NOTES ON ABYSSINIA. By F. T. is a campaign in Abyssinia some few readers our it not be amiss to imminent, may give fli details of that country, in which some of them, at least, As it is
tolerably certain that
bo actively employed. country extends from corresponding very nearly to
noith atitu c, about 9? to 10 lesi ency. Madras the of that
of its inhabitants wo are familiar
Cushites of the Bible
THE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
the P. and 0. vessels we frequently see specimens of them from the seaboard of the country, where they are much darker than in the inland districts. Bounded as it is on the north and east
Aden, we have most of us looked on from the decks of the overland steamers. bounded by the outlying provinces of Egypt,
the Red Sea and Gulf of
the coasts of
On the west it is and
Israel," and their kings to be descended from King of Israel. The real king is, however, a mere puppet, as his fathers have been for some generations, in the hands of his nobles. The present Chief, Theodoras, formerly called Lix Cassai, proclaimed himself king of Abyssinia some his way up from being a cadet of years ago, after having fought a good family to the command of an army ; and rose to the highest place in the kingdom by marrying the daughter of the former Emperor, Ras Ali, and driving his father-in-law from the to be the"Beni
throne. Eor a few years after Theodoras ascended the throne, all went on well, for the terror of his name kept the country quiet; but though a great conqueror, and naturally endowed with military genius, he proved a very bad administrator. He is middle
aged, in manners he is polished, and he is said to have a most winning address ; this natural talent drew to him the nobility of the country, and attracted many Europeans, among them Messrs. Plowden and Bell, the former the British Consul at his Court, the other an adventurer. While these two Englishmen were with him, Theodorus's conduct was almost all that could be wished ; unfortunately for him, Plowden was killed in an encounter with some rebels, and Bell fell in avenging his death, after having with his own hand killed the rebel chief. Two years elapsed before Captain Cameron, the Consul appointed to succeed Mr. Plowden, arrived, and in this interval Theodore had not improved. He got angry with Cameron, shortly after his arrival, because he got no answer to a letter he wrote asking for mechanics from the English Government, and began at once persecuting the Europeans, who were principally Missionaries. He was greatly enconraged in this by a M. Barbel, a Frenchman, who thought by their ruin to help himself. In this he has been disappointed, for he and all the other Europeans have been cast into prison, and are in chains, sharing the common
Mr. Rassam, Dr. Blanc, and Captain Prideaux were sent as embassy last year to Theodoras, and after being received with due honor, were, on a frivolous pretext, cast into prison, and are
in irons. The cruelties inflicted on some of the Europeans, in the shape of beating and torturing with ropes, See., shew that the Theo-
to-day is a monster of cruelty; but the refinements of his cruelty are reserved, apparently, for the rebels who fall into his hands, or those unfortunate chiefs who have been allured into his power by false oaths and promises of protection. His oppressions have gradually alienated his subjects, so that provinces, north, south, east, and west, have broken out into rebellion against him, and his power now extends over a very small area, although garrisons of his remain unsubdued in various
parts of the country.
Indeed the latest accounts tell of his
being surrounded in his camp at Debra Tabor by rebel hosts of peasantry, and cut off from all communication with the Eort of Magdala, in which the British ambassador and consul, with their suite, and others, are confined. They say, however, that Theodoras is so feared that at the head of the one or two thousand men who are with him, he at any hour descend from the hill on which his camp is and scatter his enemies. He, no doubt, purposes doing so soon, for by the last account he had butchered in cold blood can
six hundred and fifty prisoners, the care of whom was an impediment to his movements. It is to rescue our countrymen from this tyrant that the proposed expedition is being organised, after every means have been tried to effect their release, by offers of kindness and letters of
and other countries about
which very little is known. The inhabitants are Christians, and are under an Abuna or Bishop, who belongs to the Coptic Church. The people claim
will be fitted out from
the coast of
not earlier. of the rainy
Abyssinia by Besides being the
Bombay, and should beginning of November, if
cold weather, this is the end there, when provender is plentiful and the
streams fordable. At all times the heat in the Bed Sea is great, but before October it is said to be so severe on the shores of Abyssinia, as to be likely to disorganise a obliged to encamp in the plains. Nothing is of course known of the route by which our
army will seek to penetrate the country and reach Debra Tabor or Magdala, where our countrymen are. The principal route, however, is from Mussowah, an island on the coast garrisoned by an Egyptian force, and distant from
Debra Tabor about 350 miles. The first part of the road is the greatest difficulty, for being on low hills or hot plains the heat is very great, and the difficulty in getting supplies so considerable, that stores must for the most part be carried along with the In five
reached, and then
six marches the highlands of Abyssinia are fine climate is entered on, where Europeans
enjoy the best of health. The hills are very different from the Himalayas, for instead of their rugged sides, ending in sharp peaks, the Abyssinia, like the Neilgherry hill-tops, form fine undulating plateaus, covered with the vegetation of a northern climate.
