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tion ; Beloochy peasantry, on the other, have already become numerous.
The form of government which originated with the Talpoors, and which, having been all along preserved by them, is the one with which we have of late years become acquainted, will be best described by a quotation from the useful work of Captain Postans:
• From this period a new system was effected in the government of the country; the chiefs ruled conjointly, dividing the revenues and and power, under the title of the “ Amirs (or Lords) of Scinde," and were thus acknowledged by the Governor-General on the part of the British Government, and all the powers of India, with such titles as are given to the highest potentates; one Rais, or head of the whole, being always invested with additional authority, and allowed to settle family differences, as also to carry on foreign correspondence. The head of the family was the senior Mir, and on his character, of course, much of the prosperity of the country and amicable condition of the whole family depended. This division of power, and consequent clashing of interests, with chiefs in a state of semi. barbarism, jealous of each other, and keenly alive to individual rights, particularly of property, appeared to be an anomaly in theory, and was long considered as impracticable in effect; but the patriarchal mode of a common cause and one bead, on which it is based, kept the whole together; and amidst trying circumstances, when in the pursuit of vital interests or ambitious projects, individual members of the family have threatened to overturn it, the system, thus guarded, still stood firm, and the government of Scinde, under the Talpurs, has undergone little alteration from its foundation to the present period.'
The principal military force of the Ameers consisted of men who were of the Beloochy race like themselves, and received assignments of land for their maintenance. The clannish feeling which was thus fostered here, as in many other half feudal societies in the East, formed no inconsiderable support to the government. Upper Scinde, we should mention, whose chief town was Khyrpore, and Lower Scinde, whose capital was Hyderabad, each had a Rais of its own; though a ready deference was always paid by the holders of the former territory to the principal durbar at Hyderabad. Meerpore, though a small estate, must be considered as a third division of the country; as its chief appears to have generally kept aloof from all his relatives, though he acted with them on occasions of emergency. Shikarpore and Subzulkote, which districts lie to the north and northeast of Khyrpore, were not the original inheritance of either branch of the Talpoors, but were comparatively recent acquisitions, and their revenues were divided among a number of the Ameers both of Upper and Lower Scinde.
Prior to the year 1836 the relations of the Ameers with us, in both the upper and lower divisions of the country, were those of a friendly and perfectly independent confederacy of chiefs, consenting to establish a commercial intercourse on the basis of a written treaty. In 1836 negotiations were commenced, which only ended, on the 20th of April 1838, in a new treaty; whereby the Ameers were induced from fear of Runjeet Singh, who threatened them on the north-east, to accept our mediation of their differences with him, and to permit a British minister, with a suitable escort, to reside permanently at their capital of Hyderabad-we, on our part, admitting a similar deputy to reside at the headquarters of our Indian government, on the part of the Ameers. But before this arrangement could be acted on, or the Resident even arrive in the Indus, the tripartite treaty of June 26th, 1838, created a new enemy in the person of Shah Shoojah, whose obsolete claims upon Scinde it was thought proper therein to revive. Thus the acceptance by the Ameers of our further mediation was rendered necessary, as the only way of staving off an immediate attack upon their independence by this new power; and we expected advantages for ourselves before we would accord our mediation. this all that was required of them. For while the tripartite treaty provided that, by a present payment to Shah Shoojah, they might get rid of him for ever hereafter, and of Runjeet Singh also-inasmuch as he, by another article of the same treaty, had sold his lien on Scinde to Shah Shoojah—the military policy of the British government, of acting in the Shah's support even as far as Candahar and Cabul, rendered it necessary, for the safety of the armies moving in advance, that we should obtain the complete military command of the Scinde territory, which lay exactly between our base of operations and Affghanistan. In compliance with this design, we expected the Ameers not only to grant a passage for our troops in the first instance, and to place its resources in food and carriage at our disposal ; but also to permit the mainteance, as long as the operations should continue, of a chain of posts and magazines from Kurachee to the Bolan Pass; as part of that great line of military communication by which we had resolved, as an indispensable part of our plan, to connect Bombay and the sea with Candahar, the western capital of the dominions about to be restored to Shah Shoojah. On receiving the news of this coming complication of demands from Sir Alexander Burnes at Khyrpore, and Colonel (now Sir Henry) Pottinger at Hyderabad, the whole of the Ameers of Upper Scinde, with one exception, placed themselves and their country unreservedly at the disposal of the British ; but those of Lower Scinde, also with one exception, showed a disinclination to comply, unless compelled by force. Protracted negotiations with the latter body led to angry feeling and hostile preparations on both sides. These untoward events again appeared to make it advisable, with reference to our forward movement, and the danger of leaving the disaffected any power in our rear, to insist even
upon a stronger military position in Scinde than was at first contemplated. The raising our demands rendered the application of force more necessary than ever; and it was only when the armies of Sir John Keane from Bombay, and Sir Willoughby Cotton from Bengal, advancing on either side, threatened the capital with instant destruction, that the severe terms imposed were accepted, and embodied in a formal treaty.
