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ART. IV.-The Englishman, Bengal Hurkaru, Delhi Gazette, Friend of India, and other Journals. January to December. 1849.

[We have been led to think that an occasional contribution to the contemporary history of the Indian Empire, in the shape of a brief sketch of the most prominent transactions in the Presidency of Fort William, will probably not be unacceptable to the majority of our supporters, and may prove of some value as a work of reference in future years. We intend therefore, in each succeeding year, to prepare a careful summary of the events of the past twelve months, comprising all the information, which may be within reach, and appear worthy of record. We have chosen to designate it" Annals of the Bengal Presidency"; because, although references will be made to events connected with the general History of India, and even to transactions beyond its confines, the more minute details will be especially restricted to that Presidency.-ED.]

THE general aspect of affairs, at the commencement of the year 1849, might have checked the aspirations of even the most sanguine political optimists. Almost every succeeding mail from. Europe brought tidings of an imminent general war, and of an actual and deadly struggle between the principles of liberty and despotism. Trade had been almost extinguished on the continent; and the revival of it in England had scarcely commenced, although the public journals began to point to certain symptoms as indicating a more healthful state in the commercial body. The mercantile Houses of Calcutta had not yet recovered from the shock, created by the disasters of 1847; and the apparently ricketty condition of some of our public establishments deterred the few, who were possessed of capital, from adventuring it in such investments, and terrified all who had any interest, immediate or remote, in the different Joint Stock Companies. The conscription list of the Union Bank, too, had just been published; and every man, whose name was not in the black sheet, grasped his purse with a firmer hand, and congratulated himself on his extreme foresight in avoiding the snare.. The great plan of Indian Railways, once so confidently announced, and from which such extraordinary results were to flow, appeared to have been swamped under the weight of continental revolutions, commercial distress, and corporate inactivity. Even the ordinary march of improvement was suspended by the requirements and excitement of actual warfare. Our armies in the Punjab, after many months of apparently useless campaigning, had fought a great battle on the banks of the Jhelum, without any satisfactory results. A distinct narrative of the transactions of this war has already appeared in our pages; and a detail has been given of the most important transactions of the campaign, from the first skirmish at Leiah, to the glorious victory of Guzerat-from the murder of the British officers, to its expia

tion by the banishment of Múlraj. We need not, therefore, allude again to a subject now almost worn threadbare; and we have only to consider the course of events, which succeeded the memorable decree of annexation. The first consideration of continental statesmen, after a great triumph, seems to be, how it may be made as notorious and significant as possible; while the earliest thought of a British Minister, under the same circumstances, is how to make his success a source of permanent relief to the finances of the state. Perhaps the most mysterious circumstance in the history of the war is the mode, in which the necessary supplies of money for carrying it on were raised. The Indian Government does not publish its financial transactions with the same careful minuteness, which is imposed upon the Executive authorities in England by the lynx-eyed House of Commons: and, to those, who are not behind the scenes, it appears extraordinary how so large a drain on the finances can have been met without the slightest outward symptom of difficulty, or even a wrinkle on the brow of the Financial Secretary. It was from the beginning essentially a ready-money war: that is to say, large advances must have been made to the contractors, and during the period of actual fighting almost every article of supply must have been paid for in coin. The haste too, with which the commissariat officers were compelled to collect their stores, and the sterile nature of the country around Ferozepore, must have added enormously to the expenses. During the latter months of the campaign, the expenditure for the army of the Punjab was popularly estimated at a lakh and a half, or £15,000 sterling, a day. This however included only those expenses, which, from their regularity and magnitude, were within the reach of calculation; but the amount of that ceaseless welling out of money from the public treasury, which always accompanies an English war, has never yet been proclaimed. Besides this, we must take into consideration the expenses of the siege of Múltan, of the movement of troops, the six months' batta, and the operations of the Irregular bands in different parts of the Punjab; so that perhaps a million and a half sterling may possibly form some approximation to the truth. It is difficult to conceive whence the money can have been obtained with so little apparent exertion. We had no surplus revenue from the regular resources of these provinces, and but little money came in for the five per cent. loan; while the slight squeezings of the Rajas in the North West can scarcely have yielded any considerable assistance to the Treasury. The secret will most probably remain undivulged, until the expiration of the charter-when all the secrets of the Company's

Government will be unveiled. The ultimate return for all this expenditure was naturally to be looked for from the surplus revenues of the annexed territory; but upon this subject the information of the Authorities appears to have been singularly deficient. The only data, from which even an approximation to the actual revenue could be deduced, were, a rough estimate of what it had been in the times of Runjit Singh, and the account drawn up from information supplied by the Dewan, who had an obvious interest in understating the amount of the finances. The most generally received conjecture was that the clear revenue of the four Dúabs, together with the jaghires forfeited by the rebellion, would amount to a million and a half sterling. This however did not include Peshawur, and left wholly out of sight any thing like the prospective advantages to be derived from irrigation, and from the security to life and property consequent upon British rule. Long before the annexation, some of the ablest men in India declared that it was utterly impossible that a country, like the Punjab, could be governed without a large outlay from the over-pressed finances of the Bengal Presidency. The revenue, as before stated, was taken at a million and a half sterling; and the expenses were thus estimated :

Civil Expenses,..

This, however, was based from the beginning upon the idea, that the army would require an enormous increase, and that the country would be in a state of incessant hostility to British rule. Neither of these anticipations has been borne out by the event, and the theory based upon them has fallen to the ground.

