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‘REPORT ON THE MISSION TO SEISTAN, 1897’ [‎4r] (12/134)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (63 folios). It was created in 1898. 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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Dated Peshawar, the 12th March 1898.
I have the honour to submit herewith a record of my mission to Seistan.
In forwarding this report I beg leave to point out that from the outset
my orders were of a very ambiguous nature, merely stating “I was to proceed
with utmost dispatch to Seistan. My primary duty would be to take and
advise such general measures as may be possible to guard against risk of the
importation of plague from Baluchistan, particularly by the Nushki-Chagai
It will, therefore, be seen that the above orders nominally appointing me
on plague duty, in other respects gave me no definite instructions or insight
as to what line to pursue.
After due consideration and before reaching Seistan, I fully realised that
my mission, to be successful, involved other duties more important and intri
cate, and that my primary duty would be equalled, if not surpassed, by
political ones in watching British interests, especially commercial interests, and
the doings of the Russian agents in the country.
The diaries and letters forwarded from time to time, copies of which are
attached and form Appendix A of this report, briefly describe all matters of
urgency and importance affecting the mission. The general history of the
mission embodied in this report describes in some detail the circumstances
which guided my line of action throughout our sojourn in the country and
journeys across Baluchistan.
I have had to write this report somewhat hurriedly and under difficulties,
and regret any shortcomings.
I have not now the leisure necessary to properly compile the mass of
intelligence work anent resources, routes, and other important matters col
lected; these will, at a more fitting occasion, be incorporated with the
Gazetteers and Route-books of Seistan, Baluchistan and Afghanistan.

About this item


The volume consists of a report by Surgeon-Major George Washington Brazier-Creagh on his mission to Seistan [Sīstān] on ‘plague duty’ to investigate the closure of the Perso-Afghan-Baluch trade routes under the ‘mantle of plague’ from April to October 1897. The report is divided into five sections:

  • The Outward Journey: A general account of the journey across the Baluchistan Desert – folios 5-7.
  • A general history of the Mission and condition of affairs in Seistan – folios 8-13r.
  • An account of influential chiefs and material connected with the administration of Seistan – folios 13v-15r.
  • The Return Journey: A review of road infrastructure and trade prospects – folios 16-17.
  • A review of the strategic and political outlook – folios 17-18.

The remainder of the volume (folios 20-58) consists of appendices. A pocket on the inside back cover contains five folded maps (folios 60-64).

On the front cover, it bears two stamps reading ‘War Office. Library. 14 Dec 1889’ and ‘Intelligence Division. 14 Dec 1889’ respectively.

Published in Calcutta by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India (1898).

Extent and format
1 volume (63 folios)

The report is divided into five sections with appendices at the back of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 65; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Pagination: the file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘REPORT ON THE MISSION TO SEISTAN, 1897’ [‎4r] (12/134), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/33, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 1 March 2024]

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