Guide to the India Papers, 1737-1947
This assembled collection of 47 documents, largely manuscript letters, covers nearly the entire span of British rule in India and is arranged in rough chronological order. The collection includes governmental reports, personal correspondence, and a printed map. Most of the documents are quite short though there are a few longer pieces and collections including a plan for opium sales, a series of reports on Indo-American trade, and a long letter on army discipline prior to the Vellore mutiny.
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- India papers 1737-1947
- Language of Material
- 0.5 Linear Feet, 47 Items
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Miscellaneous items relating to the history of India, especially during the period of British rule, including a manuscript (12 pp.), 1798, by John Baird discussing a plan for increasing the opium trade in India; letters, 1799-1800, from Sir James Henry Craig, commander of a British division in Bengal, concerning the military situation in India; letters, 1801-1802, from John Chamier, chief secretary to the Madras government, pertaining to his desire for a seat on the Madras Council and future reforms; manuscripts, 1796-1805, discussing various aspects of the import and export trade between India and America, recording statistics and noting products involved; a map, 1820, of portions of Nagpur and Rewa provinces; and a letter, 1849, from Tomas Boaz requesting funds for a college to train Indian clergymen.
Other materials include a list, 1849, of goods purchased from Boston, Mass., merchants; letter, 1866, from Henry R. E. Wellesley, Madras 1st Light Cavalry, describing his duties and the climate in India, hunting trips, British politics, and the Sepoy army; letter, 1867, from Francis Napier, Tenth Baron Napier, governor of Madras, concerning the structure of the Indian government and his desire for a strong central government; letter, 1879, from General Frederick Sleigh Roberts, First Earl Roberts, discussing parts of his campaign in Afghanistan; letter, 1880, from Sir William Milbourne James criticizing British military ventures into Afghanistan; and a letter, 1882, from General Frederick Sleigh Roberts objecting to British policy of abandoning Kandahar and expressing fear of a Russian advance.
Additional items include a letter, 1883, from John Wodehouse, First Earl of Kimberley, secretary of state for India, concerning the Rajputana railway and the Egyptian telegraph; letters, 1886, from Sir Herbert Hope Risley discussing his work on a census glossary and on marriage customs in Bengal; letter, 1893, from Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, foreign secretary in India, discussing his book, Helen Trevelyan; letter, 1902, from Sir Evelyn Baring, First Earl of Cromer, pertaining to plans for the Indian railway; letter, 1915, from Sir Stephen George Sale reviewing the legal basis for viceroyalty in India; letter, 1930, from Sir William Malcolm Hailey criticizing English newspapers for using India as an issue against the Labour Party and discussing the Indian Congress Party; and a letter, 1947, of West Bengal, discussing some of the changes in India since Independence.
Collection is open for research.
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Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
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Shows exports to America with comments on the trade and goods shipped to America.
"America, with the exception of a few Marine and Naval stores does not produce a single article required either by the Honorable Company's European or Native subjects..."
Very brief extract noting the arrival of one American ship that year.
Regarding part of their grandfather's legacy - later note on reverse about the estate.
Bengal- mentions Lady Chambers.
Also notes the comparative profit received from Opium in 1798/9, with that computed to be derived in 1799/1800.
Written while on a shooting party at the Nabob's park at Romna (sic)
Concerning a seat on the Madras council.
Chamier complains about the Council at Madras and Lord Wellesley: "unless Lord Wellesley be speedily removed, the Company will be precipitated into Bankruptcy."
Mentions Napoleon's intentions towards "your Eastern Dominions."
Concerning Sepoy regiments and army discipline - marked "Private." (Transcript available - 3 typed pages)
Also labeled "Engraved for the Calcutta Journal" and "Plate LVIII."
Concerning a friend who was medically unfit for India. Included is one printed page of Chinese text with the manuscript label "Part of the 1st Chapter of St. John's gospel translated by Dr. Marshman presented at Serampore."
The writer offers a copy of a report on Bengal customs (not included) and credits the recipient's lectures at Haileybury for his success.
In a mixture of English and Dutch. Mentions Assam.
Letter mentions the planned building of a London Missionary Society college at Calcutta. Signed by C. Walton and Thomas Boaz.
Concerning cloth sales.
Letter discusses retirement benefits and annuities.
Letter describes life in Madras and an elephant hunting expedition.
Letter marked "private." Napier relates his opinion that he is "not in favor of turning India into a federation" but rather that "India ought to have a splendid and powerful Central govt." He further opines that if India is broken up "I am in favor of a Congress of Delegates from the several Presidencies which may deliberate on the best way of breaking up India into separate states."
Letter relates mountaineering expeditions and speculation on the "easiest route from India to Afghanistan."
The letter mentions the late Anglo-Afghan war throughout: "I quite agree with you that we are thoroughly beaten in Afghanistan and it is no use attempting to disguise the fact."
Letter mentions Russian interest in central Asia.
Mentions the Rajputana state railway.
The letter states that the writer is first cousin of the Rajah of Pudukota and has a complaint with the Madras government over his Jaghire. The recipient could be a member of the Privy Council as the letter asks the recipient to "peruse the petition submitted through the Local Government to the Secretary of State for India...and order me justice in council."
Letter discusses formulation of the census glossary and gives a rough draft with explanation of the entry for the "Mahili" caste.
Letter concerns finishing work on the "marriage customs of Bengal."
Letter concerns pamphlet distribution and an upcoming election [Naoroji was elected to Parliament in 1892].
Durand discusses his literary work.
Letter mentions railways and the Bhopal area.
The letter extends social greetings and thanks for a card and photo album and encloses the Sultan's published travels to the Hejaz (not present).
The letter appears to be in response to one by Lady Strachey about the positions of Governor General and Viceroy of India. Sale writes that he can find no documents or warrants appointing anyone a viceroy after Queen Victoria appointed Lord Canning in 1858. Subsequent governors general have merely been descriptively called viceroys for the function they perform.
Letter comments briefly on the Sultan's son and his administration.
Comments on the possibility of an [Indian National] Congress “no rent campaign.”
Letter on altered British government stationary. The brief note comments on the chaotic state of the Calcutta High Court, mutual appreciation of the importance of South India, and social nicety. It concludes "Independence has come. It will take some time for happiness to arrive in India."
- Chamier, John
- Craig, James Henry, Sir, 1748-1812
- Cromer, Evelyn Baring, Earl of, 1841-1917
- Durand, Henry Mortimer, Sir, 1850-1924
- Great Britain -- Colonies -- Administration
- Great Britain -- Colonies -- India
- Great Britain. Army
- Hailey, William Malcolm Hailey, Baron, 1872-1969
- India -- Commerce -- United States
- India -- History -- British occupation, 1765-1947
- India -- Maps
- India. Army
- James, W. M. (William Milbourne), 1807-1881
- Kimberley, John Wodehouse, Earl of, 1826-1902
- Napier, Francis, Baron Napier and Ettrick, 1819-1898
- Opium trade -- India
- Railroads -- India
- Risley, Herbert Hope, Sir, 1851-1911
- Roberts, Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Earl, 1832-1914
- Sale, Stephen George, Sir
- United States -- Commerce -- India
- India and East India Company Papers, 1691-1830 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- Madras Presidency Papers, 1755-1775 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
[Identification of item], India Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
The India Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase from 1961 to 1983.
Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff and Mitch Fraas
Encoded by Noah Huffman, December 2010
Accessions 61-297, 61-301, 61-418, 61-452, 63-38, 63-39, 65-146, 71-317, and 1983 Mar. 31 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.