In Plantation We Trust: Nederland Handels Maatschappij in Medan (1886-1960)


  • Edy Ikhsan


This study focuses on a Dutch trading company named Nederlandsche Handels Maatschappij (NHM), which was established to replace Vereningde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC) due to bankruptcy in the late eighteenth century. This historical study landscape is located in one of their offices in Medan, the capital of Eastern Sumatra during the colonial period. The development of the plantation industry, mainly from Europe, in this region has a connection with the existence and support of NHM in the historical plantation industry. The heuristic phase was performed by collecting colonial archives/documents in the Netherlands, followed by criticism and interpretation of sources. The results showed that the NHM office in Medan had a dual character that distinguished it from those of Dutch East Indies. The banking sector, which has become their identity, encounters another field, which helps to increase plantation business.