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Dutch Timor

DUTCH TIMOR has an area of a little over 5000 sq. m. Kupang, the chief town of the residency, contains some 8000 inhabitants, of whom 145 are Europeans living in well-built houses, 594 Chinese, and 43 Arabs. In agriculture, European plants have not been successful, and of native products the supply is only sufficient for the home consumption. The export of sandalwood, ponies, cattle, pinang nuts, etc., amounts in a year to only about 8500. Dutch Timor gives its name to a residency comprising, besides its own territory, the small adjacent islands, Rotti, Peman, etc., the Savu islands, Sumba or Sandalwood island, the Solor and Allor group of islands, and the eastern half of Flores, all lying between 8 5' and 1 1 5' S. and 1 19 3' and 125 15' E., the total area being 17,698 sq. m. It is divided into four administrative districts Timor, Rotti and Savu, Larantuka (eastern Flores) and Sumba. Pop. of the residency (1905), 308,500.

It is possible that the Portuguese visited Timor before the Spaniards did so in 1522. They were, at any rate, established on the island when the Dutch expelled them from Kupang in 1613. During the 18th century the two powers came frequently into conflict ; and in 1859 their boundaries were settled by treaty. This treaty was replaced by one signed at Lisbon in June 1893. The old treaty had proved irksome in many ways, especially as it left portions of the territory belonging to protected chieftains of each power as enclaves within the boundaries of the other. This led to frequent disputes, and a mixed boundary commission was therefore appointed under the new treaty and determined more satisfactory boundaries. The new treaty, moreover, stipulates that all future disputes shall be referred to arbitration. Equally important is the declaration, signed at the same time, that either power would favour the subjects of the other in granting concessions, etc., to the exclusion of all others. Thus Portugal and Holland secured the exclusive possession of Timor to themselves.

See P. >A. van der Lith, Nederlands-Indie (Leiden, 1893-1894). H. O. Forbes, A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago (London, 1885) ; and other general works (cf. MALAY ARCHIPELAGO). Some of the problems connected with the physical features of Timor are discussed in H. Zondervan's " Timor en de Timoreezen," Tijdschr. Aardr. Gen. (1888), vol. v. (with bibliography) ; K. Martin and A. Wichmann, Sammlungen des ge'olpgischen Reichsmuseums (Leiden, 1881- 1884); A. Wichmann, " Bericht tiber eine Reise nach dem indischen Archipel," Tijdschr. Aardr. Gen. (1890-1892), with sketches of Timor, map, etc. ; A. Rothpletz, Die Perm-, Trias-, und Jura- Formation auf Timor und Rotti im indischen Archipel, Palaeontographica (1892) PP- 57-106. There is a summary of Rothpletz's results in American Naturalist (1891), xxv. 959-962. For the remarkable flying survey of the south coast by the commandant of the Siboga expedition, exploring the deep seas and fauna of the archipelago, see Bulletin (No. 35) of the Maatschappij ter bevordering van het natuurkun onderzoek der N.I. Koloni'en; R. Dores, " Apontamentos para um diccionario chorographico de Timor," Bol. Soc. Geogr. Lisbon (1901), vol. xix.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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