Selasa, 13 Juli 2010 | By: Babad Sunda

The Life-Story of an old-time Priangan Regent

G. Drewes
The Life-Story of an old-time Priangan Regent as told by himself
In: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 141 (1985), no: 4, Leiden, 399-422
This PDF-file was downloaded from

In Indohesia autobiographies are scarce, and the short biographical
notices which pass by that name are hardly worthy of this designation.
More often than not they are nothing but rather dry reports concerning
the career of some well-deserving official, drawn up on his retirement
and at best touched up with a few personal particulars and reminiscences.
Some writings of this kind have been mentioned in my contribution
to the 1851-1951 Jubilee issue of Bijdragen Kon. Instituut (Drewes
1951). In that article I paid particular attention to two books of at the
time recent date, which, in spite of the fact that their authors had
confined themselves to memories of childhood, were more entitled to be
styled autobiographies (Pospos 1950 and Radjab 1950).

In this paper I shall not deal with publications in this field which have
appeared since, but with an earlier publication, which, though mentioned
in my aforesaid paper, was not gone into there, viz., Babad Raden
Adipati Aria Marta Nagara Regent Bandoeng. At the time I had to leave
a discussion of this booklet aside for want of space, although it fully
deserved a more detailed treatment so as to demonstrate the difference
between this elementary specimen of autobiography and those more
extensively dealt with in my article. Moreover, it is one of the best
samples of its genre, and the author is not just anybody.
R. A. A. Marta Nagara sprang from a noble and distinguished family,
which in the course of the centuries several times made its mark in
Priangan history, and himself too had a distinguished career and was
held in great respect in his time. He was in public service for no less than
56 years, 25 of which he spent in Bandung as Regent of this important
region. After his retirement in 1918 he moved to Sumedang and had a
house built there. The colophon states that he finished this Babad in
1923, at the age of 78, dedicating it to his children, grandchildren and
further progeny,for them to keep as heirloom.
One may ask whether this final statement should be understood in
such a way that the retired Regent himself drafted the text of the Babad,
or that he only put the finishing touch to a text in which his verbal
Communications had been committed to writing by some assistant - not
an uncommon procedure with high-placed authors. But no matter

400 G. W. J. Drewes
whether the elderly gentleman in a talkative mood set about narrating
his experiences and his words were recorded in writing by someone else,
or whether he himself put pen to paper, the result is a variegated picture,
which is not confined to the inevitable statements concerning parentage,
marriages, progeny, career, and honours and titles conferred. Even so,
one cannot help wishing that the distinguished civil servant had drawn
much more widely on the memories of his long and remarkable career.
Not only was his early life out of the common, being quite different
from an ordinary boyhood in a small provincial town, but he also entered
public service at a very early age, and his entire administrative career,
from his unsalaried position as a magang in the kabupaten of Sumedang
up to his governorship of Bandung, coincided with the latter part of the
19th century and the first decades of the 20th - a period rich in events in
the history of Priangan. A number of important developments which
took place in these years are touched upon or summarily dealt with in the
Babad, such as the modifications in the system of compulsory coffeegrowing;
the abolition of the so-called Preanger Stelsel, that is to say, the
introduction of taxes payable in cash instead of in kind, and, bound up
with this, the change-over from the remuneration of the Sundanese
functionaries in kind to the payment of cash salaries, on the same lines as
elsewhere in Java; the steady extension of the irrigation system to reduce
rice-growing on dry fields; the rinderpest epidemie and the large-scale
measures to fight this pernicious cattle plague. Furthermore, the author
mentions in a succinct way his own initiatives in various fields during his
Bandung period: his incessant advancement of irrigation; his promotion
of industrial enterprises such as the manufacture of roof tiles and of
tapioca for export, to which end he also stimulated cassava-growing; the
construction of bridges, and so on - altogether plenty of material for
elaboration into a full-fledged autobiography. Yet, it would have been
most exceptional if af ter an active life he would at the age of 78 have
written a work of a type that was hitherto hardly known in Indonesia. He
kept to the time-honoured pattern and set down a short survey of his life
and career and some of his reminiscences in a small-size booklet (16.5 x
10.5) counting 51 pages of 34 lines, which was printed at the Aurora
printing-office in Bandung.
The first four pages of this booklet are devoted to the author's noble
ancestry; pp. 5-16 deal with his early life; pp. 17-42 with his career as a
public servant, from its humble start as an assistant teacher up to its
climax, with his occupation of the high office of Regent of Bandung, the
most important region of Priangan; pp. 43-44 with his retirement and his
move to Sumedang, his area of origin. Here the biography itself ends, but
at its conclusion an extra is thrown in, in the form of a circumstantial
report of the murder of Assistent-Resident Nagel, which took place
before the author's time. It is a very sensational story, which an imaginative
writer might easily work into a thriller!

The Life-Story ofan Old-Time Priangan Regent 401
The booklet is written in Sundanese, the author's mother tongue, and
in prose, which is not what one would have expected of him, for the
ex-Regent was a literary man and not unpractised in the writing of
poetry. As a boy he had attended a Javanese school at Semarang for a
couple of years, so that he had far more Javanese than the so-called
Jawareh (half-Javanese) which was occasionally used in administrative
circles in Priangan. So he was able to render Javanese literary works such
as the Serat Rama1, Aji Saka and Angling Darma (Drewes 1975: 18-19)
into Sundanese. But in fairness to him one should concede that poetic
inspiration is hardly to be drawn from the sources that he made use of in
drafting his Babad: a genealogical list of the Regents of Sumedang, the
family register, and his record of service!
As has become apparent from the above, R. A. A. Marta Nagara,
though holding high office in Bandung, was a Sumedang man, sprung
from the noble family of the Sumedang Regents. He was a great-grandson
of the famous Regent Surianagara, known as Pangeran Kornel (born
1762; Regent of Sumedang 1792-1828), by whose appointment to
office a scion of this indigenous family was reinstated in the function of
his ancestors after an intermezzo of about twenty years2.
This family is able to look back on a long record of service, which is
reported to begin in the 16th century. Legend has it that the first lord of
Sumedang, Pangeran Geusan Ulun, was descended from Sunan Gunung
Jati, the first Muslim king of Cerbon, who later became the greatest and
most venerated saint of West Java. His spouse was Nyai Mas Gedeng
Waru, said to have been a granddaughter of Prabu Siliwangi of Pajajaran
— all in all a descent nobler than which, and with a claim to leadership
more legitimate than whose could hardly be imagined3. The district of
Sumedang is said to have been granted him in fee by the Sultan of
But, as has already been stated by De Haan (1910-'13 1:17*), the
history of the great Sundanese kingdom of which Muslim Cerbon is said
to have been the centre is rather nebulous. From the chapter on Cerbon
in De Graaf and Pigeaud, De eerste Moslimse Vorstendommen op Java
('The first Muslim Princedoms of Java') (1974:108-116), it is likewise
apparent that very little can be said with certainty about Cerbon in the
16th century, and still less about Priangan. It is not known how far
southward Cerbon authority made itself feit. The mountainous Priangan
area, sparsely populated and difficult of access as it was, became Muslim
but remained an outer area which was probably only very slightly affected
by occurrences elsewhere. In the early part of the 17th century this
situation underwent a significant change owing to the establishment of
the V.O.C, at Jakarta and the expansion of Mataram under King Anyakrakusuma,
afterwards styled Sultan Agung4. According to the Javanese
babads this Prince of Mataram several times employed auxiliary troops
from Sumedang, who under the command of their own chiefs took part

