North Borneo also described as the State of North Borneo was a state that existed from 1882 until 1946. The state came about owing to the grant by the Sultans of Brunei, the country was placed under British protection in 1888 under an agreement between the Company and the British government concluded on 12 May 1888. From 1942 to 1945, North Borneo was occupied by Japanese military forces and this transfer of administration was completed under a past treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the United States. Today, the former North Borneo is part of Malaysia as the state of Sabah, a free port was then established here which was of importance for the interest of Britain in the east Asia region, namely, trade with China. The port however failed to become a long term due to constant pirate attacks as well as other reasons. In 1865, the United States Consul to Brunei, Charles Lee Moses, Torrey began a settlement at the Kimanis River mouth, which he named Ellena. Attempts to find backing for the settlement were futile, and disease, death. Harris died in 1866 and Torrey returned to America in 1877 and he died in Boston, Massachusetts, in March 1884. With the imminent termination of the lease at hand in January 1875, Torrey managed to sell his rights to the Consul of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Hong Kong, Baron Gustav von Overbeck. Von Overbeck managed to get a 10-year renewal of the lease from the Temenggong of Brunei, to finance his plans for North Borneo, Overbeck found financial backing from the Dent brothers. However, he was unable to interest his government in the territory, after efforts to sell the territory to Italy for use as a penal colony, von Overbeck withdrew in 1880, leaving Alfred Dent in control. Dent was supported by Sir Rutherford Alcock, and Admiral Sir Harry Keppel, in July 1881, Alfred Dent and his brother formed the British North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd and obtained an official Royal Charter 1 November the same year. In May 1882, the North Borneo Chartered Company replaced the Provisional Association, Sir Rutherford Alcock became the first President, and Alfred Dent became Managing director. In spite of some protests by the Dutch, Spanish and Sarawak governments. The company also established a foundation for growth in North Borneo by restoring peace to a land where piracy. It abolished slavery and set up transport, health and education services for the people, chinese immigrants were wooed to boost the small population of less than 100,000. Through the combined effort of the locals and immigrants, towns, farms, from 1890 to 1905 the British government placed the colony of Labuan under the administration of North Borneo. The Companys rule in North Borneo had great impact on the development of the region, although was generally peaceful, the local population occasionally resented the imposition of taxes and the loss of land to European plantations
North Borneo border, 1903.
Alfred Dent, the founder of North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd (later replaced by the North Borneo Chartered Company) is the key player to the establishment of solid British presence in northern Borneo.