Introduction on Makassar

The Makassar peoples are an ethnic group residing in the southern part of the Island of Celebes (Sulawesi), which is situated between Borneo and
the Maluku Islands. The Sultanate of Makassar consisted of the two Kingdoms of Gowa and Tallo. The capital city of the Makassar people, hereby
called Makassars, is the City of Makassar and faces the Makassar Strait. It is today known as Ujung Pandang. Makassar is already mentioned in the
14th century in the Nagarakretagama, a Javanese eulogy composed in 1365 during the reign of Hayam Wuruk, King of Majapahit while being under
the latter’s dominance.
Around the 14th century there existed a number of small kingdoms on Sulawesi of which the Kingdom of Gowa-Tallo and the Kingdom of Bugis
were the most important. Portuguese merchants frequented Makassar regularly during the 16th century since they set foot on Sulawesi in 1511.
Among the goods that came to Makassar from neighbouring Indonesian islands were cloves, nutmeg, and mace, pepper, cinnamon, sappanwood and
sandalwood, tortoise-shell, gum-lac, wax, and slaves, while from Cambodia came wax, benzoin and ivory, from Siam lead, from Japan copper and
from Manila gold and silver dollars. Indian merchandise brought to Makassar included cotton cloth and steel, and from Macau came a wide range of
Chinese goods, including sugar, green ginger and China root, tutenag and gold. Makassar was also a substantial producer of rice and gold. [1] In
March 1602 the Dutch arrived in Makassar. [2] The Kings of Gowa-Tallo embraced Islam in 1605. (1)  The Sultanate of Makassar was soon to be
at loggerheads with the Dutch since Sultan Ala'uddin (reign 1593-1639) was demanded to cease all trade with the Spice Islands in 1607.

The Portuguese became a favoured nation, with the aim to counter the Dutch offensive trade policy. The Portuguese presence grew and even
increased after the fall of Malacca to the Dutch in 1641. In 1613 Makassar allowed the English East India Company to build a factory. [1] By 1620,
the commercial rivalry between the Dutch, Portuguese and English in the Spice Islands degenerated into open if undeclared war. Especially the Dutch
East India Company (VOC) seeking dominance in the spice trade, started hostilities against the Portuguese and English. In the end, the Dutch
realized that they could only achieve a hegemony over the spice trade by eliminating Makassar as an independent power and a free port. The
Makassars supported those who fought the Dutch monopoly system and the associated suppression of the local population. By the end of 1653, the
Dutch were again openly at war with Makassar over the rebellion against the overlordship of the Sultan of Ternate. In 1656 a peace was concluded
between the Dutch and Makassar. In 1659, the King of Makassar demanded that the Dutch would undertake nothing against the dominions of the
King of Ternate (the latter seeking protection from Makassar) and also to withdraw the Dutch garrison at Manado in North-Sulawesi.
(Print of the attack on Makassar, 12 June 1660, from Wouter Schouten’s travel account)
The Dutch in reply, decided begin 1660 to gather a punitive fleet at Amboina and attack Makassar. The fleet of Van Dam and Truytman, after
destroying the Portuguese ships at the bar, took the Castle of Panakkukang on the 12th of June. A truce was signed in Batavia by Karaeng Ri Popoq
thereafter and sealed on 2 December in Makassar by the VOC, in which one of the terms was that the Portuguese had to be banished from
Makassar within one year. [3]

In 1666, the Dutch sent again a punitive expedition to Makassar. Sultan Hasanuddin (reign 1653-1669) was forced to sign the Bongaya Treaty on
18 November 1667, by which a Dutch monopoly was imposed over all Makassar's trade, while all European traders other than the Dutch were to
be expelled. Sultan Hasanuddin restarted the war and the Dutch with Fort Rotterdam as a stronghold, managed to destroy Gowa's strongest fortress
in Somba Opu on 12 June 1669, which finally marked the end of the war between Gowa and the VOC. Arung Palakka (b.1634-d.1696), Prince of
the Bugis Kingdom, who assisted the Dutch in the Makassar War, became the ruler in South Sulawesi.

The revolt of the Makassars in Siam

The earliest written account of the revolt of the Makassars I could find is the one from Tachard in his Second voyage du Père Tachard - Livre III
published in 1689. [4] He noted down the extensive written account of the French Engineer M. de la Mare, (2) who was present at the scene and
added some circumstances of others who were also present.

I will as thus, use de La Mare’s account as main setting and correct or improve his narrative with information from other sources such as found in the
work of John Anderson, Turpin, François Valentyn and others.