The information, which has been obtained regarding the resources of the Punjab, and the additional expenditure which its annexation has involved, is necessarily very scanty. The country has scarcely as yet been a twelve-month in our possession; and it is impossible, therefore, at present to form any thing like an exact estimate of the financial results of this acquisition. The statements, which we give below on this subject, are the most authentic which have yet been obtained, and may be received with confidence. Before we touch on the question of Punjab finances, however, it appears advisable to give a brief outline of the system of administration established, in the kingdom on its being incorporated with the British territories.



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When the remnant of Runjit Sing's kingdom was annexed to British India by the Notification of April 1849, it was bounded on the North by the Alpine region ceded in 1846 to Maharajah Golab Sing; on the South it adjoined Scinde; on

the West, it stretched to the great Sulimani range; and on the East to the rivers Beas and Sutlej. Within this area great variety of soil and many peculiarities of surface are to be found. In the Barí, Ríchneh, and Chuch Dúabs, the soil is in most places clayey; in others, light and sandy; but in all, fertile, where facilities of irrigation exist. The northern portions of these Dúabs are highly cultivated and densely populated. They contain the large cities of Lahore and Umritsur, and the considerable towns of Wuzírabad, Sealkote, Ramnuggur, Guzeranwalla, and Guzerat. The Sind-Sagur Dúab on the other hand is divided into two distinct portions, that of the Salt range, and that south of the range. The former is rocky, abrupt, and precipitous, comparatively sterile, and thinly inhabited. It contains the towns of Rhotas, Rawul Pindí, Pinddadun-khan and Chuckowal. The lower portion of this Dúab, with the exception of its southern extremity, is arid and sterile. Its population and cultivation are almost entirely confined to the alluvial strips along the banks of the Jhelum and Indus. The centre of this Dúab below the Salt range, and indeed of the southern portion of all the Dúabs, is a perfect desert, known by the local epithet of the Bar." The Trans-Indus tract in many respects resembles the Sind-Sagur Dúab, and may be divided into two portions. The division, north of Kala Bagh, includes Kohat, Peshawur, and Eusufzye. In this portion we have the fertile valley of Peshawur, and the wide plain of Eusufzye, which was once fertile, while the rest of the country is bleak, rocky, and precipitous. To the South of Kala Bagh, we have the valley of Bunnú, Murwut, Esaukhail, Tank, and the Dera-ját, or the three Deras; viz. Ismail Khan, Gazí Khan, and Futteh Khan, down to Mithancote.


In the Barí Dúab, from Dínanuggur to within thirty miles of Pak-Puttun, are to be found the flower of the Sikh population, and the best agriculturists and the hardiest soldiers in India. Many Muhammadan villages are to be found in it; but the bulk of the population is Jat, and nearly all of them are Sikhs in religion. In the Ríchneh and Chuch Dúabs a considerable proportion of the population are also Sikhs: but, the farther we proceed westward, the more does the Muhammadan population predominate. In Sind-Sagur again, and of course in the Trans-Indus, the great majority of the people are Muhammadans.

To the territory, thus rapidly sketched, were added the Cis and Trans-Sutlej States; and the whole region was placed under one form of government. A Board, consisting of three members, exercised the powers of administration under the imme


diate control of Government. Their charge comprehended the whole of the British possessions west of the Jumna, from the mouth of the Khyber to within a few miles of Kurnál.

The Cis-Sutlej division has hitherto been managed by a Commissioner and a Sessions Judge: but the two appointments have lately been combined, and the duties will be performed by a single officer. This territory is divided into five districts, Lúdianah, Ferozepur, Umballa, Khytul, and Simla, yielding about 25 lakhs of Rupees of revenue. Within its circle lie the dependent states of Putiala, Jhind, and Naba, with perhaps fifty other petty Chiefships, the revenue of which cannot fall short of 40 lakhs of Rupees. The Trans-Sutlej territory has been under one officer since the Sutlej campaign, and is divided into three districts, Kangra, Jalundhur, and Hoshyarpur. It yields a land revenue of about 30 lakhs of Rupees, and contains a number of Chiefships, among which the principal are those of Kapurthulla, Mundí, Soheit, Chumba, and Golair. The income of the whole of the chiefs of this territory is equal to about 15 lakhs of Rupees per annum.

For the newly annexed kingdom, four Commissioners were deemed sufficient. The upper portions of the Barí and Ríchneh Dúabs formed the Commissionership of LAHORE, and were divided into five districts: 1. Butalí; 2. Umritsur; 3. Lahore, in the Barí Dúab; 4. Wuzirabad, and 5. Shaikhapúr, in the Ríchneh. The JHELUM Division formed the se cond, and comprised the Chuch Dúab and the country of the Salt range, south of Hazara, in the Sind-Sagur Dúab. divided into four districts, 6. Guzerat; 7. Shahpúr, in the Chuch Dúab; 8. Rawul Pindí; 9. Pind-dadun-khan, in the Sind-Sagur Dúab. The latter district contains all the CisIndus Salt mines. The third Division is that of MULTAN, which embraces the southern portion of the Ríchneh and Barí Dúabs, and is divided into three districts; 10. Múltan, in the Barí Dúab; 11. Pat Puttun; 12. Jung, in the Richneh Dúab. The fourth Division is that called LEIA, which comprises that portion of the Sind-Sagur Dúab, which lies south of the Salt range, and all the Derajat and Trans-Indus tracts, up to the latitude of Kala Bagh. It forms four Districts, 13. Leia; 14. Khanghur, in the Sind-Sagur Dúab; 15. Dera Ghazí Khan, and 16. Dera Ismail Khan (Trans-Indus). The Provinces of Peshawur and Hazara form two separate Districts, directly under the Board of Administration. Thus the newly annexed kingdom comprehends Four Commissionerships, and Eighteen Districts; and the whole territory, under the jurisdiction of the Board, contains Six Divisions, and Twenty-six Districts. Of the Twenty

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