Slamet’s journey began in slavery. A Balinese slaver delivered him to Semarang where he became the employee of senior VOC merchant, Willem Dubbeldekop. In the port city world of north Java, the Hindu Balinese converted to Islam and took the Muslim Javanese name of Slamet. After Dubbeldekop emancipated him, Slamet set up in trade on his own. Using his VOC connections he was appointed representative for Malay merchants at Juwana. During the wars of the 1740s, Slamet trapped a Chinese rebel leader, killed him, and sent his head and amulet to the Dutch commander of Juwana’s fort. As a reward the Dutch made Slamet head of a village of twenty-five Javanese households near Rembang and assigned to him sole right to levy taxes in goods and labor on its inhabitants.