This page on the East Indies is included only for its historical influence on the trade of that day and other places Simon visited, for there is no indication that Simon Wiess ever visited there.
The East Indies was an area roughly occupying modern day India and Indonesia. Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago, originally known as the Netherlands East Indies and then the Dutch East Indies and is now the Republic of Indonesia. Borneo, Jarkarta, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Singapore are some of the names associated with this area. It was the site of ancient Hindu and Buddhist civilizations, producing the spectacular Buddhist temples of Borobudur.
Christopher Columbus asked the Portuguese to support his search for a new route to the Indies, but they thought it was farther than he had estimated. He finally won support from Spain and, in August of 1492, he set sail searching for a new route to the Asian Indies. He thought he had been successful when he landed somewhere in the Bahama Islands. (now called the West Indies). During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the Dutch East India Company controlled the area. In 1799, the Dutch government assumed its holdings, which were thereafter known in English as the Netherlands or Dutch East Indies.
During the years Simon Wiess was traveling, the Netherlands were claimed by Napoleon's France and the British and the Dutch occupied other parts of the area. In 1810, Napoleon annexed the Netherlands. Dutch rule was briefly broken (1811-14) during the Napoleonic Wars when the islands were occupied by the British.