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‘Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1899/1900’ [‎280v] (34/150)

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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26
ADMINISTRATION EEPORT ON THE PERSIAN GULP POLITICAL
whilst in one case, which also ended fatally and in which the evacuation stage was immediately
followed by a severe febrile stage, the temperature a few hours before death rose to 106-6 P.
Suppression of urine in a more or less degree was a very common symptom, but was rapidly
overcome in the majority of the cases that came under treatment.
The epidemic may, upon the whole, be considered to have been one of only a moderate
severity, for whilst, on the oue hand, the incidence of attacks in proportion to the general
population of Maskat and Matrah together was in as high a ratio as 5*3 per cent, which was
enough to stamp it as one of a very grave nature, on the other it never attained that great
degree of intensity as indicated by the rate of mortality, which was its most prominent charac-
tei^in its advance through the Simail valley. At Suroor alone the first place of any importance
in the interior it visited, it carried away 470 persons out of a population of 1,000 and at Simail
nearly a thousand persons out of a population of about 5,000.
The total number of attacks in both Maskat and Matrah together may be approximately
stated to have been 1,339. Of these 449 took
A ^ tliCv8 ' place in Maskat alone, giving a ratio of 4*5 per
cent, to the population. Viewed in a racial point of view the greatest incidence of attacks was
among Baluchis with whom 1 have also grouped Jotgals who, though racially distinct from
them, are socially and in their domestic habits so much like them, that the two cannot be
easily separated. Their habitations are mostly in the filthiest localities and themselves most
regardless of the commonest rules of personal hygiene, so that it is no wonder that they suffered
most from the epidemic. A little more than half the total number of attacks, namely, 240,
occurred among them alone. The next in order to suffer were the Africans among whom
there were 111 attacks, and next to them were the Arabs who are proportionately a small com
munity in Maskat and who had 95 attacks among them. The least of all to suffer were the
Indians among whom there were only three attacks, two being among the Muhammadans and
one among the Hindus, whilst the Indo-Portuguese, who are, however, a very small commu
nity, had no attacks among them at all. This remarkable instance of the almost absolute
immunity of the whole Indian community may be attributed partly to the fact of many of
them having adopted prophylactic measures and partly to the fact of all their habitations,
which are situated inside the town of Maskat, being far away from the greatest centres of
infection.
Considered in relation to age and sex, adults suffered considerably more than children, the
total number of attacks among the former being 406, whilst among the latter only 43, and
males suffered slightly more than females, though the ratio of deaths to attacked was much
greater among the latter than among the former. There were 214 attacks among males
against 192 among females.
The localities that were most severely visited by the epidemic were such as contained
closely packed and overcrowded huts with the most unsanitary surroundings and as were
inhabited entirely by Baluchis or Jatgals or both. Many such spots exist in both the
suburbs of Maskat, and it was there that the disease was most rife. Whilst the whole
town of Maskat contributed only 99 cases, there were 205 in Tuyan and 83 in Takia. The
total number of attacks in Matrah may be approximately stated to have been 890, giving
a ratio of nearly G per cent, to the popu/ation. This ratio was slightly higher than in
Maskat partly on account of the larger populacion and partly on account of Matrah being
more exposed to sources of infection, as explained above. The greatest incidence of attacks
was, as in Maskat, among the Baluchis who alone had among them 335 attacks, being more
than a third of the total number. The Arabs come next in order, having had 290 attacks
among them, or nearly a third of the total number. There were 166 attacks among the
Africans and o9 among the Persians. The remaining 40 attacks were distributed among
the three Indian communities—Khojas, other Indian Muhammadans and Hindus, Of these
the Khojas, though now domiciled here, live aloof from the rest of the population in a
separate place of their own, called the Khoja fort and may be estimated to be about 1,000
persons; there were altogether 31 attacks among them giving a ratio of a little more than
3 per cent. Ihe number hen? given is slightly different from that shown in statement
1 m o. VI, as one of the attacks having ooeurred in the person of a Khoja who lived outside
the Khoja fort, is excluded from it, whilst two attacks which occurred among the Africans
in the Khoja fort are included in it. The other Indian Muhammadans who are principally
goldsmiths, carpenters, memons, etc., also live inside the town amidst better sanitary
surroundings than those found in the Baluchi and Arab quarters; they had only 7 attaeks
among them. The smallest number of attacks, namely, two, was among the Hindus, and
it may be noticed here as a strange coincidence that they were the very last two attacks
ju the epidemic.
Examined in relation to age, the attacks in Matrah were about five times and a half
more in adults than in children, the total number among the former being 752 against 138
among t e latter. As regards sex, from an early stage of the epidemic there was a general
impression among the people that women were suffering more than men, which is now seen
to have been lightly formed, from the statistics the attacks among females, namely, 456,
being near y double of those among males (296). This great preponderance of attacks
among females occurred principally among the Baluchis and Arabs in localities almost es-
ire y occupied by them, and m ay partly be accounted for by the fact that the duty of
nursing t e sick generally devolved on the fair sex. It would be needless to reiterate the

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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’ [‎280v] (34/150), 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_100023626792.0x000024> [accessed 12 April 2024]

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