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NOTE on the Article on Java.' The horrible tragedy of Dutch cruelty' has already commenced in Java; and it will not stop here. -Scarcely was the ink, dry with which we penned the sentence in page 74, to which this refers, when we received the following account of a most atrocious: trausaction, to which we scarcely know where to look for any parallel, unless it be that of the Black Hole in Calcutta, the massacre of the English in Amboyna, or of the Chinese in Batavia, when the streets of that capital literally ran with blood. We pledge ourselves for the truih of the statement, and by exposing to the whole world a scene of such infamy, feel that we are performing a public duty. May we hope that this exposure will be the means of creating such universal indignation against the parties concerned in the bloody deed, as may prevent the recurrence of such inhuman and disgraceful transactions !
· Towards the latter end of November last, the Petingee or chief of the village of Chipamoonchong, in the district of Chatsem, named Keysa, observing dissatisfaction to prevail among the inhabitants of the district, in consequence of some unauthorized exactions of the Kapala Choolack, and other native chiefs in authority over them, took advantage of the circumstance, and getting several other heads of villages to join, prevailed on a number of the lower class to assemble, under the ostensible plea of going to Indramayo, to lay their grievances before the “ Landrost," as the President's assistant who had charge of the police in those districts was usually called.
' Having thus collected together a body of men in the first instance, small parties, under active emissaries, were dispatched to the neighbouring districts to beat up for recruits, and many cases occurred of poor people being actually tied and forced to join the party.
• As they increased in numbers, the party moved towards the river Chimanook, the boundary between the Indramayo districts and Cheribon, and in their route were joined by all who had, or fancied they had, any grievance to complain of. Among these, it is understood, that very few were from Kandang-houses, but some heads of villages, and a considerable number of the lower class are stated to have joined from the district of Indramayo, and of the latter a number from the lowland Crawang districts.
' At this stage of their progress, it appears to have been first circulated among them that Pungairan Kanooman might be expected from the “ sea-side,” to join them as their chief. This Pungairan Kanooman, who I understand was banished during the insurrection of Bagoos Rangun, is represented to be a descendant of one Seedan, who was the first promoter of the disturbances in Cheribon formerly, and his family have always possessed great influence in the western part of that district.
• Whatever the real object or expectations of the leaders of these deluded people may have been, it is clearly ascertained that not a single chief of rank above the head of a village joined them, or appeared in any manner to give them support or countenance.
By the time they arrived at Lobenar, a village situated on the banks of the Chimanook, seven palls from Indramayo, the party amounted to about 900 men, which number it never exceeded.. It is a fact well worthy of notice, that in the course of a desultory march of near fifty palls, from Chasam to Lobenar, not an instance is known to have occurred of property of any kind having been injured, and although they remained stationary at Lobenar for many days, during which the rice, paddy, cattle, and other property of Mr. Muntsinghe was most temptingly in their way under the charge only of a few slaves, not a single article was touched, nor a human being molested.
Preparations were now in forwardness by the residents of the Prianger Regencies and Cheribon to attack the insurgents, if they may be so called, and it was carried into execution at Lobenar on the 20th of December. Previous to this, however, they had been attacked more than once by the assistant resident at Indramayo, or under his orders, but he was repulsed, and on one occasion, I understand, with the loss of either four or six European soldiers.
I cannot pretend, nor is it necessary for me, to describe the operations of Mr. Motman (the Dutch resident) on the 20th ; but, as I am informed, his arrangements, however long delayed, doubtless from unavoidable causes, seem to have been judicious and perfectly adequate to the object in view : and his conduct, as well as that of his head assistant, Mr. Van de Poel, during the contest, is represented on all sides as meriting praise for courage and humanity.
• It is estimated that 100 of the insurgents fell in the engagement, and 594 were made prisoners. Keysa, the Petingee who first commenced the insurrection, was observed to be very actively encouraging his men to repel Mr. Motman's attack, and this man was found among the killed.
