Travels in Eastern Indonesia as reported in the Darwin press, 1870s-1930s

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    Abstract

    This paper considers accounts of travellers to eastern Indonesia (then called the Netherlands Indies) reported in the Darwin press from the 1870s to the 1930s. In the 1820s-1840s, there were three unsuccessful attempts to establish British settlements in the Northern Territory (NT). During their short lives, the three settlements relied on nearby ports, such as Dili and Kupang on Timor, for communications and supplies. In 1869, South Australia finally established a permanent settlement in the NT; known as Palmerston or Port Darwin, its name was officially changed to Darwin in 1911. In its early years, Darwin also looked north for its needs. Small-scale trade with the nearby islands continued for many years, but gradually diminished. From the earliest days there were also those who travelled to the islands simply for pleasure. Such journeys were largely unknown outside the NT, but the Darwin press, as described below, often presented detailed narratives of journeys through eastern Indonesia, which suggests the islands were well-known to many NT residents and of interest to the rest.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-70
    Number of pages15
    JournalNorthern Territory Historical Studies: A Journal of History, Heritage and Archaeology
    Issue number28
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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