The other routes, some five in number, have all the
characteristics, except that the further east you go, the greater is the width of plain you have to cross before reaching the highlands. The most easterly Abyssinian port furthest east is Tajoura, distant also about 350 miles from Debra Tabor. The objections to landing there are, the long reach of plain to be crossed, and the scarcity of any but brackish water. same
one of the other ports on the Bed Sea the be reached, after crossing some 30 miles of plains and considering the risks from heat, &c., it would seem to be wise to recommend that a hundred light ekkas, each capable of carrying five men, should run the troops up from more
highlands can and low hills,
the shore to some elevated
and prepare for their march forward into the country. Some delay would be necessary in making a road, but this has to be done as any rate, for the passage of field artillery. The road should be set about at once, and as the country near the sea is debatable land
owning sovereignty to both Egypt and Abyssmall force would be sufficient to protect the workmen. The position chosen on such a plateau should be laid out carefully with reference to sanitary arrangements, and wTouId sinia,
probably be supplies and
more or less fortified, as a depot in which to store receive reinforcements that may be sent after the
Neighbouring plateaus some reason to
should also be
fear that cholera, which
for there is
India, at Aden, See., may accompany the troops, and require
be able to move from one
This range of mountains of which we speak runs the whole length of Abyssinia, and is some two or three hundred miles in breadth, the tops varying from 1,000 to 14,000 feet in height. Close to its eastern border is the water-shed of Central Africa; the rain therefore almost all finds its way to the west, several large rivers that fall into the Nile. This movement of the water has an important effect on the health of the country. From the little at present known, it appears that the plains at the foot of the mountains on the western
very prolific in malaria at the end of
the rains in
NOTES ON ABYSSINIA.?BY F. T.
a couple of stout blankets, and any other necessaries carried and useful. Another great point will be to see that troops and camp followers are supplied with ample quantities of food, and if Government will issue rations to all who are its servants, as well as pay, this cause of anxiety will bo
while the low country on the eastern
side is less so The roads by which Caravans pass at present, be called roads, are principally tracks along the mountain streams. It would be well to remember never safe places to halt in, as they are unusually
they may beds of the
that these arc hot
The surprising health which the native troops enin China seemed to be owing to this arrangement. They were better off in this respect than the Europeans, who did not plunder food, in addition to the two scanty meals supplied to men undergoing the unusual fatigue of campaignremoved.
rious ; therefore, in choosing the site of a camp, it is well to it as high above the bed of the stream as is consistent with the easy procuring of water and supplies. The autumnal
monsoon, which occurs at the same time as in India, is said not to be so severe in Abyssinia as in this country, and were it not for the swollen state of the mountain torrents making their
ing. Typhus fever exists in Abyssinia, and prevailed last year, along with cholera, at Deb ra Tabor, where the king and a number of Europeans with their families are. Tapeworm is also extremely common, care will therefore bo required in examining the meat rations procured in the country. Theodorus's mother, honest woman, gained an addition to her livelihood, when her son was young, by gathering and preparing
passage difficultjiu a country where there are scarcely any bridges, it is cool enough and pleasant enough for campaigns in the interior during the rains. An army with pontoons could in that season readily enough run Theodoras down ; a matter of some
difficulty in the cold season, flight from place to place.
if he escapes, and his
kussoo for the market.
