Ver Huell obviously tried to extenuate the executions but he is hardly convincing. It must be remembered that the promise of an amnesty had been given in such wide terms that, on the strength of it, people had returned from the forests or mountains to surrender. Where Ver Huell argues that the punishment had a strong influence for the good and saved a lot of bloodspilling since "the idea of surrender now took stronger roots", Van Rees reasons: "They no longer trusted promises of pardon and did not dare leave the forest". The
their numbers increased steadily. Their fortifications of coralstone came ever closer to the fort and the negory of Tiouw, a little inland from Duurstede, could be seen to have been well strengthened with stone parapets. The nature of the coral stone was such that it stopped and smothered bullets while the walls remained intact, making it useless to squander powder and bullets on them from the heavy ship's guns.
come from Duurstede, already in government's hands, and from Porto and Haria, where a landing was made without much resistance. In the fighting both these negories were burned down. Both government detachments now pushed on to Tiouw. It was a difficult march, the road was a narrow
the negories: nOne cannot wonder enough at the construction of the enemy's defences; walls of coral stone 12 to 14 feet thick and 15 feet high, buttressed on both sides with heavy beams which could not be penetrated by thirty pounders".
had always considered State and Church as one entity.
Interference with religion meant that the government was disloyal to the church of God and therefore they would no longer be bound to obey the temporal ruler who had broken
On 10 November a forced march from Tiouw left early in the morning: four hundred men under Captain Krieger, plus 150 Ternatese Alfurs. Now, for the first time, the troops encountered the traverses built by Matulesia (see p.25) at Siri-Sori. At the same moment the Ternatese kora-kora fleet under their prince 0 Toessan, stormed the beaches and after surprisingly little resistance nine fortifications were taken and Siri-Sori was in their hands.
In front of the church the troops found a table, set
rather unlikely and a more logical explanation would be that the set table was meant as a gesture of friendship and submission.
The only real opposition was met at the negories of Oelat and Ow. A reconnoitering party of sixty men reported that the enemy was numerous, had strong fortifications and was well supplied with fire-arms. Major Meyer, the officer commanding, did not want to attack immediately because he had sent several detachments into the mountains to spread proclamations and arrest fugitive Heads, and his forces were thus depleted. Although he deemed it wiser to await the return of these detachments, he allowed his mind to be changed by his second in command, Captain Krieger. Krieger and probably Meyer himself felt that the report of such a strong force at Oelat and Ow was probably exaggerated and advanced on the negories with a force that had been reduced to 118 men. Due to a shortage of ammunition the order 85 Buyskes Buitenzorg Report.
was given for a bayonet charge. Despite the fact that all officers were wounded in the charge (Major.Meyer was to die of his wounds some weeks layer) eight stone and log bulwarks were taken. But when the force entered Ow, which lies at the foot of a steep mountain, they found themselves surrounded by enemy fire. The Javanese soldiers faltered and only the threat of fire from their own troops induced them to stand firm. The enemy force numbered several thousands. Meyer's troops, in the shelter of the conquered bulwarks, held their ground and during the night received reinforcement of a hundred man strong naval detachment from Tiouw. This force held out till midday the next day when further reinforcements in the form of three Ternatese kora-koras arrived. The enemy now fell back and the negory was taken. The rebels had fought bravely, inspired, not by the Rajah of the negory, Paulus Triago, but by his sixteenyear-old daughter Christina Martha. She had helped with the building of the fortifications and, when the ammunition ran out, she was the first to throw stones at the troops. In the end she was dragged, half suffocated, out of the burning house, still clutching a spear in her hand. This was the end of the resistance.
Thomas Matulesialived in style, first in the Resident's house in Saparua and then in a house in Haria. He granted his wife the title of "Princess of Saparua". He had a
the Regents to dinner. On the other hand he saw to it that the negories he had subjected, or which had chosen his side, remained orderly. The daily work went on as usual and the Sundays were dedicated to religion. Unreliable Regents were dismissed and lax ones were punished. He rejected a proposition to destroy the clove culture; in fact he did all in his power to promote it.
A circular dated 29 September 1817 shows how firmly
Pattimura kept a hand on the Christian faith:
"TO all regents of the island of Ceram. In the first place: I hereby instruct you all, rajas, pattis, orang kajas, that you see to it, as far as possible, that all Christians, be they members of the community or not, both men and women, continue to live in peace such as we have been used to, and that you continue to further the interests of our Christians in accordance with the commandments of the Almighty who is in heaven. This must be done by going to Church on Sundays and attending the gatherings during the week. Let no one be careless about keeping God's commandments - so that we may gain strength and encouragement in this war which must serve to improve our lot and that of our country.
Secondly, you must see to it that the children go to school. According to our custom, all mothers and fathers must entrust their children into the teacher's care, so that they can be taught the word of God as becomes a Christian, for the glory of our country, in accordance with God's holy will.
Furthermore, if any of you does not fulfil this instruction, he will be sentenced and punished, he will be killed and all his family with him".
Matulesia, it is clear, saw himself as a guardian of the Christian faith which he felt was threatened by the government. He did not, however, regard himself as a prophet, still less as a messiah. He remained a staunch Calvinist to the end.
negor~ across the bay from Siri-Sori, approached the Dutch commander, offering to deliver Matulesia to him, provided he was given some troops to accompany him. The Raja of Boi had been deposed by Matulesia. The Dutch were at this point only too willing to make use of the internal dissension amidst the Ambonese. Lt. Pietersen, an Ambonese officer, with forty men in twoorembaais was sent with the Raja. He entered a house pointed out to him and indeed did find Matulesia "dejected and not knowing what to do next". Pietersen advised Matulesia to surrender and when the latter hesitated he was taken prisoner by the Raja of Boi. Once on board the "Evertsen" :r.1atulesia refused to say very much and when the Ternatese Prince 0 Toessan asked him how he could have been so rash as to make war on a body as powerful as the "Company" he remained silent IIbut looked at the Prince with eyes full of 10athing,,87.
burn all the boats belonging to the rebels. On landing on the beach of Paparoe to burn anorembaa;h, the owner, an old villager pleaded with the soldiers not to destroy his sole means of existence, in return for which he would show them the hideout of Latumahina, the third in command of the rebels.
Latumahina was arrested without any resistance. Two other important rebel leaders, Anthony Rhebok and Thomas Pattiwael, were also arrested, but the author has not been able to find any particulars or dates.
the Resident Van den Berg was still alive, having been looked after by one Solomon Pattiwael and his wife, sent out patrols to locate the child, without luck, but on 12 November a band
of rebels came to surrender and brought the boy with them.
He was in reasonable health and was in due course handed over by Ver Huell to his grandparents in Sourabaya.
pleadings of his daughter Christina Martha, and executed on Nusa Laut. The girl, on account of her youth, was set free and given in the care of the schoolmaster of Nusa Laut.
After the execution of the chief rebels at Ambon (see p. 119 ) the lesser rebels were banished to Java and placed aboard the "Evertsen". To Ver Heull's surprise the girl Christina Martha was among them.
care of the schoolmaster and had taken to roaming alone in the forest, living on wild fruit. Soon her fellow countrymen, steeped in superstition, saw her as a witch or Sawah (an evil spirit), and the Commissioner had decided that she should not stay there" •
orders to take the girl there, where she could be properly cared for. But she had lost the will to live, pined away and died before the ship reached port. She was buried at sea.