A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 844 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09.

In regard to the trade of the Banda islands, Puloroon is reported to be the worst island.  It is about eight English miles in circuit, and the small adjoining island of Nylacka is about a mile round.  There is a tolerable quantity of nutmegs and mace grown on Puloroon, and considerably more might be got there if the island were well cultivated.  Rosengin is a fine island, producing the largest nutmegs and best mace of all the Banda islands; and, if we hold possession of Puloroon, abundance of nutmegs and mace could be had from Rosengin, Lantore, and other places; as the natives would come over to us with their spices, provided we supply them with rice, cloth, salt, pepper, molasses, and other necessaries, and some Macassar gold, which passes as current in Banda as Spanish rials of eight, and at the same rate, though only worth at Bantam two shillings and fourpence or two and sixpence, for the piece called mass.  Our cargo was small, having only 100 quoines of rice, and our cloth was much decayed, having lain two or three years at Macassar.  If we had had three times as much, we could have sold it all at Puloroon for mace and nutmegs, being entreated for cloth and rice by people from Lantore, Rosengin and other places, but had it not, so that some returned home again with part of their spices.  They came over to Puloroon in the night with proas and corracorras.  The mace and nuts were very good, but must be injured by lying so long, owing to the molestations of the Hollanders, while we had no lime for preserving the nuts.  The trade will turn out very profitable, if we may quietly possess the island of Puloroon; but we must buy rice at a lower rate than in Macassar, and I understand it can be had in Japan for about half the price.

In regard to our right to the Banda islands, especially Puloway, Captain Castleton might have made that secure, as I have often been told; and at all events, we have a much better right than the Hollanders, who by force of arms have dispossessed us.  Except Puloroon be supplied this year, and the possession maintained, the English name will be utterly disgraced, with little chance of our ever being received there again.  If we are able to hold it until your worships have determined what to do in the matter, we shall soon be able to procure there as much mace and nutmegs as the Hollanders; and it may also serve as an entrance into the Moluccas for cloves.  The Hollanders pretend an exclusive right to the Bandas and Moluccas, in consequence of having the son of the king of Ternate in their hands as a prisoner.  But the Bandanese deny that the king of Ternate has any right of dominion in their islands, every one of their islands being free, and governed by sabanders and orancays of their own appointment.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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