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pepper, and wax, form the exports. Gum-lac, in considerable quantities, is to be met with on this part of the coast.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Cattle are in great plenty, as well as ducks and fowls; of fruits and vegetables they have an abundance. The water here is very good; it runs from the rock, and is conveyed in bamboos in many places, on the starboard side, so that your boat may haul under them, and fill; the largest is about 200 yards above the first.
COINS.-Accounts are kept in rix dollars and stivers; 48 stivers making 1 rix dollar. Spanish dollars and most of the Indian coins pass, nearly at the same rates as at Batavia.
WEIGHTS. Both Dutch and Chinese weights are in common use.
AYER RAJA.-This settlement is in latitude 1° 58' S. The town, which is about two miles up a small river, is difficult to find, it being in the woods, were it not for the flag-staff, which may be seen a considerable distance; bring that to bear E., and anchor about two miles from the shore. It is a dangerous place to anchor at, as you cannot clear the land, should it blow hard, and you will ride very badly. It is not prudent to send your own boat into the river, as at low water the surf breaks very high upon the bar.
INDRAPOUR.-From Indrapour Point, in latitude 2° 10′ S., longitude 100° 55′ E., the coast forms an extensive bay, at the bottom of which is a river, one of the largest in the S. part of this coast, and capable of admitting sloops.
MOCO MOCO, in latitude 2° 36′ S., and longitude 101° 12′ E., is situated at the bottom of a bay; the two points that form it are covered with tall trees. The fort, which is called Fort Ann, lies on the S., and the settlement on the N. side of a small river, called Se Luggan, which name properly belongs to the place also, and that of Moco Moco to a small village higher up. The bazar consists of about 100 houses. At the N. end is the Sultan's, which has nothing particular to distinguish it, except its being larger than other Malay houses. The anchorage is abreast of the fort, in 10 fathoms, soft ground. Here you must not attempt going on shore in your own boat, but must wait till a boat comes from the shore to carry you in over the surf.
TRADE.—The exports from this place are pepper and gold-dust. The annual produce of the former is about 170 tons, and that of the latter 800 to 1000 ounces. It is sent to Bencoolen, from whence the articles required for their consumption and internal commerce are imported.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-All provisions and refreshments are easily procured here, except water, which is obtained with difficulty, in
consequence of the heavy surf and shoal water which prevent the use of your own boats; but the natives will bring it off, charging about 14 Spanish dollar per butt.
Between Moco Moco and Bencoolen are the several places from whence the Company received pepper, the principal of which are
Ippoe, or Aypour, in lat. 3° 10′ S., which produces annually from 30 to 35 tons of pepper. Cattown, or Caytone 2° 25′ S., ditto......... 20 to 25 ditto.
3° 40' S., ditto..........
...100 to 120 ditto.
and at each of which they had an European resident. The produce varies of course, as the seasons are more or less productive, but on an average does not exceed the above amount.
BENCOOLEN, till its recent transfer to the Dutch, the principal English settlement on the W. Coast of Sumatra, and to which all the others were subordinate, is in latitude 3° 48′ S., and longitude 102° 28′ E. Fort Marlborough and the town are built on Oojong Carrang, a point of land, having a level appearance, and moderately elevated.
The best place for anchoring in Bencoolen roads is the flag-staff E.N.E., Pulo Point S. E. by S., and Rat Island S. W. by S. Ships sometimes run into Pulo Bay to anchor; the best place is where Sandy Point bears N., about half a mile from the Company's godowns.
Should an European ship expect to be detained long here, it would be advisable to moor in Rat Island basin, it being safe in all weathers; and boats are able to make a trip each day with the land and sea breezes, and the goods are secure in the boats, which is not the case in the roads; for sometimes the North-westers give so short a warning, that boats, with half loading, are obliged to put off for Pulo Bay. In going ashore from the ship, keep the Company's hospital, which is to the S., on the starboard bow, or right a-head, till you come near the shore, or S. point of the rocks; then you will have the channel open, and the S. breakers without you; then stand right in for the sugar-loaf, keeping nearest the breakers from the shore, till you have the fort on your beam; then steer in for the carrang, or landing place, the passage into which lies close to a bluff red point, with a grove of trees on it.
A ship running for Bencoolen in a North-wester, should, after making Rat Island, bring it to bear S., and keep close to the reef, with the island S. by E. E., pitch of the reef N. W., distance from the reef 60 fathoms, and close to the buoy in 8 fathoms, when she will be tolerably sheltered, and enabled to take the first opportunity of hauling into the basin.
By the treaty with the Netherlands of 17th March, 1824, Bencoolen, and the other British possessions on Sumatra, are ceded to the Dutch, in
exchange for Malacca, and the claims of the latter on Singapore. The British Government, moreover, engages that no establishment shall be made on the Carimon Isles, Battam, Bintang, Lingen, or any other island S. of Singapore, nor any treaty concluded with the Chiefs of those islands.
