Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Brief Notice on T. H. Lewin’s Visit to the Arakan Hills in 1865-1866

THIS paper consisted of extracts from a report, by the author, of a hazardous
journey he and his party had recently performed, in the course of their police duty,
amongst the wild hill-tribes of the borders of Bengal, Arracan, and Burmah. The
diary commences on the 15th November, 1865, and terminates with the arrival of
the author at Chittagong on the 11th February, 1866, after a narrow-escape from
a hostile party of the Shindoo tribe, who forced them to take refuge for two nights
in the jungle.

MR. CRAWFURD explained that this paper was a portion of the diary of one
of a number of officers called "Superintendents of Police" on the eastern frontiers
of Bengal, where the two Eastern types of people, the Hindoo and the Mongolian,
meet. Lieutenant Lewin was engaged in this duty, and towards the conclusion of
the diary gave an interesting account of his adventurous attempt to penetrate the
territory of these wild tribes. Between Burmah Proper and Pegu lies a district
peopled by the Arracanese and a number of other tribes, all speaking different,
languages. In attempting to penetrate into the country, Lieutenant Lewin and
Lieutenant Monro and their party were surrounded and pursued, and they saved
their lives with the utmost difficulty and with the loss of all their property.

The President, in expressing the thanks of the Society for this
communication, said Lieutenant Lewin had displayed in this journey that gallantry
common to British explorers, of which they were much accustomed to hear in the
rooms of the Geographical Society.

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