402 G. W. J. Drewes
in his wars to establish Mataram rule, namely, against Pajang, against
Madura, and ultimately against Batavia. Therefore it is quite probable
that before 1628, when Sumedang and Ukurs revolted against Mataram
after Mataram's failure to capture Batavia, the lord of Sumedang acted
as representative of Mataram in its western borderland. When this
insurrection was beaten down with the help of Cerbon and when the
ensuing period of unrest was over, the king of Mataram in 1641 proceeded
to establish regencies in central and south-eastern Priangan. One of
these was the Sumedang Regency, the territory of which later was more
than once subject to change.
In 1677 the then Regent of Sumedang, Rangga Gempol - according
to De Haan (1910-'13 1:37*) a grandson of the above-mentioned Mataram
viceroy of the same name - took advantage of the weakness of
Mataram to make a bid for independent rulership over the territories
which he claimed to have been under his grandfather's rule at the
beginning of the century. When attacked by Banten, he sought the
support of the V.O.C., but although initially he scored some success, he
could not avert the devastation of his capital by the Banten army. After
the agreement concerning Priangan affairs that was reached in Cerbon in
1681, Rangga Gempol returned to Sumedang, but the V.O.C, denied
him its support for his ambitious plans. During the rule of Sultan
Agung's successor the relationship between Mataram and the V.O.C,
had undergone a fundamental change. Now they shared sovereignty, so
that both powers held sway over Priangan, whose regents should be loyal
to both. But it was not long before it dawned upon them that the V.O.C.
had completely taken the place of the former sovereign6. Already before
the end of the 17th century, and before the formal cession of Priangan to
the V.O.C, in 1705, the Regent of Sumedang regarded himself as a
vassal of the V.O.C. Even so, although he ranked foremost among the
Priangan lords, not once in the 25 years that he was subordinate to the
V.O.C, did he come to Batavia to pay homage, possibly because the
Company had failed to support him at the time of his insurrection against
Mataram, as has been suggested by De Haan (1910-'13 1:158). It is
recorded that out of anger he even sent back to Batavia in 1704 the deed
(of recognition or of instatement?) previously delivered to him by
For the above historical notes extensive use has been made of the data
compiled by De Haan in his Standard work Priangan. Most probably our
ex-Regent was not aware of the existence of this voluminous work, the
four thick tomes of which appeared from 1910-1913, for nowhere is it
apparent that he consulted it. He does not tracé his lineage any further
back than Kusumadinata, who was in office from 1709-1744; for the
preceding regents he refers to the Buku Sejarah Sumedang, possibly a
genealogy of the Sumedang regents8. In the V.O.C, papers this regent is
sometimes referred to as Pangeran Rangga Gempol; later on he was

The Life-Story ofan Old- Time Priangan Regent 403
known in Sumedang by the name of Pangeran Karuhun ('the First'),
possibly because he was the first to obtain the title of Pangeran, or
perhaps because he was the first dignitary who was appointed by the
According to De Haan's enumeration of the Regents of Sumedang
(1910-'131:156-167), this Kusumadinata was succeeded, in the absence
of eligible sons, by 'des overledenen oudste dogterszoon' ('the son of the
eldest daughter of the deceased'), also named Kusumadinata. However,
none of the data compiled by De Haan shows that he ever at any time
really received an appointment as Regent. Once again according to De
Haan, this grandson died without leaving any children in 1761, and was
succeeded by his brother, R. Surianagara; this Surianagara died in 1765
and was succeeded by his younger brother, R. Surialaga, who passed
away in 1773. At his appointment it had been stipulated that he was to be
succeeded by the only son of his elder brother, who at the time was only
three years of age. Yet, at his uncle's death this boy was still too young to
be considered for the office of Regent; hence the Regent of Parakan
Muncang was transferred to Sumedang. Therefore Surialaga is referred
to as Dalem Panungtung ('the Rearmost', 'the Last' Regent), because, at
least for some time, he was the last of the Regents of Sumedang descent.
Eighteen years were to elapse before the office reverted to the Sumedang
family through the appointment of R. Surianagara, at that time
patih of Sumedang, as Regent. Despite the uncertainty about his descent
mentioned by De Haan, it is hardly to be doubted that this Surianagara
was the only son of the Surianagara who died in 1765, whose right of
succession had been explicitly stipulated.
It goes without saying that the Babad does not mention the Regents of
the interim period; on the other hand, it is remarkable that it should have
nothing to say about 'des overledenen oudste dogterszoon' Kusumadinata,
who according to De Haan was in office from 1744-'61. What it
says is that the Kusumadinata who died in 1744 was succeeded by a
daughter, the eldest of the children born of his padmi. This lady, R. Ayu
Rajaningrat by name, was married to R. Surianagara, a son of the
Regent of Limbangan, whose position, as the author remarks, was
comparable to that of a Prince-Consort, because he did not take part in
the administration (henteu nyarengan ngurus damet). The Dalem Istri
was in office for 15 years, and her husband was not her equal, but ranked
below her (ngan ngaping dipungkurna bae). This statement is borne out
by the words used by Nicolaas Hartingh when writing about her in a
report of 1752, hence during the period he held the important office of
'Gecommitteerde' (also called 'Landscommissaris') and was responsible
for, inter alia, the supervision of Sumedang, which, together with some
other regencies, had been detached from Cerbon supervision in 1730.
Hartingh writes about 'Haar Ed.' (Her Honour) the Regent of Sumedang
and mentions 'the deeds handed to Her ancestor' (Van Rees

404 G. W. J. Drewes
1880:2). Apparently Madame Mère had at once taken charge of affairs
and kept a tight rein on everything. So it seems that a later statement
(Nov.1755) quoted by De Haan (1910-'13 1:160), to the effect that the
present Regent had taken his grandfather's place in 1745, is open to
doubt. If the Dalem Istri really exercised the de facto rule for a period of
15 years, as the Babad has it, the period in which this Kusumadinata held
office can only have been a very short one, since he died in 1761. Around
these same years the regency of Krawang also had a woman Regent,
R. Ayu Alira, who acted as guardian to an infant son designated for the
succession. It is worth noting that there were therefore two women who
held high office in West Java about the same time, namely the mid-18th
According to the Babad, the Dalem Istri only had two sons and two
daughters, and was succeeded by her elder son Surianagara, known as
Dalem Anom. At his death, two or three years later, he was succeeded
by his brother Surialaga, since his eldest daughter was only about seven
years of age, and his only son, Asep Jamu, the youngest child, only one.
At Surialaga's death his eldest son was only seven years old, and his
nephew, Asep Jamu, only sixteen. Therefore, in the absence of a successor
from the local family, the Regent of Parakan Muncang was transferred
to Sumedang.
As we see, this information partly tallies with the data compiled by De
Haan, but the course of events between 1745 and 1773 as sketched here
is not in complete agreement with these.
This said Asep Jamu, later named Surianagara and Pangeran Kornel,
was the great-grandfather of the writer. His grandfather was the Regent
Kusumahyuda, called Dalem Ageung, and son of Pangeran Kornel; his
father was Dalem Ageung's son Kusumahyuda, called Juragan Anom,
wadana of Cibeureum. His mother was Nyai Raden Tejamirah, a greatgranddaughter
of Dalem Panungtung (the Regent Surialaga); her father
was Dalem Tumenggung Suriadilaga, for some time acting Regent of
Sumedang, called Dalem Sindangraja, and her grandfather Dalem
Adipati Surialaga, Regent of Sukapura, called Dalem Talun, and a son
of the Regent Surialaga who died in 1773. So his father and mother were
both descended from the same great-great-grandfather (bao) - they
were saderek sabrayna mintelu, as the Sundanese say.
The writer was the fifth child of his parents, but all of the four
preceding children had died at the age of six or seven months. He had
only one half-brother, R. Suriadiraja, formerly wadana of Ciheulang.
When his mother was expecting him, his parents were living in Cipadawetan,
to the north of the big mosque; their house faced this building,
which was situated across the road. About his birth his mother told him
the following anecdote.
In the late afternoon of Tuesday, 3 Sapar 1261 (February 8,
1845), after the asar prayer, my parents were sitting together in
The Life-Story ofan Old- Time Priangan Regent 405
the front gallery of their house. My mother was in the final stages
of pregnancy, but her time did not yet seem to be at hand. Unexpectedly
a visitor arrived, Kyai Hamsilah, a well-known Javanese
guru tarekat hailing from Pekalongan, who lived in the
kampung Cipameungpeuk and had a large following in Sumedang.
The Kyai told them over a cup of coffee that while he was in the
mosque to attend the midday prayer he had heard someone behind
him saying that R. Ayu Tejamirah's child was being born into
the world at that very moment. Hence he had come to visit the
mother of the newly born infant.
My mother answered that her time had not yet come, but after a
short while she had to absent herself for a moment, and after she
had left the gallery she was seized by the pangs of birth and urged
her husband to send for the midwife. A few minutes later, as the
labour pains continued, she again called for her husband. He
entered the room accompanied by the Kyai, who told her to lie
down immediately and, awaiting the birth of the baby, began
saying prayers. The baby was born a quarter of an hour later. This
confinement, my mother's fifth, was the easiest of all. When the
midwife arrived, all that was left for her to do was to take care of
the new-born child and the afterbirth9.
Mindful of the four preceding children who had died at a very
early age, my mother said to the Kyai that her dearest wish was
that this child should live, and that it might be granted her to see
him grow into a man. It was a matter of indifference to her whether
he would be rich or bright, as long as he became a good companion.
When the Kyai left in order to perform the evening prayer,
he said to my mother, "This child will outlive you and surpass
you". Even so, until the age of three I was of delicate health and
was not expected to live.
Going on with the account of his early youth, the author says:
One day my mother's uncle Aria Surianagara, at that time patih of
Sumedang, and his wife came to pay us a visit. My great-aunt was a
daughter of the Regent of Garut and was descended from the same
great-grandfather as her husband (saderek sabray mindo).
Touched by my poor health, they offered to buy me at the price of
one real and seven different kinds of food, in the hope that this
would benefit my health. My parents agreed to this proposal; so a
little while later they called again, bought me, and took me with
them to their home, where I was committed to the charge of babu
Enih and her husband, Bapa Sanih, both of them hailing from
The following three years I was in constant perfect health and
grew rapidly, to the joy of all my relations, and in particular of my
uncle the Regent, who went by the name Pangeran Sugih ('the

