Chronology of Wallace's travels in the Malay Archipelago

By George Beccaloni, April 2018

As noted in the preface to his book The Malay Archipelago (1869), Alfred Russel Wallace arranged the account of his travels around the region roughly biogeographically rather than chronologically. His route was convoluted to say the least, and he felt that his readers would be confused by a chronological arrangement.

The list below is an attempt to reconstruct his journey chronologically, with dates compiled from a variety of sources, including: Wallace’s book and other publications; the journals he kept during his trip; his letters; and the known dates of arrival and departure of certain ships (especially mail steamers), as reported by newspapers of the time. Many of the dates remain tentative and will probably never be known with certainty, a situation not helped by the fact that Wallace many mistakes when recording dates in his journals and elsewhere. The list includes all of Wallace's major sea voyages between islands and the dates he stayed on them, but it does not detail his travels within or around the islands in question. Names of islands and towns are those used by Wallace, and their modern names (if different) are given in brackets.

DATES

STOP-OFFS

PLACES (bold capital letters denote important sea voyages lasting one or more days )

4 MARCH - 18 APRIL 1854

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SINGAPORE. Departed England on P&O steamer Euxine

10 - 11 Mar. 1854

Gibraltar. Wallace did not disembark.

15 - 16 Mar. 1854

Malta

20 - 26 Mar. 1854

Alexandria, Egypt. By boat to Cairo, then overland to Suez. Departed Suez on steamer Bengal

9 - 10 Apr. 1854

Port de Galle, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] via Aden. Departed Port de Galle on steamer Pottinger

17 Apr. 1854

Penang

18 April 1854 - 13 July 1854

Singapore. One week spent on Pulau Ubin

13 - 15 JULY 1854

SINGAPORE - MALACCA [MELAKA]. On schooner Kim Soon Hin

15 July - 23 September 1854

Malacca [Melaka]

23 - 25 SEPTEMBER 1854

MALACCA [MELAKA] – SINGAPORE. Possibly on barque John Bibby.

25 September - 17 October 1854

Singapore

17 OCTOBER - 29 OCTOBER 1854

SINGAPORE – SARAWAK. On brig Weraff

29 October 1854 - 10 February 1856

Sarawak, Borneo

10 - 17 FEBRUARY 1856

SARAWAK – SINGAPORE. Possibly on barque Santubong

17 February - 23 May 1856

Singapore

23 MAY - 17 JUNE 1856

SINGAPORE - LOMBOCK [LOMBOK]. On barque Kembang Djepoon

13 - 15 Jun. 1856

Bali

17 June - 30 August 1856

Lombock [Lombok]

30 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER 1856

LOMBOCK [LOMBOK] – MACASSAR [MAKASSAR]. On schooner Alma

2 September - 18 December 1856

Macassar, Celebes [Makassar, Sulawesi]

18 DECEMBER 1856 - 8 JANUARY 1857

MACASSAR [MAKASSAR] - ARU ISLANDS. By prau

31 Dec. 1856 – 6 Jan. 1857

Ké [Kai-besar] Island

8 January - 2 July 1857

Aru Islands: Wamar, Wokam, Maykor [Aru]

2 - 11 JULY 1857

ARU ISLANDS - MACASSAR [MAKASSAR]. By prau

11 July - 19 November 1857

Macassar, Celebes [Makassar, Sulawesi]

19 NOVEMBER - 30 NOVEMBER 1857

MACASSAR [MAKASSAR] - AMBOYNA [AMBON]. On Dutch mail steamer Padang

24 - 26 Nov. 1857

Coupang [Kupang] and Delli [Dili], Timor Island

28 - 29 Nov. 1857

Banda

30 November 1857 - 4 January 1858

Amboyna [Ambon]

4 - 8 JANUARY 1858

AMBOYNA [AMBON] - TERNATE. On Dutch mail steamer Ambon

8 - c. 20 January 1858

Ternate

c. 20 January - 1 March 1858

Gilolo [Halmahera]

1 - 25 March 1858

Ternate

25 MARCH - 11 APRIL 1858

TERNATE – DOREY [MANOKWARI]. On schooner Esther Helena

26 Mar. 1858

Makian

28 Mar. 1858

Gani, Gilolo [Halmahera]

11 Apr. 1858

Mansinam [Mansman] Island

11 April - 29 July 1858

Dorey, New Guinea [Manokwari, West Papua]

29 JULY - 15 AUGUST 1858

DOREY [MANOKWARI] – TERNATE. On schooner Esther Helena

15 August - 13 September 1858

Ternate

14 September - 1 October 1858

Gilolo [Halmahera]

2 - 9 October 1858

Ternate

9 - 21 OCTOBER 1858

TERNATE - BATCHIAN [BACAN]. By local boat

9 - 10 Oct.1858

Tidore

10 - 11 Oct. 1858

Mareh [Mare]

11 Oct. 1858

Motir [Moti]

11 - 13 Oct. 1858

Makian

13 - 19 Oct. 1858

Kaióa [Kayoa]

20 October 1858 - 21 March 1859

Batchian [Bacan]

21 March - 1 April 1859

Kasserota [Kasiruta]

1 - 13 April 1859

Batchian [Bacan]

13 - 20 APRIL 1859

BATCHIAN [BACAN] – TERNATE. By local boat

20 April - 1 May 1859

Ternate

1 MAY - 13 MAY 1859

TERNATE - TIMOR. On Dutch mail steamer

5 - 7 May 1859

Amboyna [Ambon]

