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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎279v] (32/150)

The record is made up of 1 volume (60 folios). It was created in 1900. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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24
ADMINISTRATION EEPORT ON THE PERSIAN GULF The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. POLITICAL
when the boy Abdur Rahman died, the epidemic in my opinion had fairly started, though
I was ignorant of it at the time.
On the 27th of September a case was reported from the hamlet of Mateireh quite close
to Matrah but in a direction opposite to Jabru,
Progress of the epidemic in Matrah. w hil e the disease was raging in the latter
place it appeared also in the Baluchi quarter inside the town wall of Matrah. Most of the
houses in that quarter being at the time supplied with water from the same well (named
Zarrafee in Jabru) as the one from which the people of Jabru drew their supply, there would
seem to have been a more intimate connexion between the two localities than their mere
vicinity to each other would suggest. In fact, the history of the first few cases in the Baluchi
quarter strongly favours the opinion that the infection was conveyed by drinking water. By
the end of the month the disease had advanced to the suburb of Tuyan and other quarters of
Matrah, and though at first only a few scattered cases came to my notice from the newly
infected localities, the epidemic soon became general and assumed a wider range, so that by
the 4th of October it had fairly advanced on its way to the interior, and by the middle of
October no part of the town and the adjoining suburbs and villages could be considered free
from it.
It may be safely asserted that cholera travelled to Maskat from Matrah, the two places
^ ■ ,r , , being 1 in constant communication wi^h each other.
Origin and progress of the epidemic m Haskat. Alth S ?ugh abol:lt the end o£ Septcmbf!r 8trong
rumonrs were current of isolated cases of a suspicious nature occurring in Maskat, no definite
information could be obtained regarding them, and the progress of the epidemic supports the
opinion that the disease was directly imported from Matrah, for whilst the epidemic in Matrah
attained its climax as judged by the mortality due to it on the 12th of October, that in
Maskat did not attain it until the 3rd November, when the disease had fairly entered upon the
stage of decline in Matrah.
The first case of which any information could be obtained occurred on the 6th of October,
in the person of an Arab woman (Nasra, wife of Nasir-bin-Shinein) living in the brokers'
quarter in the suburb of Tuyan, which, however, cannot be looked upon as the first centre of
infection, for undoubtedly cases had been occurring before that date, but no information
could be obtained about them. Besides, the very next day there were three cases, two of which
were in two different quarters of the same suburb and the third one in a totally different suburb.
These first cases were followed, on the 9th, by a case in the town itself in the Waljat quarter
and a group of cases in the Jalali fort. The disease then began to spread rapidly, soon assumed
a general epidemic form, and extended to the village of Sadab on the 17th of October,
It attained its maximum about the beginning of November, began to decline about the
beginning of that month, and finally disappeared about the end of January 1900.
Before proceeding to remark on the nature and character of the epidemic I consider it
mi. i- -i. * ht i i. j tit i. i t ^ desirable to state the arrangement that was made
The limits of Maskat and Matrah adopted for , • , „ u- u r i i • r
the purpose of registration. to register cases icgaidmg which reliable informa
tion could be obtained and to convey some idea of
the suburbs and quarters of Maskat and Matrab, and the villages and hamlets in their imme
diate vicinity included in this report.
From the first it was seen that unless myself in Matrah and my Assistant at the Hospital
in Maskat undertook to obtain all the available information of cases and record it, no reliable
data could be subsequently forthcoming for the compilation of a report such as this. I,
therefore, decided upon dividing the work by including under Maskat the neighbouring villages
of Sadab and Kalbhu and under Matrah the hamlets of Riyam, Mateirah, Falaj and Arbak,
and the village of Darseit; and directed 1st class Hospital Assistant Muhammad Hosain to
register all cases coming to his knowledge in the first three places, whilst I myself undertook
the registration of cases occurring in Matrah and the places included under it. The reason of
my grouping these villages and hamlets with the two towns would be clear to any one having a
knowledge of their topography, for though they are separated from Maskat and Matrah by
small hills they are so close to thena that in a practical point of view they may be looked upon
more as suburbs than independent centres of habitation. That the task was not an easy one,
cannot be denied, particularly as we laboured under difficulties which in a more civilized place
would have had either no existence or would have been overcome by means of more energetic
measures on the part of the local authorities It is true that His Highness the Sultan had
appointed two officials for the purpose of making an inquiry in Maskat and reporting the
cases there to my Assistant, who, however, informs me that the assistance they gave was not
as satisfactory as might have been expected and that he had on many occasions to supplement
the record through other channels, whilst in Matrah I had entirely from the beginning to the
end to depend upon ray own personal influence and exertions to obtain the necessary inform
ation. Although these difficulties were not insurmountable as might be judged from the result
now embodied in this report, I should have scarcely felt justified in passing their existence
over m silence.
The town of Maskat being small in area, though divided into several quarters, is, for th e
Localities included under Maskat. sake of convenience, shown in this report as only
i. c ht ! « one locality. The village of Sadab lies to the
K^lKv^r ^ roin w kich it is separated by a small hilly pass, and the village of
a u ies to the west of Maskat, the two places being separated by a small pass similar to

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Content

Administration Report on the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Muskat [Muscat] Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for 1899-1900, published by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India (Calcutta), forming part of the Selections from the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department, and based on reports sent to Government by the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. and the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Muscat.

