Jacob Theodoor Cremer

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Jacob Theodoor Cremer

Also Known As: "Theodore", "Minister of the Dutch Colonies"
Birthplace: Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Death: August 14, 1923 (76)
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Theodoor Cremer and Louise Toe Water
Husband of Annie (Hogan) Cremer
Father of Herbert Cremer; Annie Cremer; Dora Cremer; Marnix Cremer; Frits Cremer and 1 other
Brother of Herman Albert Cremer and Henriëtte Louise Jacoba Cremer

Occupation: tabaksplanter (1885), president der Nederlandsche Handelmaatschappij (1912), Minister of Colonies Dutch East Indies, Gezant te Washington (1918-1920), dutch minister to the US (1920)
Managed by: Diederik Mooij
Last Updated:

About Jacob Theodoor Cremer

Minister of the Dutch Colonies

The name Cremer (Kremer also Krämer) occurs early in Zutphen for: in the 14th century is repeatedly named Gerard Cremer as vessels listed.

The ancestor of this family genus, Hendrik Cremer, lived in Antwerp, whose son Jacob (ca. 1570-1649) from 1645 to 1648 was churchwarden in Zutphen. His eldest son, Theodore (1612 - 1662) was secretary of the city, he is the first of whom Cremer pieces preserved in the archives remained.

The genus Cremer then played an important role in the magistracy of the city Doetinchem. Jacob Cremer (1649-1695), Derk Jan Cremer (1680-1709) and John Cremer (1713-1783) were the mayor there. They owned many estates in the area and led a prosperous existence.

A son of Johan Dirk Jan Cremer (1738-1797) became a judge in Zutphen and receiver Steenderen; his brother John (Jan Johan) Henry (1755-1823) surveyor in the Veluwe.

The son of the latter, Jacob Theodore Cremer (1798-1863) was incorporated in 1813 at the Garde d'Honneur from Napoleon and held since 1815 the post of inspector of taxes.
His son, Jacob Theodore Cremer (1847-1923) is the most important member of the genus.  He began to carrièrre as the youngest clerk at a shipping company in Arnhem, but he was a self- function at the Dutch Trading Company to acquire, for which an exam was is required. 

From 1868 to 1881 he worked as a representative of the NHM and the Deli maatchappij in eastern Sumatra, he studied his work thoroughly and learned that almost unexplored area, who know, which came to him in good stead in the operation of its resources.

Back in the Netherlands founded in 1883 at the Deli Railway and in 1884 the Dutch East Indies Agricultural Society.

In 1881 he reorganized the Royal Factory Steam and Tools to Werkspoor.

He also published numerous articles are handover Deli and Indian problems.

As a Union-liberal, he served from 1881 to 1897 and from 1903 to 1905 the second Chamber membership. In the meantime, he served in the cabinet as Pierson-Goeman Borgesius Minister of the Dutch Colonies.

From 1907 to 1912 he was president of the Nederlandsche Trading Company from 1918 to 1920 and ambassador to Washington.

In addition, he was from 1912 to 1918 and from 1920 to 1923 member of the Senate.

Moreover, he continued with the Dutch Indian matters, witness to his chairmanship of the Board of Directors of the Colonial Institute.

One of his successors as president of the NHM, E. Heldring, characterizes him in his diary as "a sympathetic, robust personality." "I always found him a very clear judgment, his opinion bluntly and making his intentions known, the opposite of his successor to the Dutch Trading Company (CJK van Aalst), with however, a large vanity whom he had in common. " 3

In 1905 Cremer had the luxury of his fortune furnished villa Dune and Kruitberg building, which was completed a year later and became a center formal and informal political meetings. 

This tradition was by his eldest son Herbert (1873-1951) continued. Herbert who was a member of the firm of Cremer and Heeren to Tobacco Amsterdam and several directorships held, from 1916 to 1950 was director of the Deli society.


Hij begon zijn carrièrre als jongste bediende bij een rederij in Arnhem, maar door zelfstudie wist hij zich een functie bij de Nederlandsche Handelmaatschappij te verwerven, waarvoor een examen was vereist. Van 1868 tot 1881 was hij werkzaam als vertegenwoordiger van de N.H.M en de Delimaatchappij in Oost-Sumatra: hij bestudeerde zijn werkgebied grondig en leerde deze welhaast onontgonnen streek kennen als geen ander, hetgeen hem te stade kwam bij de exploitatie van haar rijkdommen. Terug in Nederland richtte bij in 1883 de Deli-Spoorwegmaatschappij op en in 1884 de Nederlandsche-Indische Landbouwmaatschappij. In 1881 reorganiseerde hij de Koninklijke Fabriek van Stoom- en Werktuigen tot Werkspoor. Tevens verschenen er tal van artikelen van zijn hand over Deli en over Indische problemen.

Hij wordt voor 164.000 gulden in 1885 eigenaar van Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg, in Santpoort nabij Bloemendaal en Haarlem. Hij sloopt het oude landhuis en bouw het huidige landhuis, nu een hotel. [NRC 14-4-2012, Ivo Weyel]. zie ook Hendrik Reijnst en Balthasar Coymans

Beschrijving van zijn begrafenis in de Sumatra Post van woensdag 12 september 1923

Bron: Inventaris Familie archief Cremer

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Jacob Theodoor Cremer's Timeline

June 30, 1847
Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Age 25
May 15, 1877
Age 29
Arnhem, Arnhem, Gelderland, Nederland
May 4, 1882
Age 34
Medan, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
Age 36
Haarlem, Haarlem, Noord-Holland, Nederland
Age 42
's-Gravenhage, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
August 14, 1923
Age 76
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands