Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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MAY 1940
 
 
 
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MAY 1940
10

Ambon, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Friday, May 10, 1940

Hugo came in at 7:30 AM with a very beautiful palm and another specimen of red flower and fruit to be photographed. He collected them in the mountain yesterday. He also brought 3 rolls of David’s to be developed. I lost no time in taking the photographs and starting developing while the water was still cool.

David stopped in and wanted me to go with him later to take a photograph of Rumphius’ grave.

David, Anne, Marian, Hugo and the Resident’s daughter, Nellie Jensen, walked to the tomb of Rumphius, the great plant naturalist who died in 1824. David asked me to take his picture standing by the tomb. I also took several of the others by the monument.

Everyone went back to the boat except David who stayed and had lunch with me at the hotel. Afterward he took a nap in my room.

At three o’clock we were just leaving the hotel to go to the library when a policeman stopped us at the street and said we could not leave the hotel. He would give no reason for the order and we sat down to puzzle it out. A woman from the next room called attention to the fact that there was a policeman in front of each house on the street.

This was reassuring in a way because it meant there was nothing personal in the restriction. David thought that perhaps a parade was about to pass. A man in white uniform passed and David spoke to him and showed his card. The man told the policeman to let us go out.

We went down on the street to look around and see what it was about. The Devin boy appeared and he thought that something had been stolen and they were trying to catch the thief. Finally a friend of his came up and said that Holland had been invaded and that Holland and Germany were at war – the police were apprehending and interning all Germans.

This serious news was of great importance in its effect on our plans in the Dutch East Indies.

David and I went to see Hamel, the missionary. He was evidently upset. A Hollander went by who said that all his family were in Holland near the German border.

Hamel went with us to see the Resident and also the Inspector of Schools. They  said that 7000 Germans, dressed in Dutch uniforms had landed by parachutes, and that others had come in by rubber boats.

The opinion was that there was no danger from Germany in the Dutch East Indies, but that Japan might take the opportunity to enter the islands.

I saw Ted later and went out to the boat with him. He tried to reassure David and told him that there was nothing to interfere with carrying out his plans. Ted’s attitude seemed to me to be governed by his desire to keep out of the way in these little traveled parts so that he could not be called for service. My own opinion was that the situation was serious and that this was no time to be cruising among the island of one of the belligerent countries. I could see that David was greatly disappointed at the prospect of a hitch in our plans.

A very heavy rain came up and I stayed on the boat all night. I took my camera on board, but I will do no more photographing on shore while we are here.

Drymophloeus oliviformis collected on Ambon Island, Indonesia
Drymophloeus oliviformis collected on Ambon Island, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Ixora specimen collected on Ambon Island
Ixora specimen collected on Ambon Island. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Image of Georg Eberhard Rumphius in a volume of his Herbarium Amboinensis
Image of Georg Eberhard Rumphius in a volume of his Herbarium Amboinensis. Photographed in the library of the Resident of Ambon by David Fairchild.
David Fairchild at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius
David Fairchild at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius in Ambon. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Group at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius
Nellie Jensen (the Resident’s daughter), Marian Fairchild, Hugo Curran, Anne Archbold, and David Fairchild (left to right) at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius in Ambon. Photographed by Edward Beckwith
Edward Beckwith at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius
Edward Beckwith at the tomb of Georg Eberhard Rumphius in Ambon. Photographed by David Fairchild.

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