The report is divided up into a number of sections and subsections, as follows:

Part 1, is a General Summary (folios 268-71) written by the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm John Meade:

  • Section 1: entitled General , includes: a report on the year’s rainfall and harvest; the Governorship of Bushire; public peace and tranquillity in and around Bushire; public health and measures to restrict cholera and the plague in the Gulf; Persian currency; customs house arrangements in Bushire; compensation claims; and the Resident’s tours through the region during the year;
  • 2: Oman – Muscat: including: a change in personnel, with the role of Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. being taken over by Captain Percy Zachariah Cox from Major Christopher George Forbes Fagan; the Sultan of Muscat’s finances; French proposals to construct a coal depot in Muscat; use of the French flag by Muscat vessels; association of the French flag with the arms and slave trades; the impact of cholera and plague in the region;
  • 3. Oman – Pirate coast, including: a list of the those shaikhs in the region who have met with the Resident in the past year; Arab-Persian relations over Lingah [Bandar-e Lengeh], and the expulsion of Persians from that port; the discovery of a large pearl at Kumzār and its subsequent sale for a lower-than-expected price; the prevalence of smallpox on the Arab coast;
  • 4. Bahrain, including: the wounding of two British-Indian subjects; difficulties discharging cargoes in Bahrain; and the death of Aga Muhummad Rahim, the Native News Agent in Bahrain;
  • 5. El-Nejd, with no report due to the recommendation that no one be deputed to travel there;
  • 6. Koweit [Kuwait]: no particulars reported;
  • 7. Persian Arabistan: the navigation of the Kārūn river, and opening up of river and land routes for trade;
  • 8. Fars and Persian coast: Bandar-e Lengeh in Persian hands; the arrival of the British Vice-Consul for Bunder Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās];
  • 9. Persian Baluchistan: delays in compensation claims against the murder of Mowladad Khan; a change in the Directorship of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Telegraphs Department; rumours of a revolt against the Shah in Persian Baluchistan;
  • 10. Slave Trade: numbers of slave captured and manumitted during the year;
  • 11. Piracy: cases of piracy reported during the year, with details of where and against whom they were committed;
  • 12. Navy: details of the movements of British naval vessels (Sphinx, Lapwing and Pigeon) and significant foreign vessels, including Russian warship Gilyak;
  • 13. Official Changes: changes in British personnel;
  • 14. Changes among foreign representatives, with particular reference to German, French and Dutch representatives.

An appendix to part 1 (folios 272-75) includes statistical tables comprising meteorological data for the region; dispensaries in Bushire and data for the numbers of patients, diseases, surgical operations and income and expenditure of the Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. dispensary.

Part 2 (folios 276-78) is a separate report from the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. , written by Cox, with reports on events in Muscat, Rostak [Rustāq], Sohar, Soor [Sur], and Dhofar [Z̧ufār], including: accidental shootings by Wahabee [ Wahhābī A follower of the Islamic reform movement known as Wahhabism; also used to refer to the people and territories ruled by the Al-Saud family. ] tribesmen; the appearance in Muscat of cholera and the plague; British and foreign naval movements in Muscat; and a statistical overview of manumission applications heard at the agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. .

Appendix A to Part 2 (folios 278v-85) is a detailed report with statistical data on the cholera epidemic in Muscat and Oman, written by the Lieutenant-Colonel Atmaram Sadashiv Jayakar, Chief Surgeon at Muscat. Jayakar’s report contains historical data on outbreaks of cholera in Muscat, symptoms of the disease, mortality statistics, treatment and its results, preventative and sanitation measures. Civil hospital and dispensary statistics follow on folios 285v-287v.

Part 3 (folios 288) is a trade report of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for 1899, written by Meade. Its appendices (folios 289-328) comprise tables showing the value of all goods imported and exported to and from various parts of the Gulf region, and the numbers of vessels (with figures on tonnage) of various nationalities plying their trade in the region in each port.

Part 4 (folios 329-30) is a separate trade report with statistical data for Muscat for 1899-1900.

Part 5 (folios 331-35) is a trade report for Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and the Kārūn river for the year 1899.

Extent and format
1 volume (60 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into a number of sections and subsections, with statistic data in tabular format directly following written sections. There is a contents page at the front of the report (f. 267) which lists the report’s contents in alphabetically ascending order, and refers to the report’s own pagination sequence.

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English in Latin script
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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎279v] (32/150), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/77, No 379, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023626792.0x000022> [accessed 22 May 2024]

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