Jan Simon Gerardus Gramberg

Birth: 1823


Jan Simon Gerardus Gramberg (19 April 1823 - 12 October 1888) was a Dutch author, military physician, plantation owner and adventurer, who lived and worked in the Dutch Gold Coast and the Dutch East Indies, and who wrote several works about these places. Gramberg was born in Maastricht to Johan Gramberg and Adriana Grond. After graduating with a medical degree in Utrecht, Gramberg was installed as a medical officer on the Dutch Gold Coast by royal decree dated 13 November 1855.

In Africa, he proved himself to be quite an adventurous man, traveling along the coast and the interior and eventually founding a cotton plantation on the Bossumprah river, on the road to British Komenda. About his period in Africa, which lasted from 1856 to 1859, he wrote a best-selling book titled Schetsen van Afrika's Westkust. Gramberg was then installed a medical officer with the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Dutch East Indies, until he had to retire from military service in late 1861 due to illness. Between early 1862 and May 1863, Gramberg was an editor of the Java-Bode, a newspaper in the Dutch East Indies.

Gramberg then shifted his career to the colonial administration, becoming a clerk in Palembang in 1863. Between July 1867 and September 1869, he was granted leave to Europe due to illness, which he spent mostly in The Hague. On returning to the East Indies, he became secretary and treasurer in Timor. He was fired in 1872 for "dishonorable conduct", but reinstalled on his old salary as secretary in the residency of Sumatra's east coast. In 1878, Gramberg was honorably discharged from service, and settled again in The Hague. He did not find his peace there, and enlisted as a ship's doctor in the United States. He died in Cobden, Illinois on 12 October 1888.


[1] (1861). Schetsen van Afrika's Westkust. Amsterdam: Weijtingh & Brave.; [2] (1865). De inlijving van het landschap Pasoemah. Batavia.; [3] (1868). Madjapahit: Historisch-romantisch tafereel uit de geschiedenis van Java. The Hague.; [4] (1868). "De Goudkust". De Gids. 32: 383-407.; [5] (1869). De sleutel van Madjapahit. Het Mohammedanisme tegenover de westersche beschaving in Indie. Palembang.; [6] (1878). Palembang, Historisch-romantisch tafereel uit de geschiedenis van Sumatra. Batavia.; [7] (1882). Indische schetsen met zwart krijt. No. 1. Atjeh. The Hague.


Frederiks, J.G.; van den Branden, F. Jos. (1891). "Jan Simon Gerardus Gramberg". Biographisch woordenboek der Noord- en Zuidnederlandsche letterkunde. Amsterdam: L.J. Veen.

Books & Publications

History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo