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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎277v] (28/150)

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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20
EPIDEMICS.
Maskat had been free from epidemic disease for so many years that the
community had begun to believe that the climate was proof against any serious
outbreak of disease. The events of the past year, however, have rudely dis
abused them of the illusion.
Cholera after beginning insidiously in Matrah probably early in September
was declared epidemic on 30th of that
Cholera ■ month, and continued to spread through
out Oman until it finally died away towards the end of January. The mor
tality in Maskat and Matrah is believed to have been about 600, and in Oman
generally it is estimated that 12,000 persons fell victims to its ravages. An
interesting report on the subject was drawn up by Lieutenant-Colonel Jayakar,
I.M.S., Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. Surgeon, and is attached to this report.
Hardly had cholera begun to die out when plague made its appearance.
It has never been ascertained satisfac-
Flagu0 ' * torily how the infection was brought to
Maskat, but as it commenced in the Khoja community who are in constant
communication with Karachi, it is probable that it was imported from thence.
Maskat was declared Infected on 10th January 1900 and was not declared free
of the disease till the 26th May. It is difficult to give any reliable statistics
as to the deaths and cures. As in the case of cholera, the disease first went
its course in Matrah, and then as it began to die out there, it took root in
Maskat. The fact that a severe form of fever and influenza prevailed at the
same time, and that the populace generally were very slow to come forward
and report their sick, in fact did their best to conceal them for fear of being
subjected to undesired attentions of the local authorities, made it difficult to
know what amount of the extra mortality was due to plague and what to
ordinary fever, but it is probable that many of the deaths reported as suspi
cious were really due to plague. Segregation was adjudged to be impossible
in a community such as that of Maskat, but disinfection and inoculation were
carried on, and the Sultan had hospital sheds built in Maskat and Matrah for
such as could be persuaded to use them. Some 400 persons in all were inocu
lated with M. Haffkine's serum. The Sultan engaged a medical practitioner
from Bombay experienced in plague work together with an assistant, especially
to assist in combating this epidemic. He was also arranging to entertain a
trained native nurse for the same purpose when happily the advent of Hot-
weather brought the epidemic to an end. I am glad to say that, so far as is
known with the exception of one or two suspicious cases reported, there was
no spread of the disease to the interior as was the case with cholera.
NAVY.
Maskat was visited during the year by Her Majesty's Ships Figeon^
Bedhreast, Jssayet Sphinx, Lapwing, Melpomene and Pomone.
The R.I.M.S. Lawrence also visited Maskat in December 1899.
Foreign Navies were represented by the German Cruiser Arcona and
the Turkish gun-boat Say id el Daria which touched at Maskat en route for
Constantinople.
SLAVE TRADE.
During the year under review, no slave dhows were captured by any
of Her Majesty's Cruisers of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Squadron. Out of a total of 43
slaves who applied during the year to this Consulate for protection and free
dom, 41 were manumitted under the stipulations of the treaty of 1873, one
left of his own accord while his case was under investigation, and one was
dismissed not being entitled to freedom. Six Africans were given manumission
by Lieutenant-Commander Moubray of H.M.S. Pigeon and one by Lieutenant-
Commander Travers of H.M.S. Redbreast under the provisions of the Brussels
Act, all of whom had taken refuge on board these vessels. A batch of eleven
slaves recently imported, three of whom were manumitted by the Political
Besident in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. and sent here for repatriation, was dispatched

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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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎277v] (28/150), 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_100023626792.0x00001e> [accessed 21 April 2024]

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