406 G. W. J. Drewes
Rich') on account of the large number of his children. When I was
five years old it was arranged that I should marry his little daughter
Armunah, who was my junior by two years. When I was twelve I
was circumcised, together with two of my uncle the Regent's sons,
Enden Durahman and Enden Durahim. A big celebration was
organized in the kabupaten on that occasion, and I was given the
name Raden Kusumahningrat.10
Meanwhile a serious development had occurred. When I was
about seven years of age my father, at the time wadana of
Cibeureum, had come to be on bad terms with Pangeran Sugih.
This had resulted in a deep mutual estrangement. As it happened,
at that time the Priangan nobility was treated in the same way
as that of the Principalities. Wherever serious discord arose between
the members of a family, the Government was quick to take
action in order to forestall warlike developments. It had takenwarning
from past events like the Trunajaya and Dipanagara wars,
which had been able to break out because the basic causes had not
been sufficiently attended to.11 Therefore, the Government made
it a rule to restore calm and peace by taking timely administrative
measures. So on the basis of an inquiry into the matter by the
Resident, my father had Probolinggo assigned to him as his place
of residence. He was obliged to move there, and the Regent of
Probolinggo, R. Adipati Surianingalaga, was very helpful to him
while taking up his abode in that place. My father passed away
three or four years later and was buried at Probolinggo. The
separation from my father did not touch me deeply. I had been
away from my parental home for years, and I considered uncle
Surianagara and aunt Lenggangmantri as my parents, since I had
been taken into their home by them without being aware of it at
the age of three.
About half a year after the circumcision feast mentioned above,
Raden Saleh, the 'Painter to the King', came to stay with Pangeran
Sugih. He stayed fifteen days and was treated with the ceremonial
of a Regent. The Pangeran offered his own son Durahim and
myself to his guest. We were taken along to Batavia and stayed
there with Raden Saleh in his house in kampung Gunungsari, to
the north of the town, on the river Ciliwung. His wife was a
European lady, Mrs. Winkel Hagen by name, who was the widow
of the owner of the estate of Gemolak, near Semarang. She was
reputed to be very rich, and when she and her husband were
staying in Batavia the lady had a very busy time. She employed
scores of women and men in her batik workshop and owned a
perfumery where kembang gambir and melati flowers12 were processed.
She also ran a goldsmith's shop, in which more than thirty
Javanese craftsmen were employed in the production of rings,

The Life-Story ofan Old- Time Priangan Regent 407
pendants, hairpins, and various other jewels. All her servants,
stableboys included, were Javanese. So I had to speak Javanese all
day long. I could only speak Sundanese with Durahim.
One day Raden Saleh told us that we would be sent to Semarang
to attend a Javanese school, for, as he said, "then later on it will be
possible for you to be employed by the Government in both the
Sundanese and the Javanese areas. Mother (Raden Saleh's wife)
will take you to Semarang." At that time steam navigation did not
yet exist; all traffic was taken care of by sailing-ships. So we sailed
from Batavia harbour to Semarang on the barque al-Noor ('The
Light'13) in the company of Mrs. Raden Saleh. The crossing took
six days, as usual. At Semarang we found accommodation in the
home of a Palembang trader, Ence Dimah by name, in kampung
Pekojan. Ten days later we were sent to a Javanese school, which
was situated on the northern side of the alun-alun. Mrs. Raden
Saleh said, "I have not told anyone that you are titled boys from
Priangan. Here you will pass off as relations of Raden Saleh's."
Mrs. Raden Saleh remained at Semarang for two months. She
had many relations there; moreover, she had to look after the
affairs of her late husband, especially the estate of Gemolak,
which had been left to her by him. Then she returned to Batavia,
and we two lonely boys remained behind. We did not come across
any Sundanese people, but even so we did not grieve. Ence Dimah
took good care of us. Each day we were given one wang (= 8 duit)
and five duit to buy food, and we had our meals together with Ence
Dimah's servants. At six o'clock in the mornings the old women
selling rice and sayur arrived. If we tried to help ourselves, they
would hastily intervene. Since we annoyed them with our behaviour
every day anew, they would try to cajole us with words like
Mara mbok elinga gus rupamu bagus! Manawa ing besuk patut
kowe bisa dadi mandor prahu atawa carik, nanging kudu gelem
netapa! Aja kaya kowe saiki, esuk-esuk wis nyekek, esuk-esuk wis
nyekekl ('Please, sonny! Where are your manners? Perhaps later
you will be a mandur on a proa or a jurutulis, but in that case you
must be prepared to practise austerity and not start bolting food at
the crack of dawn').
We had not met any people from Sunda for over a year when,
walking on the northern side of the alun-alun, we came across a
man from Cianjur, R. Kartakusumah, who later became wadana
of Cikalong (Cianjur). He told us that he had accompanied the
Controleur of Ciputri to Semarang for the purpose of appearing as
witness. I cannot say how glad we were, the more so because we
had been friendly with him before. Fortunately we had already
learnt to speak Javanese when lodging with Raden Saleh in Batavia.

