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Gold, Sport, and Coffee Planting in Mysore

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore by Robert H. Elliot This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore Author: Robert H. Elliot Release Date: October 14, 2004 [EBook #13746] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GOLD, SPORT, AND COFFEE *** Produced by Michael Ciesielski and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team at GOLD, SPORT, AND COFFEE PLANTING IN MYSORE WITH CHAPTERS ON COFFEE PLANTING IN COORG, THE MYSORE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, THE INDIAN CONGRESS, CASTE, AND THE INDIAN SILVER QUESTION BEING THE 38 YEARS' EXPERIENCES OF A MYSORE PLANTER BY ROBERT H. ELLIOT AUTHOR OF "EXPERIENCES OF A PLANTER," "WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS," ETC. WITH A MAP IN COLOURS WESTMINSTER 1898. DEDICATION. I have much pleasure in dedicating this book to my friend SIR K. SHESHADRI IYER, K.C.S.I., Dewan of Mysore, and trust that it may be useful in making more fully known the resources of the State whose affairs he has for many years so wisely and ably administered. PREFACE. In the year 1871 I published "The Experiences of a Planter in the Jungles of Mysore," and had intended to bring out a new edition of it, but, from various causes, the project was delayed, and when I at last took the matter in hand, I found that so many things had happened since 1871 that it was necessary to write a new book. In this, hardly anything of the "Experiences" has been reproduced, except a very few natural history notes and the chapter on Caste, a subject to which I would particularly call the attention of those interested in Indian missions. I have been much assisted by informants too numerous for mention here, and can only allude to those who have most conspicuously aided me. Amongst these I am much indebted to my friend Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer, K.C.S.I., Dewan of Mysore, for access given me to information in the possession of the Government, and for returns specially prepared for the book. From my friends Mr. Graham Anderson and Mr. Brooke Mockett, two of the most able and experienced planters in Mysore, I have derived much information and assistance. I am particularly obliged to my friend Dr. Voelcker[1] for many valuable hints, and the chapter on manures has had the advantage of being read by him. For information as regards the history of coffee in Coorg I am much indebted to Mr. Meynell, who represents the large interests of Messrs. Matheson and Co. in that province, and indeed, without his aid, I could not at all have done full justice to the subject. To Mr. Grey, manager of the Nundydroog mine, I am indebted for information as regards the gold mines, and for the kind assistance he in many ways afforded me when I visited them last January. I am also obliged to Colonel Grant, Superintendent of the Mysore Revenue, Survey and Settlement Department, for information as regards game, and the proposed Game Act for Mysore. I had intended to add a chapter on the cultivation of cardamoms and pepper, but have not done so, because, for the want of recent information from those specially engaged in these cultivations, I could not feel confident of doing full justice to the subject. I may, however, say that as regards cardamoms, I have good reason for supposing that there is not much to be added to the chapter on them which appeared in the "Experiences." Though I have collected many experiences, I am of course aware that many more remain to be collected, and I should feel particularly obliged if planters and those who have any experiences to give me (natural history and sporting information would be very welcome) would be kind enough to do so. These I would propose to incorporate in an improved edition, which I look forward to bringing out when a sufficient amount of additional information has been collected. If those who have any information to give, suggestions to make, or criticisms to offer, would be kind enough to communicate with me, an improved edition might be brought out which would be highly valuable to all tropical agriculturists, and all those interested in the various subjects on which I have written. My Indian address is Bartchinhulla, Saklaspur, Mysore State, and home address, Clifton Park, Kelso, Roxburghshire. ROBERT H. ELLIOT. [1] Dr. Voelcker, Consulting Chemist to the Royal Agricultural Society of England, was, by the permission of the Society, employed for upwards of a year by the Government in India; and his "Report on the Improvement of Indian Agriculture" is an elaborate, work, of upwards of 400 pages, and contains a large body of carefully digested information, remarks, and opinions which will be of great value to the Government, and of much practical value to planters, and all tropical agriculturists. CONTENTS. CHAPTER I.—INTRODUCTORY. Myself and the route to Mysore in 1855. The pioneer planters of Southern Mysore. The life of a planter by no means a dull one. Effects of English capital on the progress of the people and the finances of the State. The value, in times of famine, of European settlers. A deferred native message of thanks to the English public. The causes that have led to an increase of famine and scarcities. Measures to promote the digging of wells by the people. 1 4 5 6 9 10 11 12 A line of railway from Mysore to the western coast sanctioned. Wanted, land tenures which will promote well digging and other irrigation works. The late Dewan's opinions in favour of a fixed land tax. Evidences of irrigation works made by occupiers being promoted by a fixed land tax. Famine question of great importance to settlers in India. The number of European and native coffee plantations in Mysore. Probable annual value of coffee produced in Mysore. Manufactures in India. Manufactures in Mysore. Endeavours by the Dewan to develop the iron wealth of the province. "The Mysore and Coorg Directory." Value of the Dewan's annual addresses in the Representative Assembly. The Dewan's efforts to promote improvements of all kinds. European settlers favourably received by officials of all classes. Hints as to representing any matter to a Government official. Native officials are polite and obliging. CHAPTER II.—THE SCENERY AND WATERFALLS OF MYSORE. General description of the Mysore country. The climate. A healthy one for Europeans. The beautiful scenery of the western borderlands. The falls of Gairsoppa. Height of the falls; difficulty of getting at them; the Lushington, Lalgali, and Majod Falls might be visited-when on the way to Gairsoppa Falls. The best time for visiting the falls. Description of the falls. Startling sounds to be heard at the falls. To the bottom of the gorge below the falls. Wonderful combinations of sights and sounds. The scene on the pool above the falls. The beautiful moonlight effects. A flying squirrel; a tiger bounding across the road. The Cauvery Falls and the route to them. General description of the falls. The Gangana Chuckee Falls. The Bar Chuckee Falls. The Gairsoppa and Cauvery Falls contrasted. Interesting bridges built by native engineers. Leisure, solitude, and repose necessary to enjoy scenery. 13 14 16 17 17 18 19 20 20 21 21 21 22 23 24 26 27 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 38 39 40 40 42 43 44 46 47 48 CHAPTER III.—MYSORE—ITS GOVERNMENT AND REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY. The early history of Mysore. The Hindoo and Mahometan lines. The Hindoo line restored by us in 1799. The insurrection of 1830. The Maharajah deposed and the country in 1831 administered by the British. The State restored to native administration in 1881. The people at first generally disliked the change; causes of this. Value of an admixture of Europeans in the Mysore service. The alleged breach of good faith as regards conferring appointments on natives in British territory. The constitution of Mysore; terms on which it was transferred not to native rule but to native administration. Mysore as practically under British rule as any part of British India. After deducting sum allotted for Maharajah's personal expenditure, the remaining revenues to be spent on public purposes only. The advantages possessed by settlers in Mysore. The Mysore Representative Assembly. The notification by which the Assembly was established, and the system of nominating members. Contrast between it and the Egyptian General Assembly of the Legislative Council. First meeting of the Assembly, Oct. 7th, 1881. Rules of 1890 announcing a system of electing members in future. My election in 1891 as a member of the Assembly. Am appointed chairman of preliminary meetings. Measures agreed to at the preliminary meetings. Rules to regulate discussions in preliminary meetings. Organization desired to be established; funds for working the proposed organization. The lady students of the Maharanee's College. The Assembly formally opened; the Dewan's address. Gold mines, railways, roads; interference of Madras Government with proposed Mysore Irrigation Works. Measure to promote digging of wells. Value of the Assembly as a means of communicating intelligence amongst the people. Forests. Elephants. Female education. The Archæological Survey. The Census. The municipal elections. Reform of religious and charitable institutions. An irregular meeting of members. A marriage law proposed. Great excitement caused thereby. Proposal adjourned. 49 50 50 50 51 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 57 57 58 59 59 60 61 62 62 63 64 65 65 66 68 69 69 70 71 71 Proposal to store grain against times of famine. Revenue should be remitted in full when there is no crop. My speech in the Assembly as chairman of preliminary meetings. Members called up in order to represent grievances and wants. The marriage question again. Opinion of two native gentlemen as regards my speech. An important concession gained by the representatives. The admirable working of the Mysore Government. General appreciation of the Dewan's administration. Representatives have no power and do not want any. Causes of the absence of any demand for parliamentary institutions such as those in England. Absence of general interest in the Assembly. Causes of this. Great value of Assembly in bringing rulers and ruled together. Such Assembly more necessary now than formerly. Causes of this. The Indian Congress. Causes of the creation of. Started in 1885 by a small number of the educated classes. Seditious pamphlets circulated by the Congress. Copies bought for the Athenæum Club. Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, M.P. one of the sellers of the pamphlets. Proceedings of the Congress legitimate till it fell under guidance of Mr. Hume. Excuses for Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji. The composition of the first and second Congresses. 72 72 72 73 74 75 76 Influence of public opinion as regards age for consummation of marriages. 74 77 79 80 81 82 82 82 82 83 83 The third Congress. The members desire to make the laws and control the finances of India. 84 The Congress declares that as Indians in rural districts are not qualified to elect members, these should be elected by an electoral college composed of the flower of the educated classes. As the desired powers are not likely to be obtained in India, the people of England must be made to believe that India is being misgoverned. The Congress' schemes for bringing about a revolution in India. Native volunteers to be enrolled to bring pressure to bear on the Government. The Repeal of the Arms Act demanded. The seditious pamphlets issued by the Congress. The sums of money collected with the aid of the pamphlets. Opinions of Congress that natives are wanting in the qualities necessary for governing India. CHAPTER IV.—NATURAL HISTORY AND SPORT. The advantages and pleasures of big game shooting. Comparative risks from tigers, bears, and panthers. Boars and other wild animals more dangerous now than formerly. Advantages of this for sportsmen. The natural history of Mysore. 90 92 93 94 85 85 86 87 88 88 Elephants. Tigers much more numerous in former times in Mysore. In a short time 118 caught in traps. Remarkable cessation of such captures. The balance of nature destroyed. 96 97 The spread of intelligence amongst wild animals. Tiger passes. Difference of opinion as to how tigers seize their prey. 98 The use of the paw in killing animals and people. 99 The carrying powers of tigers and panthers. Reasons for not sitting on the ground when tiger shooting. Illustration of risk of sitting on the ground. Caution should be exercised when approaching a tiger supposed to be dead. Another illustration of the risk of sitting on the ground. Illustration of the importance of sitting motionless when obliged to sit on the ground. An exciting rush after a wounded tiger. Coolness and courage exhibited by a native. Estimate of danger of tiger shooting on foot. Should not be pursued by those whoso lives are of cash value to their families. People killed by wounded tigers. Difficulty of seeing a tiger in the jungle. Distinguishing sight of natives superior to that of Europeans. Tigers easily recover from wounds. Effects on the nerves and heart from the roar of a wounded tiger. The lame tiger. Met in the road at night. Tying out live baits for tigers. Interesting instance of tiger stalking up to a live bait. Another illustration of risk of approaching a tiger apparently dead. Importance of using a chain when tying out a bait. Sport spoiled from a chain not being used. Tigers eat tigers sometimes. Illustration of this. The tiger's power of ascending trees. Interesting instance of a jackal warning tigers of danger. Tiger put to flight by the rearing of a horse. Effect on a tiger of the human voice. Tigers often undecided how to act. Tigers form plans and act in concert. Illustration of this. Tigers of Western Ghaut forests, if unmolested, rarely dangerous to man. Very dangerous man-eating tigers have existed in the interior of Mysore. Man-eaters enter villages. A tiger tearing off the thatch of a hut. Great courage and determination shown by natives in connection with tigers. Illustrations of this. The life of a planter saved by a dog attacking the tiger. 100 101 102 103 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 116 117 118 120 121 123 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 134 Precautions that should be exercised by sportsmen with damaged hearts. 115 Interesting behaviour of the dog after Mr. A. was wounded. 135 Treatment of wounds from tigers. A native recovers from thirteen lacerated wounds and two on the head. 136 A mad tiger. Position of body that should be adopted when waiting for a tiger. Importance of this. Tiger purring with evident satisfaction after having killed a man. 137 138 CHAPTER V.—BEARS, PANTHERS, JUNGLE DOGS, SNAKES, JUNGLE PETS. Bear has two cubs at a time. Bears rapidly decreasing. Said by natives to be killed and eaten by tigers. Instances of tigers killing bears. 