Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [13r] (25/58)
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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
one; save small offerings at the gate, or from merchants, amounting perhaps to
20,000 Rials per annum, and a complimentary present of dates from Busreh, in
token of Suzerainty; and for the supposed protection of the mouths of the
Lusrch river. The Government is patriarchal; the Sheikh managing the political,
and the Cazee the judicial Departments. The Sheikh himself would submit to
the Cazee s decision. Punishment is rarely inflicted. Indeed there seems little
government interfeience anywhere; and little need for any. \\ 1 icii my father
was nearly 120 years old, remarked the Sheikh to me, he called me and said "I shall
soon die. I have made no fortune, and can leave you no money; but I have
inade many and true friends; grapple them. While other States round the Gulf
have fallen off from injustice or ill-government, mine has gone on increasing.
Hold to my policy, and though you are surrounded by a desert, and pressed on by
a once hostile and still wandering set of tribes you will flourish." It is thus un
der the fostering care of a succession of common sense Rulers, and by means of a
policy wisely originated, and systematically pursued, that an Arab band of pirates
appear as the masters of a thriving Port, the refuge of the oppressed, and the
peaceful free home of all. I confess that I looked round with something like
amazement at finding such a political and commercial structure, in such a region,
and the work of such hands.
132. If Arahs can do all this in the remotest corner of the 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. , what
might not we do if we held its key gained the confidence of our neighbours by
justice, and forwarded their material interests by the exercise of those moral quali
ties and that intellectual superiority, which the civilization of our country
bestows on every English gentleman of common capacity, over an Asiatic?
133. No doubt, much of the prosperity of Koweit may be due to position,
and to a comparatively healthy climate. It was in ancient days the point where
the sea trade took to caravans, or river carriage. It still maintains its natural
advantages; and, although I would not recommend the artificial forcing of trade
from its present course, I would still keep an eye on Koweit, for future purposes.
It is, in my opinion, by no means impossible that Koweit, under an effective de
velopment of the Gulf trade, would become the terminus for our sea-going steam
ers ; a coal station, and a telegraph station. The more you analyze the ques
tion, the more you will probably be struck by the fact that the trade of the East
and West has a marked tendency to resume its old lines under improved means of
transit. Koweit appears to me a preferable Port to Busreh for the same reasons
that Kurrachee is preferable to Tatta. The climate of Busreh is fatal; that of
Koweit, comparatively good. The water of Koweit, it is true, is brackish; yet
fever is unknown. Dysentery and ophthalmia are rare, and when men commence
begetting new families at 80, and die at 120, the climate cannot be considered as
134. The only remedies in use are firing, accompanied by doses of senna. If
a man suffer from indigestion, he is fired in spots round the navel. If he have
chest complaint, he is fired on the back, near the shoulder blade. The sores are
kept open for months, as issues. And the efficacy of the treatment is much ap
plauded. Their constitutions are strong, however.
135. The prevalent North-wester is tempered from the desert by blowing
over ten miles of Bay; yet it does not, in that space, gain that muggy, relaxing
character, with which it arrives on the opposite coast at Bushire. ^ Koweit is
always approachable by ships; and affords good and ample harbourage. Busreh is
70 miles up a river. Koweit has a fine broad channel of creek water running
from its Bay up to within 12 miles of the Busreh point of the river. I landed
close alongside the Zobeir Bunder, in 4 fathoms; and this was the least water I found
in a mid-channel of an average width of one mile, from the Koweit end of the creek
up to its head, within sight of the date-trees on the Shat-ul-Arab, near Busreh.
The cutting of a canal across these twelve miles of flat soil, would be a work of
little cost and labor.
136. On the whole, and without endeavouring to change trade from any
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.
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Item foliated in the front top right hand corner of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.
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