408 G. W. J. Drewes
At the Semarang school we were taught reading, writing and
arithmetic, just as in Batavia, but also drawing and geodesy. In
1858, during the period we were at Semarang, the 'cent' was
introduced as legal tender, and the duits which had hitherto been
used as currency had to be handed in in exchange for the new
currency. This measure caused quite some excitement in the
market places, as only a few people were capable of doing conversions
from duits to cents. At every intersection in the market
place an officer was posted, who, guarded by two soldiers, acted as
money-changer. There were scores of places where such an exchange
could be effected.
When we had successfully attended school for about two years
and were quite good at speaking Javanese, Ence Dimah received a
letter from Raden Saleh to the effect that the two schoolboys
should be sent back to Batavia in the charge of a dependable
person whom he knew well. That year the first steamships had put
in an appearance in the Archipelago. We were put in the care of
the mate of the steamship Oenarang, who was a friend of Ence
Dimah's, and after a voyage of two days and nights we arrived
safely at Batavia harbour.
In the meantime Raden Saleh had moved from Gunungsari to
Cikini. We stayed with him for two months; then we were picked
up by the prospective father-in-law of one of my uncle the Pangeran's
children, who had taken with him two horses for the return
journey. Travelling via Bogor and Megamendung, we reached
Bandung after four days on horseback, and were afforded hospitality
by the then Regent of Bandung, known as Dalem Bintang.
We were given a cordial welcome, possibly because we were the
first boys of noble birth to have been sent to school such a great
distance away. On the stretch from Bandung to Sumedang we
were accompanied by a carriage of the Regent's. On our way we
spent one night at the house of the wadana of Tanjung Sari, R.
Wiranagara, who had married the eldest daughter of uncle Pangeran.
He later became Regent of Garut.
It was not yet noon when we arrived at Sumedang. We went
straight to the reception hall of the kabupaten to attend on uncle
Pangeran. His plans for our immediate future were that Durahim
should go to a religious school, while I was to remain in Sumedang
at the disposal of the patih. Thereupon I attended on my uncle the
Aria and his wife aunt Yogya, whom he had married after aunt
Lenggangmantri had passed away, and they took me into their
I am not sure about the date of my return to Sumedang, but it
must have been about a month after the end of 1860. Numerous
visitors came to see me after my return. Five days after my arrival I

The Life-Story ofan Old- Time Priangan Regent 409
entered uncle Pangeran's service as a magang, and consequently
was employed both in his home and in his office, but I was allowed
to go home in the afternoon.
In February 1862 uncle Pangeran ordered that I should enter
public service. I was appointed to the position of assistant teacher
at the school of Sumedang at a monthly salary of fl. 10.-. The
subjects I had to teach were: 1. the Malay language; 2. calculation
in compound fractions - at that time people in Sumedang only
knew about halves and quarters; 3. geodesy. People were unacquainted
with measuring in metres. The linear measure was the
tumbak (3.7674 m.), numbering 12 feet (Dutch 'Rijnlandse
roede'). Nor were the villagers acquainted with the square measure
bau (7096 m2). If one asked a landowner, "How many bau of
sawah do you possess?", the answer would be "Four or five fields,
and the yield is one to two caeng" if the man was not rich, or "Ten
to twenty caeng, and ten or twenty fields" if he was.14
After I had worked as a schoolmaster for about half a year, I was
summoned before the Regent. There I met the Assistent-Resident,
who instructed me to advise all the wadanas of the Regency
of Sumedang who were engaged in the construction of irrigation
works on the subjects of water-course and water-level.15 My salary
was raised to fl. 16.-, on the understanding that I should carry on
my job as teacher when not occupied elsewhere.
In 1864 I was summoned again, this time in order to be informed
of my appointment as camat of the sub-district of Cikadu.
So I moved there; at that time I was still unmarried. But after I had
been living in Cikadu for nine months, uncle Pangeran feit that the
time had come for my marriage to his daughter Armunah, as
arranged many years previously. The marriage was celebrated
with full ceremony in March 1865, with the bride wearing a bridal
headdress (siger) and the groom a crown on his head.16 At the time
I was 20 years old. I was in Cikadu for a little over a year. About six
months after our marriage the wadana of the district paid us a visit
to inform me of my appointment as kaliwon of Sumedang. In those
days public servants below the rank of wadana were not furnished
with a copy of their letter of appointment.
A kaliwon was, so to speak, a secretary to the patih; he worked
under the patih in preparation of his appointment as a wadana.
This was the usual procedure. The patih was assisted by two
secretaries, both of them styled mantri besar. Óne did not in that
capacity draw a salary, no more than in othér public functions.
Instead of wages one received part of the cuke, namely 20 caeng =
200 pikul of rice a year, besides 4 bau of sawah in Cihonje.
The chief duties of a patih were three in number: he registered
all the sawahs found in the regency; he was responsible for all

410 G. W.J. Drewes
roads and bridges, small and large; and he was in charge of all
official buildings, such as the kabupaten (the Regent's residence),
the houses of the Assistent-Resident and the Controleur, the gaol,
and the salt and coffee warehouses. All work was carried out with
the aid of forced labour, and the expenses were charged to the
villages. The Government did not supply any money for this, since
the population paid no taxes but only cuke to the amount of one
tenth of the yield of sawahs and dry fields. This tax in kind was
collected under the supervision of the heads of the desas, who
reported to the wadana.
In June 1869 I was appointed wadana of the district of Sumedang.
In the same year my first child, a boy, was born. We named
him Pahrussuhada; he died at the early age of two. In 1871 my
wife, Nyai Raden Ratnainten (Armunah), was carried off by an
attack of malignant cholera, after being ill for only five hours.
The year 1871 was that of the Preanger Reorganization. To get
this under way, Mr. Van Rees, a member of the Council of the
Indies17, was sent to Sumedang as Government Commissioner.
He stayed here for six months and was lodged in the kabupaten.
His secretary was Mr. Levyssohn Norman, Assistent-Resident of
Mr. Cornelis, and formerly Controleur of Sumedang. They made a
tour of inspection to the west (Bandung, Cianjur) and to the south
(Garut, Tasikmalaya) once a month. By order of the Resident I
kept myself. at the disposal of the Commissioner and left my
official duties in the hands of the camat.
The reorganization came into effect on the first of June. The
harvest tithes were abolished and replaced by taxes in money.
Henceforth all public servants, from high to low, were paid cash
wages. The monthly pay oia.jurutu.lis was fl. 15.-; that of a mantri
fl. 25.-; of a camat fl. 100.-; of a wadana fl. 200.-, and of a tax
collector fl. 200.-, besides a certain percentage. The highest salary
was drawn by the Regent, who was paid fl. 20,000.- a year, in
addition to a special allowance. This special allowance varied in
proportion to the area of the sawahs in the regency. The Regents
of Sukapura and Garut received fl. 10,000.-, those of Sumedang
and Cianjur fl. 24,000.- and the Regent of Bandung fl. 100,000.- a
year. This latter was only a temporary measure. Their successors
were to be given salades only.
After a further digression on the differences between the old system,
said to have been introduced in 1808, and the new - which need not be
reproduced here18 - the author concludes with the introduction of the
land-tax, which ranged from fl. 1.- to fl. 15.- per bau, according to the
yield. Then he goes on with his story about himself, saying:
About a year after the decease of my wife I married R. Ajeng

