THE EXPEDITION FOR THE SURVEY OF THE RIVERS EUPHRATES AND TIGRIS, CARRIED ON BY ORDER OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, IN THE YEARS 1835, 1836, AND 1837
by Chesney, Lieut.-Colonel Frances Lawdon, R.A., F.R.S., F.R.G.S.
New York: Greenwood Press, 1969. Hardcover. Very good. Two volumes. Numerous textual illustrations, with twelve folding maps and four tables, including two folding. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969. Facsimile of the 1850 first edition. In the late 1820s, the East India Company was actively looking for a faster route to India. Company officials were considering either a route through Egypt or a more direct route through what is now Syria, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. After a daring journey from Anah on the Euphrates River to the Persian Gulf, Chesney (1789-1872) in 1831 suggested the construction of a railway that would link the Persian Gulf to the navigable portion of the Euphrates, thereby opening the fast, economical, and direct route to India. With the support of the India board, the body that oversaw the affairs of British India, he pressed the proposal on the British government. In 1835 he was sent in command of a small expedition to test the navigability of the Euphrates. In spite of much opposition from the Egyptian pasha, he transported two steamers in sections overland from the Mediterranean at Antioch to the middle Euphrates. The Tigris went down in a storm, but Chesney and the Euphrates reached the Persian Gulf in the summer of 1836. Though the voyage was deemed a success, the British government took no steps to implement his plan. This, his report of the expedition, was conceived as a four volume work, but only the first two were published. Octavo. Original brown cloth binding, with gilt titles. Small previous owner's address label to each front flyleaf. Mild smudge to the fore-edge of the second volume, with just a hint of wear to the corners and tips; otherwise very good. (Inventory #: 64545)
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