The writings of de La Mare/Tachard and later texts explain that this Makassar Prince escaped from the clutches of the Dutch after the attack on
Makassar in 1660, but François Valentyn mentions another reason in his work titled Oud En Nieuw Oost Indien - Volume III. [5] Valentyn writes
that the King of Makassar, Sultan Malikussaid (reign 1639-1653) also called Sombanko, (3) had a brother who was greatly beloved by him and
highly respected by the Court. This brother was one of the chief advisers of the king, and the king usually followed his advice on State affairs. The
king devoted himself for the greatest part to the pleasures of one of his concubines, who he eminently loved. This concubine had sensed long ago, that
there was no one in her way, except the king’s brother and she knew that he had the boldness trying to dissuade the king not to engage himself too
far with her. This incited her to revenge, and she was able to find means to make him suspicious by the king, professing that his brother stood to his
crown and life. The king’s brother was compelled to take a certain night the flight to Java (4) with two of his most loyal friends, and his readiest

On Java, he was received very well because of his high birth, as out of other insights, except that he also came to marry a daughter of a Javanese
prince on Surabaya. (5) The Dutch at Batavia got notice of the settlement of the prince there and consented to make him understand that his stay
there was not pleasant to them, wherefore, timely warned of the traps they laid on him, and meanwhile being invited by the King of Siam, in order to
come to settle down in his Kingdom, he agreed to take the great advantages offered to him.

Having obtained a message hereof, King Narai of Ayutthaya (reign 1656-1688), sent him around A°. 1664 a large ship to bring him and his
entourage (already increased to 60 families) to Siam; and received him with very great proof of esteem. (6) He generously granted him asylum and
designated him a location south of Ayutthaya, to settle down; the location became known as the
Makassar Camp. (7)

Continued - Part 2


(1) Karaeng Matoaya (reign 1593-1623), Sultan of Tallo and Prime Minister of Gowa, formally and publicly embraced Islam on 22 September
1605, while Karaeng Ala’uddin (reign 1593-1639), Sultan of Gowa, followed soon thereafter. (Villiers)
(2) The French engineer de la Mare was part of the first French Embassy to Siam under de Chaumont and de Choisy in 1685. He remained at King
Narai's request in order to build fortifications. De La Mare was initially embarked to teach piloting to the marine guards of the embassy, and
apparently was not a trained engineer in France. He was a gifted self-made man and fell soon in the taste of Constantine Phaulkon. De La Mare
designed fortifications for Ayutthaya, Lopburi (including Thale Chup Son), Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Mergui and In Buri and
implemented temporary improvements to the fortifications of Bangkok. On arrival of the second French Embassy in 1687 - which was carrying four
"Ingenieurs du Roi" to the French general Desfarges - the works at the fort in Bangkok were already ongoing, de La Mare found him soon at
loggerheads with Jean Vollant des Verquains, one of the four engineers working in Siam in 1687-1688. De La Mare was probably at the basis of
Bellin’s map "Plan de la Ville de Siam Capitale du Royaume de ce nom Leve par un Ingenieur Francois en 1687."
(3) "Sombangku" was the term of address reserved for all sovereigns of Gowa/Makassar, but when the Europeans were talking about "Sombanco"
at that time, it was usually to specifically refer to Sultan Hasanuddin. (Pelras)
(4) Most part of Java excluded Bantam and the Dutch VOC port of Batavia, was under the Sultan of Mataram Amangkurat I from 1646 to 1677. In
Surabaya dissatisfaction grew with the sultan and slowly started to turn in open revolt, one of the reasons the Makassar prince and his entourage was
well received.
(5) Gervaise mentioned the name of his spouse being 'Angke Sapia'; The Mercure Gallant of March 1688 gives Anec Sapiha (page 242).
(6) The Mercure Galant (1687) has another version and writes that a young Makassar Prince was given clemency after his father plotted against the
King of Jambi (Sultanate of Jambi - Northern Sumatra) and was executed thereafter. The King of Jambi, who was apparently vassal to Siam, gave
the prince authorisation to go to Siam with about 250 other Makassars and provided a large ship for this purpose.
(7) King Narai was quite generous in providing refuge. In 1658 he already offered a safe haven to 700 Muslims coming from Minangkabau in West
Sumatra and who were wandering around in Cambodia. (Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya -
The Siam Society – page 248)


[1] Villiers, John (1990) - One of the Especiallest Flowers in our Garden: The English Factory at Makassar, 1613-1667. In: Archipel, volume 39,
1990. pp. 159-178.
[2] Cummings, William (2007) - A Chain of Kings: The Makassarese Chronicles of Gowa and Talloq - KITLV Press - page 7.
[3] W. E. Van Dam Van Isselt - Mr. Johan Van Dam en zijne Tuchtiging van Makassar in 1660.
[4] Tachard, Guy (1689) - Second Voyage du Père Tachard et des Jésuites envoyez par le Roy au Royaume de Siam..., Paris, Horthemels - Livre
III (pp.96-128).
[5] Valentijn, Francois (1726) - Oud En Nieuw Oost Indien - Vol 3.