TRANSLATION BY PROFESSOR CONKLIN OF THE DEED OF 1878 IN ARABIC CHARACTERS FOUND BY MR. QUINTERO IN WASHINGTON6
Signature of Sultan
Official seal of the
GRANT BY THE SULTAN OF SULU OF A PERMANENT
LEASE COVERING HIS LANDS AND TERRITORIES
ON THE ISLAND OF BORNEO
Dated January 22, 1878
We, Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan MOHAMMED JAMALUL ALAM, Son of Sari Paduka Marhum Al Sultan MOHAMMED PULALUM, Sultan of Sulu and of all dependencies thereof, on behalf of ourselves and for our heirs and successors, and with the expressed desire of all Datus in common agreement, do hereby desire to lease, of our own free will and satisfaction, to Gustovus Baron de Overbeck of Hong Kong, and to Alfred Dent, Esquire, of London, who act as representatives of a British Company, together with their heirs, associates, successors, and assigns forever and until the end of time, all rights and powers which we possess over all territories and lands tributary to us on the mainland of the Island of Borneo, commencing from the Pandassan River on the east, and thence along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuku River on the south, and including all territories, on the Pandassan River and in the coastal area, known as Paitan, Sugut, Banggai, Labuk, Sandakan, China-batangan, Mumiang, and all other territories and coastal lands to the south, bordering on Darvel Bay, and as far as the Sibuku River, together with all the islands which lie within nine miles from the coast.
In consideration of this (territorial?) lease, the honorable Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent, Esquire, promise to pay His Highness Maulana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Alam and to his heirs and successors, the sum of five thousand dollars annually, to be paid each and every year.
The above-mentioned territories are from today truly leased to Mr. Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and to Alfred Dent, Esquire, as already said, together with their heirs, their associates (company) and to their successors and assigns for as long as they choose or desire to use them; but the rights and powers hereby leased shall not be transferred to another nation, or a company of other nationality, without the consent of Their Majesties Government.
Should there be any dispute, or reviving of old grievances of any kind, between us, and our heirs and successors, with Mr. Gustavus Baron de Overbeck or his Company, then the matter will be brought for consideration or judgment to Their Majesties’ Consul-General in Brunei.
Moreover, if His Highness Maulana Al Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Alam, and his heirs and successors, become involved in any trouble or difficulties hereafter, the said honorable Mr. Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and his Company promise to give aid and advice to us within the extent of their ability.
This treaty is written in Sulu, at the Palace of the Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Alam on the 19th day of the month of Muharam, A.H. 1295; that is on the 22nd day of the month of January, year 1878.
Seal of the Sultan
Witness to seal and signature
6This document shows that on its face, its terms are those of a lease contract, disproving that the Deed of 1878 was a Deed of Cession or Sale.
Source: Philippine Claim to North Borneo, Vol. I