That treaty, ratified on the 11th March 1839, taken in connexion with the treaty simultaneously imposed on Khyrpore, destroys the integrity of Scinde as one substantive state; and the different holders of the principalities into which it is now broken, forfeit a portion of their sovereign rights—the absolute immunity of the remainder from all interference being secured to them under guarantee. Lower Scinde is by the former instrument formally taken under British protection. None of its chiefs can negotiate with any foreign power without the knowledge of the British. The confederacy of the Ameers of the low country is virtually dissolved, and a head to it is no longer recognized. Each chief is upheld in his own possessions, and bound • to refer his differences with the other chiefs to our arbitration;' a British force is to be fixed in the country, wherever we please, west of the Indus—a sum of three lacs of rupees per annum, in aid of the cost of this force, being paid in equal proportions by all the Ameers except Sobdar Khan, who submitted from the first; and lastly, the whole course of the Indus through lower Scinde is to be a thoroughfare free of toll to traders. The rights reserved by the chiefs are to collect and enjoy their revenues, govern their subjects, and administer their internal affairs as absolute rulers ; to keep what troops they like, to coin money of their own, to receive seignorage even from the British after the conclusion of the war; to levy what taxes and inland duties they please, except on goods intended for the use of the British cantonments, and to continue their amicable correspondence ' with friends and relations.' The confederacy being in this division of Scinde declared dissolved, separate treaties, identical in their provisions, were exchanged with each of the four great sharers of the old government, and the rights and responsibilities of those chiefs became altogether distinct. Such was the new position acquired by us in Lower Scinde.
The engagements at the same time entered into with the Upper Scinde Ameers were similar ; only, as we had here met with no opposition, no stipulation was introduced for either the payment of a subsidy or the permanent location of a British force; and the island fortress of Bukkur was ceded merely pending operations in advance. The Indus, in this division of Scinde, was not immediately declared free from toll; but the Ameers agreed to become parties to such arrangements as should be entered into among the other powers' for facilitating the river commerce. One treaty was considered sufficient to bind the whole of this branch of the old confederacy-Meer Roostum signing as its recognised head and chief. At the same time short agreements were entered into with the other three copartners in the government. These agreements seem to have been, in effect, a guarantee of the rights and possessions of all the great sharers of the Upper Scinde country; but, owing to the acknowledged supremacy of Meer Roostum as Rais, they were bound to refer their disputes, in the first instance, to him ; and it was only when he failed to effect a satisfactory settlement that an appeal to us could be resorted to. At Hyderabad we have already seen that the office of Rais was abolished, and the award of every case of dispute between the different chiefs—holders of treaties, both began and ended in the hands of the protecting power. The Khyrpore durbar had hitherto been dependent in some degree on that of Lower Scinde: our new treaties dissolved the tie in point of law, though, in point of fact, family attachment continued to secure a ready deference to the court of Hyderabad.
Meer Shere Mahomed of Meerpore, the only remaining Ameer of Scinde, continued independent, and succeeded in keeping clear of our connexion altogether till the middle of 1841; when a boundary dispute threatened to involve him in hostilities with the Hyderabad Ameers. He was then glad to accept our proffered mediation, and to consent, as the condition of it, to a treaty similar in its provisions to that of Khyrpore-only that he was required to pay 50,000 rupees a-year as the price of protection, not being, however, expected to admit any permanent British garrison into his country.
We cannot now stop to enquire what the grounds were for the compulsory substitution of the engagements of 1839 for the old commercial treaties. The subject cannot be properly entered into without opening the whole question of the Tripartite treaty, and of the Affghan policy. We have only to observe, that when that policy was once resolved upon, as justified by the critical circumstances of the time, some such treaties as those of 1839 must of necessity have been imposed upon Scinde ; in order to give full effect and support to the operations which we were to carry on beyond it. We confess we are inclined to think that some of the details of the treaties actually imposed were unnecessarily harsh, and that some risk was incurred of continued irritation in consequence. But whatever that risk was at first, it is undeniable that it very shortly disappeared entirely in the satisfactory state of things which ensued. It was the wise policy of Sir Henry Pottinger—whatever his demeanour might be during the negotiations—to confine himself scrupulously to the limits laid down by the treaty when concluded; and to preserve a tone of conciliation and forbearance in his subsequent dealings with the chiefs, calculated to win their confidence and regard. It is to this circumstance, and to Lord Auckland's happy selection, in 1840, of Major Outram as Sir Henry's successor as Resident, that we must attribute the friendly relations which subsisted unbroken till Lord Ellenborough's arrival in India, in February 1843.
The new Governor-General found Scinde in a perfectly tranquil state. Our position there had stood the shock of the astounding intelligence from Cabul, undisturbed. Our only military station in Lower Scinde at that time, was Kurachee on the coast; and in Upper Scinde our force was principally at Sukkur, with detachments at Bukkur and Shikarpore. We were not very strong at either; but so quiet was the whole country, that General England, who commanded below the Bolan, was able in the month of March, with the help of a not large reinforcement from Bombay and Bengal, to ascend the passes with a considerable force, and advance in aid of General Nott towards Candabar. The aspect of Scinde being thus pacific, it was very natural that the Governor-General should direct his whole attention for a while to the more pressing affairs of Affghanistan; and accordingly it was not till the month of May (1843) that the Ameers attracted any particular notice. The allusions which Major Outram's despatches had contained, early in the year, to certain intrigues of the more restless Ameers, became in that month more marked ; and the Governor-General thought it advisable to address a letter of warning to the Ameers generally, couched in severe terms; which, however, was not delivered by the Major, as he considered that the time for holding such language was not yet come. The Governor-General, however, appeared to be of opinion that the time was come when he might fairly speculate on the advantages