TERNATE, a small island in the Malay Archipelago, off the west coast of Halmahera, in o 48' N., 127 19' E. It is nearly circular in form, with an area of about 25 sq. m., and consists almost entirely of a remarkable volcano (5400 ft.) formed of three superimposed cones. Frequent destructive eruptions have occurred. On the island is the small town of Ternate, which, in spite of its good harbour, carried on no considerable trade or shipping, and has only 3000 inhabitants. But it is the headquarters of the Dutch residency of Ternate, which exercises authority over the area of the ancient kingdoms of Ternate and Tidore. The residency consists of the following groups of islands: the Halmahera group, the Bachian and the Obi group, the Sula Islands, the islands near the western half of New Guinea (Gebeh, Vaigeu, Salawati, Misol, collectively called the Papuan Islands), the western half of New Guinea as far as 141 E., with the islands in Geelvink Gulf on the north coast of New Guinea (Schouten Islands, Yapen, etc.), along with others on the south coast. To this residency also belong the state of Banggai in East Celebes, and the Banggai Islands. The residency stretches from 2 43' N. to 5 45' S., and 121 to 141 E., with an area of 155,800 sq. m. The Dutch government exercises direct authority only over parts of Ternate, Halmahera, Bachian and Obi islands. Its rule over the other groups it carries on through the sultans of Ternate and Tidore (q.v.). Both the island and town of Ternate suffer from their isolation, and have never regained the importance they had in former centuries. Pop. of the whole residency (1005) 108,415. The inhabitants are of Malay race and Mahommedans in religion. The breaking up of the old government of the Moluccas tended to make Ternate perhaps the most important Dutch-Indian political centre of the archipelago east of Celebes. Nominally the sultan is still ruler, but virtually his powers were greatly curtailed by his conventions with the Dutch-Indian government, under which he surrendered, with the concurrence of his grandees, many of his former rights to the Dutch resident, who became the de facto governor of the easternmost colonial possessions of Holland, especially since the transfer of Dutch New Guinea in 1901. Among the rights surrendered by the sultan of Ternate to the Dutch were those of granting monopolies and mining concessions, now vested in the Dutch resident. The island of Bachian is worked by a kind of chartered company. For surrendered rights and privileges the sultan and his grandees received monetary compensations in the shape of annual subventions, and these also have been paid for the losses formerly incurred by the wilful destruction of the nutmeg plantations, carried out in order to enhance the value of this commodity and monopolize its cultivation. The restrictions on nutmeggrowing have long since been removed, and many plantations, with free labour, have been started in Ternate since 1885. It is a curious fact that Christianity has declined in Temate in modern times, though it was an early stronghold and the number of Europeans settled there has materially increased.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)