Cholera is unfortunately not unknown in those beautiful hills, for last year a small army under one of Theodorus's
medical skill is already valued in the country, and service is well represented there by Dr. Blanc, one of the prisoners whose gallant bearing undtir all his trials is beyond any praise that We can give. Even in his chains ho ministers to
disorganised, or, they say, destroyed, by break of the disease in their camp in the Tigre country. As the road from Mussowah to Debra Tabor runs through that country, due attention must be given to its appearance among the generals
the sick, and that not only among his own countrymen, for he has the heart and the will to relieve the sick among the enemies who guard him in his confinement
In the winter season rain frequentand then the cold is severe. A knowMedical Officers Careful in seeing that the troops have their warm clothing by them, and that the hospital attendants, bearers, See., are supplied with warm
ly falls on the mountains, ledge of this should make
following meteorological observations, taken by Magdala, will shew the nature of the climate for
first four months of the year
C., clouds; R., Rain; 2, calm; Temperature.
49 48 50 51 51 43 48 49 54 51 47 47 47 51 50 49 48 46 50 49 52 50 51 51 48 50 49 50 50 47
2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.
C. S. C. C. C. C. S. C. S. C. C. C. C. C. C. S. C. C. C. C. C. S. C. S. C. S. C. S. C. C. K. R. C. C. C. C. S. C. S. C. S. C. S.
72 70 61 67 69 67 67 67 66 65 65 72 65 63 65 66 70 71 76 74 67 61 64 62 57 59 63 73 73 73 74
2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. S. s. c. s. c. 2. C. 2. (J. s. c. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. s. c. s. 2. C. 2. C. s. c. s. c. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C.
60 59 60 56 55 55 57 57 56 60 62 61 63 62 61 54 54 55 56 51 54 59 60 60 59 62
S., clear sky ; X., hurricane.
2. C. s. c. s. c. s. c. s. c. s.c. 2. C. s. c. s. c. s. c. s.c. s. c. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. S.C. 2. C. S. 2.C. 2. C. S. 2.R. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. s. C. s. S.C. s. s.c. s. 2. C. 2. C.
Mild afternoon. A little rain in afternoon. ltained a little last night. Ditto. Cool afternoon. Ditto. Ditto. Rained a little in afternoon. Ditto. Ditto. Rained iast night and this afternoon. Cool afternoon. Ditto. Rained a little in morning; cool afternoon; X, Rained heavily last night and a few drops this morning. Mild afternoon. Cool afternoon. Mild afternoon; X. Ditto. Ditto. Hail storm in afternoon. Fog in morning. Rained last night, and had a small shower this morning. Ditto. Very cold day ; regular hurricane last night, with plenty of rain. Very cold day. Mild afternoon. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
Received letter from Emperor,
THE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
MAGDALA.?(Continued.) FEBRUARY, 1867. Noon.
45 45 41 41 45 49 47 47 47 47 47 47 57 48 48 49 50 50 50 48 51 52 51 51 50 51 51 51
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1" 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 23
2. C. S. s. c. s. s. c. s. s. c. s. s. c. s. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 9. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. 0. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 8.
"Weather. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. S. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 8. C. 8. 8. C. S. 2. C. 3. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. C. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. 3. 2. C. 3. 2. C. 3. 8. C. 8. S. C. 9. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 3. S. C. S. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C.
2. C. S. 2. C. S.
59 56 55 59 59 59 59 60 61 63 61 62 60 62 62 62 61 62 63 65 65 62 68 63 63 61 61 63
S. C. 3. s. c. s. 8. C. S. 8. C. 8. S. C. S. S. C. 8. s. c. s. s. c. s. S. C. 3. 3. C. 8. 8. C. S. S. C. S. S. C. 8. S. C. S. 3. C. 8. s. c. s. 3. C. 3. 8. C, S. S.C. 8. S. C. 3. S. C. S. 3. C. S. S. C. 8. 8. C. 8s. c. s. i. C. S. 3. C. S. 8. C. S.
