Around 1870 - Sir Frank Swettenham, First Resident General of the Federated Malay States
The Beginnings of Kuala Lumpur
Bernam was practically uninhabited, except for one small village on the Bernam River, some twenty-five miles from the sea. On the left bank of the Selangor River, by its mouth, was an old Dutch fort, on an isolated hill. At the foot of this hill, up river, and also on the right bank, were a few cocoanut plantations and rice fields with a scattered population of Malays. Seven miles up the Klang River there was a small town, guarded by a fort on a low hill. The town possessed a few streets, or roads, and one respectable house. On the coast were a few Chinese fishing villages, and the Sultan and his people lived in a miserable swamp by the Langat River, while the Raja of Lukut had a dilapidated house in his own district. Up-country there were some tin mines (worked mainly by Chinese) at wide intervals along the foot hills of the main range, but, at a place called Kuala Lumpor, on the Klang River about seventy-five miles from its mouth, was a Chinese town, with two streets, and a considerable number of shops and houses, built of adobé and thatched with palm leaves. From this centre, Kuala Lumpor (now the principal town in the Malay States, and the head-quarters of the Government), there were a few miles of rough, unmetalled, cart-track, running north and south, to other smaller mining camps. For the rest there was unbroken forest and a very sparse population.
Swettenham, Sir Frank