Dato' Bahaman, or Abdul Rahman, was born to Tuanku Imam Nuh of Bangkinang and Rokiah Andul Rahman, daughter of Tok Setia Perkasa Semantan , a Bugis descent hailing from Southern Sulawesi. Better known as Seman, he was also adept at the martial arts of ‘silat’ and was believed to be invincible. These special abilities led him to be dubbed ‘Seman Tahan’ by the people of the area. This name became so famous that the unnamed river in the vicinity was known as Sungai Seman Tahan, which later became the route in which the British came through.
An uprising of the locales against the British along this river (Sungai Semantan), was led by Dato’ Bahaman. The main reason of this rebellion is due to the dissatisfaction and enmity of the local leaders towards the intervention of the British over their territories.
The animosity between Dato’ Bahaman and the British had begun since 1890, but it reached its peak in 1891. In 1890, Dato’ Bahaman was said to have uttered insults and words of anger towards Temerloh Colonial Officer, E.A Wise when the latter wanted to build a police station in Lubuk Terua (an area under the ruling of Dato’ Bahaman) without the consent of the former. When Hugh Clifford (Pahang’s Deputy Resident of British) learned of the matter, he had advised the Sultan of Pahang of the situation, and the Sultan later summoned Dato’ Bahaman to go to Pekan so that the matter may be investigated. Dato’ Bahaman had refused the order and the Sultan then released a letter which effectively dispelled his position and rank as Orang Kaya Semantan.
This action had led Dato’ Bahaman to retaliate by ambushing C.E.M Desborough and his people on 15th December 1891 while they were navigating the Semantan River. The surprise attack was carried out because Dato’ Bahaman had initially thought that C.E.M Desborough had come to capture him. Desborough’s party had suffered a defeat and he then escaped to Temerloh. Upon hearing of the incident, British officers all around Pahang then started preparing their armies to strike back at the Malay rebels. On the 21st December 1891, a force led by Clifford and Tengku Mahmud had gone to Kampung Kelubi, also known as Dato’ Bahaman’s second defense fortress. It was here that another skirmish between the British and Dato’ Bahaman ensued but the British was once again overwhelmed.
Source: Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (http://sejarahmalaysia.pnm.my)