C., clouds; R., rain; 2, calm; C. S., clear sky; X, hurricane.
Mild afternoon. Cold afternoon. Very cold night; Ditto. Mild afternoon. Cold afternoon. Ditto. Ditto. Mild afternoon. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
strong southerly wind all day.
Ditto. A warm day. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Cold afternoon. Mild afternoon. Cold afternoon. Mild afternoon.
MAliCH. 53 52 50 52 52 52 52 52 49 48 49 48 48 51 51 52 51 50 43 49 50 53
3 4 5 6 T 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 t 18 19 J 20 21 22
49 53 51 51 52
23 24 25 26
51 53 63
28 29 30 31
81 81 79 78 75 72 77 75 68 64 65 69 72 72 72 72 67 69 71 70 70 79 80
2. C. 8. 2. C. 2. C. 8. C. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. 3. 2. R. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. .
2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C.
81 78 72 70 71 73 74
C. S C. S C. C. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. S. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. S. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C.
2. 2. 2. 2.
2. 2. 2. 2.
C. C. C. C. 2. C.
S. C. 2. C. 2. C.
61 65 63 62 60 57. 61 61 54 61 51 51 56 63 61 62 60 65 63 69 62 6L
62 61 61 61 59 60 62 65 65
S. C. 8. S. C. S. s. c. 2. C. 2. R. 3. C. S. 3. C. 3. C. 2. R. S. C. S. C. S. C. 8. C. S. C. 2. C. 2. C. 3. C. s. c. 2. C. 8. C. 8. C.
s. c. s. c. 2. C. s. c. s. c. 8. C. 2. C. S.C. s. c.
Mild afternoon. Ditto.
Ditto. It rained a little last night. It rained a little last night, and we had a small shower this Hail shower in afternoon. Mild afternoon. Ditto. Rained a little in afternoon. Rained last night, and also this morning, with fog. Cold afternoon. Ditto. * Rained heavily this evening. Mild afternoon. Ditto. * Had a small shower of rain last night. Mild afternoon. Ccld afternoon, t Mild afternoon. Heavy rain last night. Mild afternoon. Ditto.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Cold afternoon. Mild afternoon.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
1 2 3 4 e 6
49 49 49 49 50 53 50 53 51 52 53 53 50 49 51 52 52 52 53 54 55 55 53 53 53 53 53 53 66
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 *
2. C. 2. C. 2. C.
C. C. C. C. C. C. C. C. C. C.
2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. 8. C
2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.
78 80 80
78 78 81
S. S. 8.
79 78 81 82 82 77 75 74 75 78
S. S. S. S.
C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S. 2. C. S.
Messengers up from the Coast.
S. 8. C. 8. S. 0. S. 8. C. 8. S. C. S. S. C. S. S. C. S. s. c. s.
67 65 65 63 65
s. c. s. s. c. s. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. S. C. s. S. C. S. S. C. S. s. c. s. 2. C. S. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. S. C. 3. 2. C. 8. 2, C. S. S. C. 8.
65 68 63 64 63 65 66 66 65 65 64 63 65 65 65 63
2. 2. 2. s. 8. S. S. s. s. S. 8. 8. S. 8.
C. C. C. c. C. C. S. C. s. c. s. c. s. c. 8. C. S. C. S. C. 8.
C. 3. S. C. 8. 8. C. S. S. C. 8. 8. C. S. 3. C. S. S. c. s. S. C. S. s. c. s. s. c. s. 2. C. 2. C. 2. C. 3. 2. C. S. 2. C. 8. 2. C. S. 2. C.
Mild afternoon. Ditto. Ditto, t Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto,
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto ; rained Rained
little last night and this evening. afternoon.
f Messengers down to the Coast,
J Received letter from Emperor.