The Life-Story ofan Old-Time Priangan Regent 411
Sangkanningrat, another daughter of my uncle the Pangeran by
his padmi, R. Ayu Rajapamerat, a daughter of the Regent of
Bandung known as Dalem Karanganyar. The marriage was celebrated
with due pomp and circumstance in the presence of a large
number of spectators, among them numerous European guests,
possibly on account of the fact that the bride was the first Regent's
daughter to have attended a European school. This Sumedang
school, headed by Mr. Warnaar, was the first to open in Priangan;
all of its twelve pupils were children of regents. None of them was
from Cianjur, where people still clung to the old mores and were
averse to tuition by a teacher who was not a Muslim.
At the end of 1873 a son, Aom Erna, later called R. Somanagara,
was born, and at the end of 1875 a daughter, Agan Lili, later
called R. Ajeng Tejapamerat. In 1878 another son, Aom Alibasah,
later called R. Suriadiharja, was born. When this boy was
one and a half years old, my uncle the Regent came to Tegalkalong,
where we were living, and took him with him to Sumedang,
because he wanted to take every care of his grandson himself.
Uncle passed away in September 1882.
In 1873 the Government took measures in furtherance of the
cultivation of coffee. One of these was that henceforth it was
permitted to plant coffee-trees on one's own land. A.good four
years later Resident Van der Moor and Mr. Fleisch, Inspector of
coffee cultivation, came to the desa of Sukatali on a round of
inspection just when the coffee-berries were reddening. At his
departure the Resident shook hands with me and commended me
for my good work. One month after this visit a good number of
wadanas and camats came to me by order of the Government in
order to acquaint themselves with coffee-growing in the desas, and
three months afterwards I was awarded the silver star. This award
became a general topic of conversation, since it was the first time
this honour was conferred on a wadana. I shared it with the
wadana of Panembong (Garut), who later became patih of Sukabumi.
In 1879 West Java was seriously hit by the plagues of rinderpest
and epidemie malaria. The cattle-plague started in Ujung Kulon
and spread eastward over almost the whole of West Java. The
symptoms were a swollen neck and total loss of appetite, followed
by death within three days. Numerous veterinary surgeons were
sent from Europe, but they were powerless against this contagious
disease, for which there seemed to be no cure. When the plague
had penetrated as far as West Priangan, off Kandangwesi, largescale
measures were taken. It was decided to construct a dividingwall
from south to north for the purpose of dividing Java in two.
Two parallel fences were to isolate West Java from the rest of the

412 G. W.J. Drewes
island in the manner of a sanitary cordon, with no cattle from West
Java being admitted in the space between. One fence ran from the
mouth of the Cikandang, in the district of Kandangwesi, on the
south coast, in a north-easterly direction via Rajamandala, Sirap
and Wanayasa to the mouth of the Cimanuk, west of Dermayu, a
distance of 180paal (=270 km). The other ran 3 paal to the east of
it, its northern end skirting along Dermayu. They were made of
bamboo poles 5 m in length. Where a carriage-way or a minor road
crossed the fence, a gate was constructed. These gates were each
guarded by two soldiers. Lanes were simply Anyone
wishing to pass through a gate had to be disinfected before; the
carbolic solution used for that purpose went by the name of
kobokan, 'dishwater'. Two battalions of soldiers were consigned
to lend assistance, under the command of a colonel, two lieutenant-
colonels, and scores of captains and lieutenants, and likewise
five civilians were put in charge of control of the disease
{controleur veepest). For the military, temporary lodgings housing
50 men each had to be erected. All these operations, which were
carried out at great pains, required an expenditure of no less than
fl. 500,000.-.
In each district one camat was commissioned to see to the
execution of the planned measures - altogether more than fifty
men, seconded by so-called kumitir veepest (gecommitteerde voor
de veepest). The Iatter were recruited from among the magangs
and the jurutulis desa; all of them obtained a small consideration.
They had to see to it that any animal stricken with the disease was
immediately destroyed, cut up and buried at a large depth. It was
strictly forbidden to eat of its flesh. The owner was paid fl. 25.- in
In 1880 Sumedang was seriously hit by another calamity, namely
epidemie malaria, which raged especially in the districts of
Cimalaka and Conggeang, and more particularly in the subdistrict
of Tanjungkerta. Owing to the alarming mortality and
migration rate, the population decreased by 70%. In Sumedang
medical aid was provided by ten doctors, who every morning
served out quinine pills at the camafs office and saw to it that these
were taken. By 1881 the epidemie had spent itself.
In the same year I was promoted patih of Sumedang. As was
already mentioned above, my unele the Regent passed away in
1882. As none of his children was in town when he died, I had to
take care of everything. The news of his decease soon spread
throughout the town. The Assistent-Resident paid a visit of condolence
and had his prajurits19 posted around the kabupaten, for
by the early morning many people from Tomo and Darmaraja had
already come to town because the bedug had been beaten all night.

The Life-Story ofan Old-Time Priangan Regent 413
Thousands of them followed the bier on its way to the cemetery of
I was put temporarily in charge of the regency. Four months
later R. Rangga Suriaatmaja, patih of Mangunreja, was appointed
as my uncle's successor, and in May 1883 I was transferred to
Mangunreja. I had already moved to my new station the previous
April. Our little daughter, Agan Resmi, who had been born in
June 1882, was so ill that we feared she would not survive the
discomforts of the journey; but it went off all right. In Mangunreja
we were received in state, all the public servants from the eight
districts being present with their ladies. The next day the panghulu
of Mangunreja, R. H. Hasan Ma'arup, accompanied by his wife,
came to see us. They said, "We have come here to request your
permission to take your ailing baby home with us, to provide all
her needs, and to change her name to Agan Atiyah". We agreed to
this proposal. This panghulu was related to the family of the
Regents of Sukapura. He was a very learned man and universally
In 1883 and 1884 two other boys were born: Muhamad Ishak,
later called Aom Ace Martahadisura, and Aom Onong, later
called R. Martahadiprawira. When I had been in office for about a
year, the Government conferred the title of Demang on me. This
caused a good deal of surprise, since I had taken office at Mangunreja
only shortly before. But in fact this title was conferred on me
in recognition of my good offices at the time of the cattle-plague.
Subsequently, in 1891, the title of Aria was conferred on me, in
the presence of all the public servants and desa-heads of Mangunreja.
In March 1893 Assistent-Resident Van Ravenswaai told me to
apply for the position of Regent of Bandung, which had fallen
vacant as a result of the death of R. Adipati Kusumahdilaga. But
he urged me to keep silent about it. On June 29, 1893, Assistent-
Resident Platen came to see me at my home to congratulate me on
my promotion to Regent of Bandung, of which the Resident had
informed him by wire. I was to attend on the Resident, Mr.
Harders, the very next day. I arrived at Bandung in the late
afternoon of June 30. Mr. Harders made me cordiallywelcome
and congratulated me; we talked for a long time. My swearing-in
was fixed for July 15, and was to take place in the kabupaten.
I set out for Bandung, escorted by the wadanas and camats of
Mangunreja, on July 10, and I was solemnly sworn in in my new
office, in the presence of two patihs, twelve wedanas, all the
camats, jurutulis and desa-heads of the whole of the regency, and
numerous European guests, on Tuesday the 15th of July.
Scarcely had I entered upon my duties as regent when a serious

414 G.W.J.Drewes
occurrence came to pass, namely the discovery of a criminal plot,
the success of which would have been catastrophic. On the 16th
and 17th of July we had many visitors, relations of mine who had
come to congratulate me. All of a sudden, at nine o'clock in the
evening of the 17th, a servant from the Residency brought word
that I was expected at the Residency and was to go there without
delay. I was not a little alarmed, as it was so late in the evening. In
short, I went to the Residency. The Resident himself came to meet
me on the steps and said, "Let us go inside". We entered the
reception room, where two men were already present, a lowerclass
European, Van Woesiek by name, and a certain Iksan, who
was unknown to me. The Resident asked me whether these persons
were known to me: my answer was that I knew Mr. Van
Woesiek, but I did not know the other person.
Addressing Mr. Van Woesiek, the Resident then said, "Come
on, Mr. Van Woesiek, let us hear your story; but please teil it in
Sundanese, so that Iksan, too, may understand you". Thereupon
Mr. Van Woesiek told us that there were plans for an attempt on
the Resident's life by means of dynamite. On the next Saturday
afternoon a charge of dynamite was to be hidden in the Resident's
carriage, so that, when the carriage was set in motion, the dynamite
would be detonated and the carriage destroyed, and everyone
in it would be killed.
I was ordered to have a search instituted in the houses of
all suspected persons according to the information supplied by
Iksan. In the early morning of the next day six houses were
searched. Dynamite was found underneath the house of one R.
Nata Anbia, a relation of the deceased Regent, but a further police
inquiry brought to light that he was not to blame for its presence
The inquiry into this affair continued for four months. Every
cooperation was given by the Regents of Cianjur, Garut and
Sumedang, who put their police spies at my disposal. The Regent
of Sumedang even came to Bandung every Saturday evening. The
protracted investigation brought to light that the plotters had
intended to murder not only the Resident, but also the Assistent-
Resident, the Controleur, and myself. Ten people, among them
four priyayis, were a party to the plot; however, the matter was not
taken to court. The reason given by them for their conspiracy was
their utter dissatisfaction at the appointment of a Regent who was
not of the stock of the Regents of Bandung. So the affair was
settled by the political measure of their banishment from Java for a
period of twenty years. Three of these exiles are said to have
returned to Bandung af ter the expiry of the term; the others died
at their assigned places of residence before that. After the expul