7 - 9 May 1859

Banda

13 - 17 May 1859

Coupang [Kupang], Timor

c. 17 - 21 May 1859

Semao [Semau] Island

21 - 27 May 1859

Coupang [Kupang], Timor

27 MAY - 10 JUNE 1859

COUPANG [KUPANG] – MENADO [MANADO]. On Dutch mail steamer

31 May - ? Jun. 1859

Banda

? - 3 Jun. 1859

Amboyna [Ambon]

7 Jun. 1859

Ternate

10 June - 23 September 1859

Menado, Celebes [Manado, Sulawesi]

23 - 29 SEPTEMBER 1859

MENADO [MANADO] - AMBOYNA [AMBON]. On Dutch mail steamer

25 - 26 Sept. 1859

Ternate

29 September - 29 October 1859

Amboyna [Ambon]

29 - 31 OCTOBER 1859

AMBOYNA - CERAM [SERAM]. By local boat

31 October - 28 December 1859

Ceram [Seram]

28 - 31 DECEMBER 1859

CERAM [SERAM] - AMBOYNA [AMBON]. By local boat

31 December 1859 - 24 February 1860

Amboyna [Ambon]

24 - 26 FEBRUARY 1860

AMBOYNA [AMBON] - CERAM [SERAM]. By local boat

26 February - 4 April 1860

Ceram [Seram]

8 - 12 April 1860

Manowolko [Manawoka] Island

12 - 13 April 1860

Kissiwoi, Matabello [Watubela] Island

14 - 16 April 1860

Uta [Kisyui] Island

17 - 18 April 1860

Bam [Baam] Island

18 - 25 April 1860

Matabello [Watubela] Island

25 April 1860

Manowolko [Manawoka] Island

26 April - 27 May 1860

Goram [Gorong] Island

29 May - 1 June 1860

Kilwaru Island

2 - 17 June 1860

Ceram [Seram]

17 JUNE - 4 JULY 1860

CERAM [SERAM] - WAIGIOU [WAIGEO]. On Wallace's own prau

23 - 26 Jun. 1860

Mesmon Islands [Jefdoif Islands]

4 July - 7 August 1860

Waigiou [Waigeo], New Guinea

7 August - 25 September 1860

Bessir [Besir], Gam Island

25 - 30 September 1860

Waigiou [Waigeo], New Guinea

1 - 2 October 1860

Bessir [Besir], Gam Island

2 OCTOBER - 5 NOVEMBER 1860

BESSIR [Besir] - TERNATE. On Wallace's own prau

3 - 4 Oct. 1860

Gagie [Gag] Island

11 - 16 Oct. 1860

Canidiluar, Gilolo [Halmahera]

18 - 21 Oct. 1860

Gani, Gilolo [Halmahera]

25 Oct. - 1 Nov. 1860

Kaióa [Kayoa]

5 November 1860 – 2 or 3 January 1861

Ternate

2 or 3 JANUARY - 12 JANUARY 1861

TERNATE - DELLI [DILI]. On Dutch mail steamer

? 7 – 8 Jan. 1861

?Amboyna [Ambon]

? 8 - 9 Jan 1861

?Banda

12 January - 25 April 1861

Delli, Timor [Dili, East Timor]

25 APRIL - 4 MAY 1861

TIMOR - BOURU [BURU]. On Dutch mail steamer Macassar

29 Apr. - 1 May 1861

Banda

1 - 3 May 1861

Amboyna [Ambon]

4 May - 3 July 1861

Bouru [Buru]

3 JULY - 16 JULY 1861

BOURU [BURU] - JAVA. On Dutch mail steamer Ambon

6 - 7 Jul. 1861

Ternate

9 - 10 Jul. 1861

Menado, Celebes [Manado, Sulawesi]

12 - 13 Jul. 1861

Macassar, Celebes [Makassar, Sulawesi]

16 July - 15 September 1861

Sourabaya [Surabaya], Java

15 - 18 SEPTEMBER 1861

SOURABAYA [SURABAYA] - BATAVIA [JAKARTA] VIA SAMARANG [SEMARANG]. On Dutch mail steamer Batavia

18 September - 1 November 1861

Batavia [Jakarta], Java

1 - 2 NOVEMBER 1861

BATAVIA [JAKARTA] - BANCA [BANGKA]. On Dutch mail steamer Prins van Oranje

2 - 4 November 1861

Banca [Bangka] Island

4 - 8 NOVEMBER 1861

BANCA [BANGKA] - SUMATRA. By local boats

8 November 1861 - 15 January 1862

Sumatra

15 - 16 January 1862

Banca [Bangka] Island

16 - 18 JANUARY 1862

BANCA [BANGKA] - SINGAPORE. On Dutch mail steamer Macassar

18 January - 8 February 1862

Singapore

8 FEBRUARY - 31 MARCH 1862

SINGAPORE - ENGLAND. Departed on P&O steamer Emeu

10 Feb. 1862

Penang

16 - ? Feb. 1862

Port de Galle, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]

22 - 25 Feb. 1862

Bombay [Mumbai], India. Departed on P&O steamer Malta

12 - 13 Mar. 1862

Egypt: Suez to Alexandria by train. Departed Alexandria on P&O steamer Ellora

17 - 25 Mar. 1862

Malta. Departed on steamer

27 - 30 Mar. 1862

France: Marseilles to Boulogne by train

31 March 1862

Folkestone, England

This chronology is a corrected and updated version of that published in Beccaloni, G. W. 2017. Chronology of Wallace's travels in the Malay Archipelago. pp. xlvii-lii. In: Wallace, A. R. The Malay Archipelago. UK: Folio Society. This was in turn based on the chronologies published by van Wyhe, J. (Ed.). 2015. The Annotated Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace. Singapore: NUS Press, and Berry, A. Timeline of Wallace's travels. In: Wallace, A. R. 2014. The Malay Archipelago. UK: Penguin.

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