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By James W. Gould

There is a typical trust that until eventually lately american citizens have hottest isolation to curiosity in distant components comparable to Southeast Asia. This thesis will be validated through analyzing the historical past of yankee family with a spot at the contrary part of the globe from the USA. this sort of land is Sumatra. it truly is one of many greatest islands on the earth. Its I66,789 sq. mile quarter exceeds that of the 3rd biggest American nation, California, and is greater than Italy. mendacity midway worldwide from the us, its I050 mile size is sort of divided by means of the equator, which runs throughout it for 285 miles. Sumatra's strategic significance is two-fold. first of all, it's the first island stepping stone from the Asiatic mainland into the Australasian archipelago. This used to be proven in I942 while the us stationed planes on Sumatra in an try and stem the japanese develop southward. Secondly, it lies athwart the shortest sea routes from japanese Asia to Europe and the japanese usa. Sumatra's southern tip varieties one facet of the Straits of Sunda which guards the entry to the Java, China and Philippine Seas. on the island's northern tip is the doorway to the Straits of Malacca, the shortest sea lane be­ tween the close to and much East. the outlet of the Suez Canal in I869 shifted the shortest path among the a ways East and the Western international from the Sunda to the Malacca Straits.

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Extra resources for Americans in Sumatra

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A. plantations in the East Coast of Sumatra since 1917, whence it has been exported since 1920 to Stein Hall & Co. 85 Since it is grown in Java as well as Sumatra, it is difficult to distinguish the two in American statistics, except during the years 1922-1931 when the category "outer islands" may be taken as all Sumatran. During the 1920'S we imported increasing amounts of sisal from Indonesia each year, until 1929, when we took 15,782 tons at a value of $ 2,978,386. Taking Sumatra at about two-thirds of Dutch East Indies production (the proportion of 1930-1931), we can estimate United States imports from Sumatra in the 1930'S at about 20,000 tons a year, rising to about 42,000 tons, valued at about $ 3-4 million in 1941.

There seems to have been plenty of competition in the r880's. From r883 to r906 Padang imported between 750,000 and r,250,000 gallons of American kerosene. Foreign sailing vessels brought practically all of the kerosene to the Indies, for these were the days when Americans had surrendered the 13 Padang Des. No. , Dec. n, 1882, Padang Despatches, Vol. II (Consular returns are missing for 1870 to 1886, but this one recorded import, by the Norwegian bark Glimt in 1882 was hardly the first. Singapore Des.

940-961; 1939, Vol. I, pp. 906-947, Vol. II, pp. 247-248, 257-258; 1940, Vol. II, pp. 288-300. 54 Knorr, pp. 179, 181-182; Allen, G. C. and Donnithorne, A. , Western Enterprise in Indonesia and Malaya (New York: Macmillan, 1957), pp. 170-171. 48 49 22 AMERICANS IN SUMATRA Also under Billiton management the great plant poured its first tin on April 2, 1942, using stockpiled Indonesian ore. 55 Following World War II Indonesian mining operations were resumed with two American dredges, the first launched in Florida on October 26, 1946, and the second on January 4, 1947, and towed to Indonesia.

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