Mapping Modernity

10. Occupied in Greater Aceh

23 October 2023

Netherlands’ bloodiest colonial war

Cartographer Thomson became an infantry first lieutenant in the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) in 1894. At that time, the Dutch had been embroiled in their bloodiest colonial conflict in the Sultanate of Aceh for decades. During his tenure as a member of parliament in 1906, Thomson criticised what he called the Dutch ‘sabre-rattling regime.’ Only by deploying more troops could the Dutch reduce their own campaign of terror.

L.W.J.K. Thomson, Map of the area occupied in Greater Aceh, The Hague 1897. Coll. S/T U.4.122, 97 x 81 cm.