The Life-Story ofan Old-Tïme Priangan Regent 415
sion of the culprits, people feit greatly relieved that so hideous a
crime had been prevented.
After my entry into office, I asked the Resident whom of the
European guests at my swearing-in ceremony I should first pay a
return visit in order to make their acquaintance. He advised me to
inquire with the wadana and the camat kota about the number of
European families resident in the town. They turned out to be 143
in number. Army and navy pensioners and retired office clerks
were numerous among the European inhabitants at that time. A
good fifty families were lower-class and were living in bamboo
houses without tiled roofs. I made the acquaintance of all of them
as best I could. After it had become accessible by train and housed
the Department of War and a railway repair shop, Bandung ranked
as a big town. Two big businesses were located there: toko De
Vries and toko Liem.
The first matter demanding my attention was the manufacture
of roof tiles. Only a quarter of the houses had tiled roofs, and
thatched roofs were in the majority. Furthermore, I stimulated
cassava growing, since tapioca was very much in demand on the
world market. At the time there was only one tapioca factory,
which was situated at Dago. It was Chinese-owned and was reported
to supply 200 pikul of tapioca a year to Batavia. I also
exerted myself to promote the construction of irrigation works in
order to increase the sawah acreage, more often than not for the
benefit of the neighbouring regencies. This was before the planning
of the big irrigation project of Cihea, which was implemented
at a cost of one million guilders.
I also gave attention to the building of bridges. On my inspection
tours throughout the regency I had to cross the Citarum, the
biggest river of the region, here and there. But bridges there were
none, and one had to be taken across the river by ferry. This
caused considerable inconvenience; therefore I asked permission
to build some simple bamboo bridges which could be constructed
by the villagers themselves. So within a short time the Citarum was
bridged in five places: on the road from Cicalengka to Majalaya;
on that from Ujungbrung to Ciparay; on that from Dayeuhkolot to
Banjaran; on that from Cimahi to Kopo; and last but not least, on
that from Rajamandala to Cihea, along which ran all the traffic
from and to Batavia and Bogor. Each time a bridge was finished, it
was inspected by European civil servants on their tours of inspection.
All the wadanas concerned received a recognition in writing,
and so did I myself, who was regarded as having studied engineering
in Holland. Two years later these five bamboo bridges were
replaced by iron ones, for the convenience of everyone.
During my time in office, the region and the town of Bandung

416 G.W.J.Drewes
experienced great progress. Several buildings went up, military
camps were established at Cimahi and Cikudapateuh, and an
aircraft industry was set up at Sindanglaya. At the request of
Assistent-Resident Van Zuijlen, I made inquiries in 1912 into the
volume of tapioca forwarded by rail from all stations and haltingplaces
on the railway to Batavia. It appeared from the records of
the station masters at Nagreg, Cicalengka, Rancaekek, Gedebage,
Bandung, Cimahi and Cipatat that 310,000 pikul of tapioca were
forwarded for shipment to Europe every year, over against no
more than 200 pikul previously. As tapioca fetched fl. 16 a pikul,
the total return from this amounted to fl. 4,960,000. So it was little
wonder that the Bandung region, both the town and the surrounding
countryside, flourished and the level of prosperity rose
every year. The area of sawahs. under cultivation, too, steadily
increased. In 1896 it came to 800,000 bau, over against 1,100,000
In 1897 R. Ayu Sangkanningrat again gave birth to a son, Aom
Singgih. But she passed away one month after the birth and was
buried in the cemetery of Karanganyar. About a year after her
death I married Nyai Raden Rajaningrat, a daughter of Pangeran
Sugih and Nyai Raden Muliakusumah from Sumedang, who had
been four years old when her father died and had been raised by
Pangeran Suriaatmaja (Pangeran Sindangtaman). Her father and
her mother were both descended from the 18th century Regent
Dalem Istri. She bore me three children: a son, Aom Mahar, bom
in February 1899; a daughter, Agan Juaeni, born in June 1907,
and another boy, Aom Kanas, born in September 1912.
In August 1900 I was awarded the gold star, and in 1903 the
title of Aria was conferred on me for the second time. It had
already been conferred on me in 1891, when I was patih of
Mangunreja, but a mention of it had been absent in the decree of
my appointment at Bandung; Furthermore, in 1906 the title of
Adipati was conferred on me, and finally, in 1909,1 was endowed
with the privilege of the golden parasol.
x In 1901 the king of Siam and his son the crown prince took up
their residence in Bandung for two months for the sake of the
prince's health. They and their retinue, which consisted of a general,
an admiral, and some officials, stayed at the Homan hotel;
the rest of the royal suite remained behind in Batavia. The Governor-
General put an aide-de-camp at His Majesty's disposal, and
also a Malay and Dutch interpreter, viz. a Mr. Valette, for the
Siamese gentlemen only spoke Siamese and English. During their
sojourn at Bandung they dressed in the European style. On his
return to Siam the king awarded me the distinction of Officer of
the Order of the Crown of Siam, whose mark I was allowed to wear

The Life-Story ofan Old-Time Priangan Regent 417
by decree of H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands.20
In 1918, when I had been in office at Bandung for 25 years and
four months, and my term of service, which had begun in 1862,
came to 56 years, I decided to retire. I was 74 years old and feit my
strength declining. By decree no. 1 of October 14, 1918, I was
granted a monthly pension of fl. 400.—, supplemented by an extra
allowance of fl. 160.—. I ordered my affairs and sold my furniture
and further household effects, as I wished to return to Sumedang,
my place of origin. Not possessing a house there, I took up my
temporary abode in the southern part of the kabupaten. The
Regent of Sumedang, Pangeran Suriaatmaja, also recently pensioned
off, had already moved to Sukaraja, before going to live at
Sindangtaman. The patih, R. Rangga Suriaaditanaya, was acting
Regent. A month after my arrival at Sumedang, R. Kusumahdilaga,
wadana of Palumbon (Cerbon), was appointed as Regent
of Sumedang. He was the only son of Pangeran Sugih by R. Ayu
Mustikaningrat, who at present is living at Ciamis. A few months
afterwards I found other accommodation, namely a brick house
that was the property of R. Demang Suriaamijaya, formerly patih
of Sumedang. This house had been occupied by a Dutchman, but
at the time was unoccupied. The owner was unwilling to let it to
me, but he readily allowed me to use it. I lived there for ten
months, until the day the house I had had built was ready. This
house, situated at Burujul, in the western part of the town, was
built on a plot that had previously been a sawah. This sawah, lying
at the edge of the road, had been the property of the naib of
Cibeureum. He had at first refused to sell it, but when I insisted he
gave in and sold me two bao at a price of fl. 2500.— per bao, the
highest price ever paid for a sawah field at Sumedang. All the
building-materials had to be ordered from Bandung; hence the
building cost exceeded that in Bandung by 30%.
Here the Iife-story ends, but the author, indulging in further reminiscences,
does not stop writing, or, perhaps, chatting. First he admonishes
his children and grandchildren to take good note of this Babad, in order
to improve their knowledge of Sumedang as it was in olden times, and to
pray for God's blessing. Then, as if the memory of it suddenly crossed his
mind, he continues with a detailed story of a sensational crime committed
years earlier, long before his time. This story had been brought up
already in connection with the planned attempt on the Resident's life, at
the very beginning of his residence in Bandung. The author was indebted
for it to R. Demang Natanagara, a retired Government official who was
a son of Regent Adipati Wiranatakusumah, later known by the name of
Dalem Karanganyar. This Regent had been in office when the occurrences
described took place. The author continues as follows.

