Posted on: 2 June 2015

Digital Rare Book:
A Journey from Madras through the countries of MYSORE, Canara, and Malabar - performed under the orders of the most noble the Marquis Wellesley, Governor General of India, for the express purpose of investigating the state of agriculture, arts, and commerce; the religion, manners, and customs; the history natural and civil, and antiquities, in the dominions of the Rajah of Mysore, and the countries acquired by the Honourable East India Company.
By Francis Buchanan
Printed for T.Cadell and W.Davies, London - 1807
Volume 2

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Born in Callander, Perthshire, (15 Feb. 1762) Francis Buchanan completed his studies in medicine at Edinburgh University (1783), and was then employed as a surgeon on board a man-of-war. Ill health forced him to leave this post, but in 1794, he obtained the post of surgeon with the Bengal Establishment of the East India Company. His missions to Burma and the Andaman Islands, to Nepal (1802) and Bengal (1807/09) included significant research and publications on botany, the fishes of the RiverBrahmaputra, the history of Nepal, and a statistical survey of Bengal. In 1814, he was appointed Superintendant of the Botanical Garden, Calcutta, but returned to Scotland the following year, and subsequently inherited his mother's Bardownie estate. On the death of his elder brother. Buchanan added his mother's name, Hamilton, to his own in recognition of this inheritance.

In the Mysore context, Buchanan's great contribution was his 3 volume survey of Tipu's kingdom, over which the British assumed control in 1799. The Governor General, Lord Wellesley, instructed Buchanan to investigate and document the agriculture, cattle, farms, crops, mines, minerals and mineral springs, manufacturers and manufacturers, climate and seasons, trees and forests, the inhabitants and their religions, currencies and customs. In addition, Wellesley noted: 'It would be eligible to have either models or drawings made of any description of machinery which may not have been seen by you in these parts of India.' Buchanan plotted his route with the maps of Majors Crauford and Rennell, and information was sought from that great surveyor, Col. Mackenzie. 'I regret exceedingly that I did not receive it in time to allow me to avail myself of the numerous geographical improvements it contains, ' wrote Buchanan.

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