The Hunt

And from that year on, the romantic, by no means harmless hunt for the BROWN GOLD, the hunt for seeds and plants of the Cinchona, begins. The names of those who would be engaged in this hunt, the Minister of Colonies: Pahud de Mortanges; and the Consul at La Paz., Schukraft. and the transmitters of seeds and plants, Hasskarl and Ledger, and the chemist, Moens, we find later in the species named after them.

The species, including in particular the Cinchona Ledgeriana Moens, will be given a place of honour in the so-called Cinchona Ledgeriana Moens.

Kinaplantsoenen on Java.

Hasskarl left the Netherlands on the 4th of December 1852 and arrived months later in Lima, the capital of Peru. He stayed there for three months and learned Spanish, the real Spanish is still only spoken in Peru, the Peruvians say, because the rest of South America is too mixed with other races and can no longer produce pure Spanish.

He thus got to know the language as well as the people thoroughly and was able to leave for the interior with the necessary letters of recommendation for local greats, as a scientific explorer. Although there was no ban on the export of cinchona plants or seeds, it is understandable that the bark collectors would not leave the export of the "chicken" that laid the golden eggs without opposition.

On May 10, 1853, he left for the mountains and six months later was able to send a large number of plants to Lima. A helper promptly sent them to Panama, but the plants remained there for five long tropical months, due to poor drainage control there, with the inevitable result that all the plants died. Only the seed could be saved, and this was sent separately. A second voyage had to be cut short due to illness and domestic disturbances.

But a third voyage undertaken in May 1854 yielded about five hundred plants in good condition, which at Hasskarl's request were sold with a Dutch war fr

The journey was difficult. A typhoon in the China Sea threatened the frigate and its precious cargo, exhausting the crew.

When, on the 3rd of December, 1854, the ship entered the port of Makassar with difficulty, the captain decided, for the time being, not to go any further, in order to give the ship and crew some rest. Hasskarl, the go-getter, feared a second "Panama". And put himself in touch with Batavia. He obtained a naval steamship "De Gedeh", with which he was finally able to arrive in Batavia on the 13th of December 1854, two years after his departure from the Netherlands.

Of the 500 plants, 75 were still alive, despite the packaging in so-called São Paulo. Wartse kisten (crates in which a certain temperature and humidity could be stored). The plants were transferred to an annex of the botanical garden in Buitenzorg, namely: the Tjibodas garden, located 1500 meters against the Gedeh, where about 100 plants had already germinated, from the seeds that could have been saved from Panama in 1853.

The joy in the Netherlands, as well as in Java, was great and the words of appreciation by the author of the standard work on the Kina: Bernelot Moens, dedicated to Hasskarl, as "the first transmitter of living cinchona plants to a country, where a quiet administration and a good climate could save the medicine that is so much desired", are well deserved.

Hasskarl became the first director of the Kinaplantsoenen, but unfortunately had to go to Europe after about a year and a half due to health reasons. He was succeeded by Junghun, who was so famous in Java. A man who can be called the founder of all cultures on Java. This man had made soil maps in the years 1850 – 1860, which are still leading for the cultivated areas of Java. Junghun also left in 1864 and was succeeded by Van Gorkom. For more than forty years, he was in charge of the "cell" enterprise of the Kina culture, namely Tjinjiroean.

It is thanks to Van Gorkom that completely new methods have preserved the culture and made it great. After all, nothing to the detriment of his predecessors, but Hasskarl, as well as Junghun, was convinced that the cinchona tree should be planted in a primeval forest. The tree had been found in a primeval forest, so apparently it needed shade from the forest giants, so it had to be planted there as well. This fallacy was thoroughly corrected by van Gorkom. Wellis where was the tree found in the jungle, but gradually grew up with the forest giants and, at least in his youth, certainly needed sun.

Van Gorkom, was de stichter der open terreinen, geheel schoongemaakt en gezuiverd, waarover later meer, waar de kinaboom zich prachtig kon ontwikkelen.

A second, very favorable circumstance, which would contribute to this enormous prosperity, was the purchase of a pound of cinchona seed, offered by George Ledger, a brother of a forest walker from South America. The 500 grams of seed, containing about 1250,000 seeds, had been refused by the English government, but approved by Prof. Miguel of Leyden, and immediately sent to Batavia. There they were received by van Gorkom and when it turned out that this seed was very germinating, the original purchase price of 100 guilders was increased to 500 guilders! When it later became apparent what exceptionally good quality this species, named after the finder Cinchona Ledgeriana, displayed, this finder received an annual allowance of 1200 guilders.

The bark, collected from the trees that could already be extracted in 1872, turned out to have a very high quinine content. And by intense cooperation between the planter of Gorkom and Bernelot Moens, the chemist, the MOTHER TREES were extracted from this quantity, which were to carry the whole of the cinchona culture of Java. Out of grateful, and well-deserved remembrance, these species are called CINCHONA LEDGERIANA MOENS. In order to understand the value to be attached to the research and selection methods of Moens and Gorkom, it is necessary to enumerate the constituents of the cinchona bark. The alkaloids of this bark are: Quinine, Cinchonine, Cinchonidine and Quinidin, as you have already mentioned in the mention of the first research by Pelletier and Caventou.

The active ingredient par excellence is quinine. And Moens deserves the credit for having discovered this first. So he selected his barks on the quinine content and not on the total alkaloid content, which was what the English, for example, who had not been idle either, but betting on the wrong horse, bred very beautiful varieties, but with a low quinine content. The Dutch were also familiar with these species, the most important of which is still the CINCHONA SUCCIRUBRA, i.e. the cinchona tree with red juicy bark. They used these barks for sale to the manufacturers of cinchona wine, KINA_ LA ROCHE, cincture, cinchona drops and other tonics, so specifically for pharmaceutical purposes. They used the saplings, as saplings, to support the high-quality Ledgeriana grafts. It turned out that the Cinchona Succirubra had a very strong constitution, was little affected by soil variants and was very resistant to diseases.

The delicate Ledgeriana was very well grafted onto this rootstock and thus the two most favourable characteristics: HIGH YIELD and DISEASE RESISTANCE could be combined by the work of the GORKOM planter. The combination of practical plant work with thorough scientific research would always characterize the cinchona culture as a complete whole, in which there was no room for sudden surprises, either on the part of Mother Nature or in the field of chemistry. The inscrutable chemical processes in the test tube do not lend themselves to painting in this lecture, but all the more so an overview of the transformation of a wild primeval forest into a well-functioning enterprise. The word in Dutch is: Plantage, the beautiful official word is: Kinaplantsoenen and the home, garden or kitchen word of the planter simply speaks about the Kina gardens.