418 G. W. J. Drewes
After the plot to murder the Dutch civil servants had been
overthrown, the Resident was eager to know whether there had
been any similar attempts and disturbances in former days. An
examination of the official files showed there to be nothing of the
kind on record except the criminal cases of Raksaparaja and
Ambuhawuk (about which no further details are given). However,
on inquiries being made with some older people, the murder of
Assistent-Resident Nagel was brought up by Demang Natanagara,
who had been a young jurutulis when it happened.
At that time the office of jaksa had been occupied by R. Naranata,
a relation of the Regent's. Because of his arrogance and his
rude behaviour, this jaksa was anything but well-liked, so much so
that the Regent and the Assistent-Resident were considering his
dismissal. Now, there was a petty Chinese trader at the Bandung
pasar by name of Munada, a Muslim convert who sold cheap
cotton goods and kerchiefs by retail. One day this Munada was
summoned before the Assistent-Resident for being in arrears with
the payment of a debt to the amount of thirty guilders contracted
at a public auction. His insolent behaviour enraged the Assistent-
Resident to such an extent that in his fury he knocked Munada
down with a chair. Rumour of this came to the ears of the jaksa.
He went to Munada's house and suggested that he murder the
Assistent-Resident and the Regent. If he should do so, he could
count on the jaksa's help.
Thereupon Munada promised to start a fire at the market place
of Ciguriang, to the west of the kabupaten, in the early morningof
the next day. When a fire broke out at the pasar the next morning,
both the Assistent-Resident and the Regent made for the pasar,
the former from the north, the latter from the south. The
Assistent-Resident was the first to arrive. In front of him walked a
policeman with a klewang at his side. Clearing the way for his
chief, the policeman pushed Munada away, whereupon the latter
stabbed the policeman in the arm with a creese. Mr. Nagel, the
Assistent-Resident, came to his aid and was himself stabbed in the
breast. He feil and, recognizing his assailant by the light of the fire,
yelled, "Take hold of Munada". Munada ran away and, meeting
the Javanese head of the pasar on his way, tried to stab him, too.
The Javanese, however, forestalled him and stabbed Munada,
who feil and lost his creese, but even so managed to escape. So
there were two blood-stained creeses. Apart from the Assistent-
Resident, however, no one had recognized the assailant or had
seen anything happen; nor did the head of the pasar know his
identity. Hundreds of people were brought into action to search
for him, but he could not be found; he had vanished into thin.air.
In the afternoon of the day of the fire the police were notified

The Life-Story of'ahOld-Time Priangan Regent 419
that at about seven o'clock that morning a young nobleman on
horseback had asked to be ferried across the river Citarum off
Dayeuhkolot. This young man had hurried the ferry-man and had
said that he was Munada, a trader of the pasar at Bandung who was
also the impressario of the Regent's cock-fights. At that time this
class of people was held in high respect. He had the road pointed
out to him all the way to Tarogong, as was attested by a good
number of witnesses. But alas, this trail led nowhere: Munada was
not found.
At last, after the search had been carried on for two more
months, the police found a witness at Tarogong who declared that
the man on horseback had been none other than R. Wiria, the
jurutulis of the jaksa. When R. Wiria was confronted with other
witnesses who had seen the pretended Munada, the evidence
proved incontestable. Called to account for his strange conduct,
the jurutulis declared that he had acted on the orders of his chief,
the jaksa. Thereupon the jaksa was arrested and exiled to Surabaya.
Seven months after the death of Mr. Nagel the riddle of
Munada's sudden disappearance was not a step nearer to its solution.
But Nagel's successor did not leave it at that. He recommended
the dismissal of the Regent on account of his relationship
to the banished jaksa. This dismissal came into effect shortly
afterwards, and the Regent was ordered to take up residence in
Cianjur. He did not return to Bandung until five years later, when
his son Dalem Bintang was in office.
Yet, much to the displeasure of the riew Assistent-Resident,
neither of the two jaksas who were successively appointed after
Naranata's banishment to Surabaya proved able to bring the affair
to a successful conclusion. The third successor was the former
assistant of the jaksa of Purwakarta, R. Suriadilaga. Some time
after his appointment in Bandung, the new jaksa married the
former wife of the exiled one. From her he learnt how it had come
about that no one had ever been able to lay hands on Munada. The
jaksa had whisked him away from the scène of the attack and kept
him in hiding all day. He had told him that he had a choice out of
two possibilities: death on the gallows or by his own hand — which
did he prefer? Munada's answer had been that he preferred rather
to die by the hand of the jaksa. Thereupon he had been strangled
in the dead of night and been put into a big case, which had been
taken to the Citarum by four men and dumped into the river. So
the Munada case could at last be considered closed and solved
about two years after the murder.
The author does not mention when the murderous assault on Nagel's life
took place. From the text of the Babad one can only gather that it should

420 G. W. J. Drewes
be dated before 1861. For at the beginning of that year the two schoolboys
returning from Semarang stopped over at Bandung, where they
stayed at the Regent's residence for one night. This Regent, known as
Dalem Bintang, was a son of the Regent who had been in office at the
time the murder had been perpetrated. He had succeeded his father after
the latter was dismissed on account of his lack of cooperation in clearing
up the Munada case.
I am indebted to the staff of the Algemeen Rijksarchief in The Hague
for informing me about the exact date of the murder and about the gist of
the official report concerning this incident. The victim, Carl Wilhelm
August Nagel, was a native German born at Hoyel, near Hannover, on
March lOth, 1794. He arrived in the Netherlands Indies in 1819, where
he began his career as a post office employee in Priangan. After serving
in several other functions he was appointed Assistent-Resident of
Bandung in 1832.
In the night of December 25th-26th, 1845, he was present at the
extinction of a fire at apasar. At daybreak, when he was walking back to
his carriage in the company of the Regent, he was severely injured by
repeated blows on the head, and he died from these injuries a few days
afterwards. A judicial inquiry brought to light that Nagel had for years
been guilty of dishonesty and abuse of power. This had led to the
hatching of a plot against him, of which the chief jaksa, here referredto
as R. Demang Mangunnagara, was the moving spirit. The Regent was
not aware of the plot, or did not want to know of it. At all events, he took
no effective action to discover the culprit. It was supposed that after the
attempt Munada had been done away with by the conspirators. Eventually
the Resident, the Regent, and the chief jaksa were punished by
transfers to different places or dismissal, and eight Javanese were exiled
to Makasar for a long period.
Comparing the two versions of what happened, one cannot help
wondering whether the judicial inquiry ever really got to the bottom of
this affair.
1 Published by Van Dorp, Semarang, 1897, in Jav.-Sund. script; republished by Balai
Pustaka in Latin script (19 small volumes).
2 F. de Haan, 1910-13,1:35, says of him: "From of old the Regent of Sumedang was
consideredpn/nus interpares". But at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th
century the wealthy Regent of Cianjur, who was in office as such for many years,
incontestably ranked first, to which a display of piety may have contributed. "It was not
until 1813, after R. Adipati Wiratanudatar V had passed away, that the excellent
qualities of the Sumedang Regent Surianagara won him an esteem which reminds one,
in Priangan history, of his ancestor, the former Mataram lord lieutenant".
The life of Regent Surianagara has been described in romantic form by R. Memed
Sastrahadiprawira in Pangeran Kornel (1930).

