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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎12r] (23/58)

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The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 13 Apr 1863. 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.


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I obserred
both on East Coast
Africa, at Maga-
dosha and Brava ;
and also to some
extent at Kurra-
chee, that when the
trade came to be
opened up by Eng
lish or Continental
merchants, these
articles, especially
hides, horns and
wool were rendered
fulness and ready energy, wliieh contrasted favorably witli at least one other
Oriental people. ^ It is worthy of notice that, whatever the Arabs possess, seem to
be the best of their kind; their horses, dogs, poultry; their mules and donkeys; their
dates; their coffee; their pearls; their spices and their frankincense.
121 They have been called, for centuries, vindictive, cruel. It is remark
able, however, that in no country in the world is the brute creation so much the
friend of man; in no country is there thatmutual confidence between man and beast;
nowhere else that I have passed, does the horse, and even the greyhound seem
so thoroughly to comprehend language addressed to them by man.
122. I crossed the desert, when it was in blossom; in the spring. The plain
had recently been trampled by the feet of Bedouin Camps, where every man's
hand is against his neighbour. Yet even the birds seemed to welcome me. The
lark, rising trustfully, just in front of my bridle, startled the solemn silence of the
desert with its happy song, and again breasting earth, all was still. Anon, a little
lady of the Finch tribe, would trip along, beside me; evidently quite glad of a
chance for prettily chirping the news: pity, I could not make out what
she said.
123. Meeting these Arabs, you readily comprehend how they once stormed
across the world; and you leave them, persuaded that they still possess qualities
which may again render them renowned, should outward circumstances favor. I
could well understand how the tragic pastoral of Job was written by an Arab.
The originals of the Patriarchs were before you: their life; their manners and the
results of these. I thought to myself these Pentateuch people carry out the prin
ciple of simplicity in its integrity; yet I felt, also, that our present civilizations,
may have to return? in part, to natural sources, before humanity can progress
towards perfection.
124. I left the Arabs, impressed that, their vices and their virtues; their
customs; their manners and their government have been, in a great degree, form
ed by physical and accidental circumstances. A man who finds himself doomed
to live in the Bedouin desert cannot render his life similar to that of a man born
of the same original stock, who finds himself among the natural bounties of Arabia
Felix. Perhaps the names of Adnan and Khaitan, of the earliest recorded times
were only impersonations of the tribes who wandered for pasturage in the open,
and of the tribes who had settled down to agriculture on some favored spot. Both
would naturally trace their origin to some one Head; and this Head would receive
a name, as well as Adam. On the whole, the Arabs, like most other people I have
met, seem to cut their coat very much according to their cloth. Ubi homines
sunt, modi sunt; and as soil is, so the mind of man.
125. I beg pardon for this seeming digression; but it is, I think, of
importance, from a commercial point of view, to bear the character and country of
these Arabs, in mind. A tract w T hose people can suddenly appear in force on the
lines of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and Euphrates, must be sufficiently numerous,
and possess qualities to affect markets, along those lines for good or for ill. A
country that possesses so many articles of commerce, unequalled in their kind,
may create an increased demand and supply in the general markets under Euro
pean management. The Arabian, and perhaps other portions of the Gulf coast
line, may be capable of supplying at a profit, hides, horns, glue, saltpetre,
0 1T 126. The least er-
Vide appended Statements of Exports and Imports to and from Kateef „ t
Lahsa, and Bushire. roneous notion i can
Total Trade of Kateef may be annualy 50,000 Dollars. COUV ey of the exterior
trade of Kateef, and
of the Xejd coast line in general, is, as per margin.
127. The next Port falling under the class of those recognising Turkish
Suzerainty, but practically independent, is Koweit; and the history of this settle
ment is, in my opinion, so illustrative of what may be done in the Gulf by common
sense applied to the creation of trade, that I shall venture to occupy a moment
of the Government time with a brief summary of its history, as jotted down in my

About this item


Report from Pelly to the Chief Secretary to Government in the Political Department, Bombay, compiled in Bushire 13 April 1863.

The report details the tribes, trade and resources of the Gulf Littoral which is divided into seven areas according to their political administration. The report also includes a list of detailed statements of imports and exports at Bushire.

Extent and format
29 folios
Physical characteristics

Item foliated in the front top right hand corner of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎12r] (23/58), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/48, ff 1-29, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 November 2019]

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