TRADE. Whilst this settlement was in our possession, the European imports were chiefly for the consumption of the Company's establishment. The commodities sent hither from India were principally piece-goods and opium; of late years this trade was altogether carried on by the country vessels. English goods were either sold by invoice, with an advance according to demand, or by auction, the charge for which was 7 per cent. The Company's chief object in trading here was pepper; but latterly much attention was paid to agriculture at Bencoolen, and the spice plantations have so thriven, that, in 1821, it was computed that the produce of nutmegs exceeded the average consumption of Britain by about 4000 lbs.
DUTIES. With the exception of foreign opium, all imports were admitted free by Reg. 1819. The Dutch Government will probably assimilate the duties and regulations of this port to that of Java.
PILOTAGE RATES.-An European pilot was stationed at Rat Island; rates as follow:
Vessels mooring in the basin to pay pilotage, whether pilot be employed
or not; but vessels coming into the roads, or proceeding to Pulo Bay, were chargeable only when a pilot was employed.
WHARFAGE was charged to Government at the rate of 50 cash, or 4 annas per ton, computed as in the next article.
BOAT HIRE: For landing or shipping goods, the charge was not to exceed 1 dollar per ton, to be computed thus :-grain, saltpetre, salt, or other heavy articles, 13 bags, of 164 lbs. each, to the ton; pepper, 16 Cwt. to the ton; wine, 2 pipes to the tun; beer, and other hogsheads, 4 to the ton; cases and bales by measurement, 50 cubic feet to the ton; lead, iron, steel, copper, tin, or other dead weight, 20 Cwt. to the ton. A ton of bar iron to pay 1 dollar 1 succ. For boats losing a whole day, double boat hire was chargeable. A boat carrying cargo to a vessel in Rat Island Basin, or the outroads, and receiving return freight, the proprietor of such freight to pay only half hire outwards.
WATER RATE, one succoo per ton to Government.
PORT CLEARANCE, on certificate that the pilotage, &c. have been paid, was granted by the Secretary, on payment of a fee of 2 dollars on vessels exceeding 50 tons; no charge was made on vessels under that tonnage.
The aforegoing charges included all that were due at this port: what the charges are at present, cannot yet be known.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Provisions and vegetables of all kinds are very dear. Poultry scarce and dear. The mangosteen and other tropical fruits are met with here, but not in abundance. The water is very indifferent, and considered unwholesome.
COINS.-Accounts are kept in dollars, sometimes called reals, reckoned at 5s. sterling.
WEIGHTS.-The gold and silver weights are as follow:
The Chinese weigh gold by the catty, which equals about 1 lb. 7 oz. 53 drs.
The Chinese commercial weights are these:
10 hoots.........equal to.........1 see.
The following weights are occasionally used:
4 koopangs, or sooccoos, equal to 1 mas = 39.87 grs. troy.
4 chupahs.........equal to.........1 koolah 252 cub. in.
The koolah is occasionally used as a weight, 17 being equal to the pecul. The coodee or corge is 20 baskets, except of tobacco, which is 40.
2 tempoh..........equal to......... 1 jankal = 9 En. in.
Between Bencoolen and the S. extreme of Sumatra, are the undermentioned places, from whence the Company drew supplies of pepper, and where they used to have residents :
Saloomah, in lat. about 4° 12′ S, the average annual produce from 200 to 250 tons.
4° 25' ditto.........
Cawoor, ditto............ 4° 54' ditto......
Crooe, ditto............... 5° 13' ditto.....
250 to 300 ditto.
80 to 90 ditto. 170 to 180 ditto.
This produce varies of course as the seasons are more or less productive; but on an average of five years, it did not exceed the above quantity. Crooe is also celebrated for birds' nests, which are gathered in considerable quantities from some caves about four miles up the river.
There are a number of islands lying off the W. Coast of Sumatra, running in the same direction, at about the distance of 20 leagues, the principal of which are Pulo Neas, Se Porah, Poggy or Nassau Islands, and Engano; they are little frequented, and of course but imperfectly known.
PULO NEAS is the largest, most productive, and important of the whole range, and extends from latitude 1° 18′ N., nearly in a S. E. direction to 0° 28′ N; its inhabitants exceed 200,000, and are of a race very different from the Malays in general. Those in the N. differ considerably from those in the S. The island is divided into a number of small districts under Rajahs, who are independent of, and at perpetual variance with, each other; the ultimate object of their wars having been to make prisoners, whom they sold for slaves, as well as all others not immediately connected with them, whom they could seize by stratagem. These violences were doubtless encouraged by the resort of native traders from Padang, Natal, and Acheen, to procure cargoes of slaves, who are also accused of augmenting the profits of their voyage, by occasionally surprising and carrying off whole families. This trade has been greatly checked by the settlement established here by Sir T. S. Raffles in 1821.
The island possesses several rivers of considerable size, whose qualloes, or mouths, afford entrance to native vessels and boats. There are good harbours at the N. and S. ends; and there is anchorage for ships almost all along the E. coast.