• When the prisoners were disarmed, Mr. Motman delivered them over to the military, in order that they might be securely guarded to Indramayo. On their arrival there, they were all put into a coffee storehouse within the fort, and the storehouse was surrounded by sentinels. In the course of the night it is stated that an attempt was made, on the part of the prisoners, to escape from confinement, the soldiers on guard fired upon them, and, horrible to relate, it ended in the massacre of about 300 souls, in cold blood, by the military, under the orders and in the presence of their own officers !
• Mr. Motman, I am told, did all that was in his power to stop this dreadful sacrifice of human blood, but without effect: no attention seems to have been paid to his representations, and he was obliged to submit, as he himself declares, with feelings not to be described, to the spectacle of an unarmed multitude of poor misled creatures whom he had vanquished and made prisoners in the morning, massacred by their own guards, commanded by two officers, one bearing His Netherland Majesty's commission of Captain, and the other, of Lieutenant, under the weak, inconceivable, and inhuman pretext that they could not be otherwise responsible for the security of the prisoners, or for their own safety, as the prisoners intended to run “ Amook"! • Will it he credited that a number of unarmed wretches, confined in
a secure teakwood building within a fort, should ever think of attacking a military force surrounding them as guards, and to whom they had but a few hours before surrendered themselves as prisoners, while they had yet arms in their hands?— He must be credulous indeed who can bring. his mind to believe this !--If ever the truth comes to light, it will then, I am convinced, be found that an effort to give themselves fresh air, quite natural to so large a body of men confined in a building of comparatively small dimensions, the doors and windows of which were no doubt closed for security, was, by the pusillanimity, if not the cruelty, of their guards, considered as an attempt to escape,-and the scene of blood once begun, the prisoners apprehending what was to follow, made such resistance as they had in their power in the vain hope of saving their lives.
* But let this be as it may, those who remained alive from the massacre were embarked in coffee prows, and dispatched up the river to Canony Sambong,--and while on the river, the second act of the tragedy took place. An attempt is said to have been again made by the prisoners to escape, and on this occasion many more were sent to the other world to join their companions in misfortune. Indeed so insatiable appears to have been the thirst for Javanese blood, that of 594 taken prisoners by Mr. Motman on the day of the engagement, but 113 arrived alive at this place, where they are now in confinement !
• Many of these men have been examined before the commission appointed by his Netherland majesty's government to investigate the cause of the late insurrection; and as far as I can learn, they agree in stating that their only object was to go to Indramayo, and lay their grievances before the Landrost. In general, their complaints are against the Kapala Chootacks and other native chiefs in immediate authority over them;--and this affords an obvious excuse for their assembling in a body to complain to the European local authority ;-which I believe in my soul was the only object the lower class had in view, whatever plans of a more extended or dangerous nature may have actuated Keysa and other of their leaders.'
Chianchore, 22d January, 1817.
It is added that the Dutch had taken to themselves great merit for the gallant conduct displayed by their troops on this occasionPoor Javanese! what a dreadful change of masters have you experienced!
* In No. XXXI. (p. 165) we had occasion to mention a very curious Globe,' in the Library of the Inner Temple,' and which (as our information stated) had been recently whitewashed. The word was not very happily chosen; but we never understood (nor suspected that our readers would understand) by it, that the aforesaid Globe had been literally coated over with lime, but merely painted and embellished. It appears, however, that we were misinformed both as to the situation and condition of this venerable Globe, Sir William Scott, (who is a Bencher of the Middle Temple,) laudably anxious for the credit of his brethren, directed an inquiry to be made into the fact; and has obligingly favoured us with the result. We believe that the most effectual mode of setting ourselves right with this learned Society and the public in general, will be to print Mr. Phillips's letter, • Sir William
• I am desired by Mr. Reaston to acquaint you that the Globes stated by the Quarterly Review to have been whitewashed are in the Middle Temple Library in excellent preservation
• I am, &c. Middle Temple, March 5, 1817.'
J. PHILLIPS.' VOL. XVII. NO. XXXIII.
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