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Logan Memorial

The Champion of the Non European Communities of Penang

Logan Memorial in Penang Light Street

The Logan Memorial used to stand in the ground of the High Court. One can also see a James Richardson Logan memorial in the grounds of the building.

With the massive expansion and restoration work in the Penang High Court, the Memorial now stand right in front of the 7 stories building called Bangunan Sri Pinang in Light Street.

Logan's building on Bishop Street occupied an entire block between Union Street and Bishop Street. Originally a grand three storey building with cast iron balconies but was reduced to two storeys.

The Pinang Gazette was stationed for a number of years from this building. The last occupant on the ground floor was Barkath Store before it was closed for restoration.

Who is James Richardson Logan?

J.R. Logan and his brother Abraham came to the Straits Settlement around 1840. They both studied law in Edinburgh. There he made friends with the son of David Brown, Forbes Scott Brown who helped him in his Penang career.

Around 1842, both went to practice law in Singapore and later Abraham became the editor of Singapore Free Press. He was in Singapore till his retirement in 1868 in Penang.

Why is Logan the champion?

James Richardson Logan

In old Penang history, Penang local communities remembered James as their champion as he is a man devoted to justice and knowledge.

On one occasion he defended an Indian sireh planter against the mighty East India Company.

He wrote about the case in the press, then bought it before the tribunalof public opinion.He was finally admitted to the bar as a law agent to represent the planter.

Another occasion was when police was hot on the trails of the Chinese secret society, he acted as their legal advisor, submitted petitions on their behalf, which resulted in official recognition being given to certain organization and festivals.

He became a favorite barrister among the wealthy Straits Chinese and Indian Muslims. He died in 1869 of malaria and Logan Memorial was erected to him by the people of the Straits Settlement of Penang.

Logan's Achievement

Fortitude Sculpture in Logan Memorial

James Richardson Logan is the editor, writer and publisher during 1847 to 1859.

He wrote :

  • 27 volumes of the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, which were also called Logan's Journals, from 1847-1859.
  • For the understanding of the people and cultures of the Nusuntara region, he wrote Language and Ethnology of the Indian Archipelago.

Justice Sculpture in Logan Memorial

Together with his elder brother, Abraham, they took over the Pinang Gazette and encouraged public opinion to end Indian rule in the Straits Settlements.

This resulted in the historic Transfer of 1867 by which the Settlements obtained self-rule. Transfer Road thus was named to commemorate the event.

Temperance Sculpture in Logan memorial

Wisdom Scuplture in Logan Memorial

His grave can be found in the Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (Northam Road) Protestant Cemetery in Penang. Logan Road was named after him. The restoration on the high court dug up some archeological find.

Check the dome in the newly restored High Court. And opposite the High Court is the oldest Church in Penang, St George Church with a madras style roof.

He was an erudite and skilful lawyer, eminent scientific ethnologist and he has founded a literature for these settlements - by Close friend, the government surveyor and artist John Turnbull Thomson.

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