The Life-Story of an Old- Time Priangan Regent 421
3 The Yayasan Pangeran Sumedang, founded in 1949, and its Museum Prabu Geusan
Ulun, officially opened in 1974, keep alive the memory of R. A. A. Martanagara and
his illustrious ancestor. The story of Siliwangi is told in the babad known as Babad
Siliwangi. It appeared in print, edited by H. Sunarto and Viviane Sukanda-Tessier, in
4 Concerningihis Prince of Mataram see H. J. de Graaf (1958).
5 The grave of the then chief of Ukur is in Cipeujeuh (Cicalengka). Cod. or. Leiden 8249
contains copies of charters (piageiri) issued by the Regents of Ukur in authorization of
the custodians of this grave.
6 The political developments of these years have left traces in Javanese thinking, as is
apparent from the Serat Baron Sakender. The text of this work was edited by A. B.
Cohen Stuart and accompanied with a Dutch translation. There is no certainty about its
date of origin, but it appears to me that it cannot be anterior to the rule of Sunan Tegal
Arum or Sultan Mangkurat, who, in contrast with Sultan Agung, were on a friendly
footing with the Dutch. In this book one is able to read how the new constellation in
Java, brought about by the presence and the power of the V.O.C., was explained and
made acceptable. 1 do not think that, as has been suggested by Pigeaud (1927:348), a
similar opinion could have influenced the politics of Sultan Agung, for there was no
occasion to reflect on a satisfactory interpretation of the historica! facts before it had
become established that the presence of the Dutch at Jakarta was not just a short-lived
invasion or an event of a temporary nature, but was a situation which was likely to be of
a lasting character.
7 About this important V.O.C, employee, who was of Scottish descent, and his occupations
with West Java see De Haan (1910-'13:203-205).
8 Some such genealogy was published by A. W. Kinder de Camarecq in 1862. Others are
mentioned in the edition of the Babad Siliwangi (see note 3), p. 17. A genealogy of
the Sumedang Regents is also contained in cod. or. Leiden no. 6499.
9 On the treatment of the afterbirth see H. Hasan Moestapa (1913:25-'9) and R. A.
Kern's translation in Hasan Moestapa (1946:30-'7).
10 With reference to circumcision in Priangan see H. Hasan Moestapa 1913:38-52 and
Kern's translation 50-70.
11 Concerning Trunajaya, who shook the Mataram kingdom to its foundations and was
killed by Mangkurat II, see Olthof (1941:155-196); De Graaf (1940:273-328); De
Graaf and Pigeaud (1976:86-91). Concerning Dipanagara, see Peter B. R. Carey
12 Kembanggambir = Jasminum grandiflorum; melati = Jasminum Sambac Ait.
13 The barque al-Noor was an Arab-owned ship with an Arab captain; its home port was
14 A caeng is a rice measure comprising 200 gedeng (bundies) of varying weight, usually 5
to 6 kati.
15 InPriangan rice was grown on a large scale on tracts of land that were cleared of timber
by burning (gaga; tipar; huma). The Government was always intent on stopping this
practice, which led to nomadism of a sort, by enlarging the acreage of irrigated fields, so
as to render people sedentary. In the time of G. G. Van Imhoff (mid-18th century) the
Regent of Sumedang had sawahs laid out by men from Limbangan, this kind of work
being unfamiliar to the people of Sumedang.
16 For a detailed description of a kawin gede in Priangan see H. Hasan Moestapa
(1913:53-72; 1946 (translation):73-101).
17 Van Rees was commissioned in June 1866 to draft a reorganization plan for the
'Preanger Stelsel', which was to be brought in line with the administration of the other
provinces of Java. He submitted his report in 1867. The first six chapters are historical
in character, and were afterwards published in Verh. Bat. Gen. In anticipation of the
enactment of the relevant bill by the Netherlands Parliament, the new system was
introduced on Jan. 1, 1871. However, Parliament did not permit this premature
introduction, and it had to be suspended until after the passage of the bill. So in fact the

422 G. W. J. Drewes
reorganization came into effect on June 1, 1871.
18 A survey of this reorganization has been given by H. C. van Meerten (1887).
19 In Priangan the prajurit were semi-military policemen at the disposal of the ei vil
20 Netherlands subjects are bound to request royal consent for wearing foreign decorations.
P. B. R. Carey, 1981, Babad Dipanagara, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch Royal Asiatic
Society, Monograph no. 9.
A. B. Cohen Stuart (ed.), 1850, Geschiedenis van Baron Sakéndhèr, Batavia: Lange & Co.
G. W. J. Drewes, 1951, 'Autobiografieën van Indonesiërs', BK1107:226-264.
—, 1975, The Romance of King Angling Darma in Javanese Literature, Bibliotheca
Indonesica no. 11, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
H. J. de Graaf, 1940, 'Het Kadjoran-vraagstuk', Djawa XX:273-328.
—, 1958, De regering van Sultan Agung, Verhandelingen KITLV no. 23, The Hague:
Martinus Nijhoff.
—, and Th. G. Th. Pigeaud, 1974, De eerste Moslimse Vorstendommen op Java, Verhandelingen
KITLV no. 69, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
—, 1976, Islamic States in Java, Verhandelingen KITLV no. 70, The Hague: Martinus
F. de Haan, 1910-3, Priangan, Batavia: Bataviaasch Genootschap voor Kunsten en
Wetenschappen (4 vols.).
H. Hasan Moestapa, 1913, Bab Adat-adat oerang Priangan djeung oerang Soenda lian ti
eta, Batavia: Landsdrukkerij.
—, 1946, Over de gewoonten en gebruiken der Soendaneezen, vertaald door R. A. Kern,
Verhandelingen KITLV no. 5, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
A. W. Kinder de Camarecq, 1862, 'Stamlijsten der regenten van Soemedang, in de
Préanger Regentschappen, tot 1858', Tijdschrift Bataviaasch Genootschap XI:158.
R. A. A. Marta Nagara, 1923, Babad Raden Adipati Aria Marta Nagara Regent Pensioen
Bandoeng di Soemedang, Bandoeng: Drukkerij Aurora.
H. Ch. van Meerten, 1887, Overzicht van de hervorming van het Preanger-stelsel, Leiden
(Thesis Leiden University).
R. Memed Sastrahadiprawira, 1930, Pangeran Kornel, Batavia: Balai Pustaka, no. 880.
W. L. Olthof (ed.), 1941, Babad Tanah Djawi, The Hague: Koninklijk Instituut voor de
Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlands-Indië.
Th. G. Th. Pigeaud, 1927, 'Alexander, Sakèndèr en Sénapati, Djawa VII:321-361.
P. Pospos, 1950, Aku dan Toba, Tjatatan dari masa kanak-kanak, Batavia: Balai Pustaka,
no. 1802.
Muh. Radjab, 1950, Semasa ketjil di kampung, Batavia: Balai Pustaka, no. 1758.
O. van Rees, 1880, 'Overzigt van de geschiedenis der Préanger Regentschappen', Verhandelingen
Bataviaasch Genootschap XXXIX.
H. Sunarto, and V. Sukanda-Tessier (ed.), 1983, Cariosan prabu Silihwangi, Naskah dan
Dokumen Nusantara; Textes et documents nousantariens vol. IV, Jakarta: Ecole
Francaise d'Extrême Oriënt.

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