Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/266

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234 Notice on Khoten. way instructive, has been taken. His first route was to Leh, in the neighbourhood of which he arrived in September, 1820; and, after some hesitation and explanations, was admitted into the town. His design was to penetrate thence, through Chinese Thibet, by way of Yarkund, (which, he was given to understand, is the seat of a great fair, resorted to by merchants from all parts of Central Asia,) to Bokhara; and it appears from his correspond- ence, that for a considerable time he entertained sanguine hopes o'f being able to effect this. Ultimately, however, he failed, as he thought, through the jealousy of the native, chiefly Cashmerian, merchants, who were afraid of losing their monopoly of communi- cation in this direction, and who encouraged, in consequence, the suspicion with which the Chinese authorities received his appli- cations for permission to pass as a merch.ant. Struggling with these difficulties, he remained at Leh till September, 1822, extending his influence by successful practice as a surgeon, col- . lecting hearsay. information respect. ing the country wherever he could procure it, and also making, In person, such short excursions within the district of Ladakh as he could obtain permission for from the resident authorities. He then departed for Cashmere, by the ordinary route between the two places, which he represents as being the great channel by which the latter is supplied with the Thibet shawl wool used in its manufactures; but he gives no detailed account of his journey. From Cashmere his purpose was to penetrate to Bokhara by Caubul; but here again he met with great difficulties, and was ultimately detained another year there? to the great dissatisfaction of the Rajah, who was very jealous of him. Early in the year 1824, it is mentioned in a letter from Lord Am- herst to the Court of Directors, that he was recalled, with a dis- crefionary power, however, of proceeding, if, before receiving the order, he had penetrated to Caubul; but it is doubtful whether the summons ever reached him. A short memorandum of his death is contained in the correspondence of the Calcutta Govern- ment for 1827, stating it to have occurred in March, 1825, at a place called Anghok (presumed to be in Balkh), not at Bokhara, as Major Archer had been informed; nor does it anywhere appear whether he had previously reached Bokhara, or was still on his road to it. None of the papers as yet in the India House relate, indeed, to this latter portion of his journey: the latest despatch .from. him being dated Cashmere, October, 1823; and a further inquiry, therefore, made in India, either among the government records, or in Balkh, through the medium of native traders, or agents, might yet bring to light some interesting documents. Those at present possessed by the Society naturally arrange themselves under three heads :--1. Thejourneyto Leh, and account of Ladakh given with it. 2. Such hearsay notices of Chinese Tartary Digitized by Google