140 Bears dreaded by natives more than any animal in the jungle. Probable cause of their often attacking people. Illustration of this. 141 Attacked by an unwounded and unprovoked bear. If suddenly attacked by an animal at close quarters rush towards it. 142 143 Wanton attacks made by bears on people. Approaching caves and getting bears out of them. 144 Great value of stink balls. How not to attempt to get a bear out of a cave. Am caught by a hill fire. Amusing incident at a bear's cave. A man wounded. Value of having a good dog when out bear shooting. Am knocked down by a bear. Panthers. Should be hunted with dogs. Panther probably feigning death. A man killed. The wild boar the most daring animal in the jungles. Illustration in point. The great power of the wild boar. My manager charged by one. 146 147 149 151 152 153 154 156 Boars make shelters for themselves in the rains. The flesh of the boar not a safe food. 157 Jungle dogs. Said by natives to kill tigers. 158 The use, said by the natives to be made by the dogs, of their acrid urine. A cross between the jungle and the domestic dog. Curious incident connected with jungle dogs. Great increase of jungle dogs. A reward should be offered for their destruction. Many reported deaths from snake bites probably poisoning cases. Reasons in support of this view. From 1855 to 1893 only one death from snake bite in my neighbourhood. The cobra not an aggressive snake. Unless hurt or provoked will probably never bite. Illustrations in support of this view. Snakes keep a good look out. Tigers and snakes run away. Many snakes are harmless, and some useful. 159 160 161 161 162 163 165 166 Wild animals probably require to be taught by their parents to dread man. 166 A tame stag. A tame flying squirrel. 167 A tame hornbill. Probable cause of pets not caring to rejoin their wild congeners. Some remarks on guns. The Paradox. 168 169 170 CHAPTER VI.—BISON SHOOTING. Unless molested the bison never attacks man. An attempt to photograph a solitary bull. Description of the bison. Height of bull bison. Account of an interesting friendship between a tame sambur deer and a bull bison. Bison are often attacked by tigers. Interesting instance of a tiger stalking up to a solitary bull. The tiger and bull knocked over right and left. Precautions that should be taken when following up a wounded bull. A tracker killed by a bull. Following a wounded bull. Stalking up to a herd. The value of peppermint lozenges. How a wounded bull may be lost. The value of a dog when following up a wounded bull. 171 173 174 175 177 178 180 181 182 183 185 186 Wonderful bounding power of the bison. A narrow escape from a charging bull. 187 Special Act required for preservation of cow bison. 188 CHAPTER VII.—GOLD. The earliest tradition as regards gold in Mysore. Explanation of gold being found on the ears of corn. Lieutenant Warren's investigations in 1800. Native methods of procuring gold by washing and mining. Depths to which old native pits were sunk. Probable cause of the cessation of mining at considerable depths. In 1873 leave first given to a European to mine for gold. Remarkable absence in Mysore of old records or inscriptions relating to gold mining. Mr. Lavelle in 1873 applied for right to mine in Kolar. Of the mines subsequently started all practically closed in 1882, except the Mysore mine, which began to get gold in end of 1884. Had the Mysore Company not persevered the Kolar field would probably have been closed. Depths to which mines have been sunk. The Champion Lode. General description of the Kolar field. Notes by a lady resident. Life on the field. Gardening. Visitors from England. The volunteers at the mines. Sport near the field. Servants and supplies. Elevation and the climate. A healthy one. Mining and the extraction of gold. 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 The rates of wages. No advances given to labourers. 204 Expenditure by the companies in Mysore in wages. Consequential results therefrom on the prosperity of the people. 205 Measures which the State should take to encourage the opening of new mines. 206 Royalty on mines that are not paying should be reduced or abolished. Act required to check gold stealing. Some summary process should be adopted to check gold thefts. Want of water on the field. Measures proposed for conserving it. 207 208 209 The want of tree planting. Other auriferous tracts in Mysore. Mr. R. Bruce Foote's report. 210 Brief analysis of Mr. Bruce Foote's report on the various auriferous tracts. The central group of auriferous rocks. 211 The west-central group. 212 The western group. Expects that many other old abandoned workings will be discovered in the jungly tracts. 213 An inexhaustible supply of beautiful porphyry near Seringapatam and close to a railway. CHAPTER VIII.—CASTE. Valuable to rural populations. My inquiry limited to its rural and practical effects on life. Its moral effects as regards the connection of the sexes. Its value in limiting the use of alcohol. Morality in Manjarabad superior to that of England. Widows may contract a kind of marriage. The value of caste in socially segregating inferior from superior races. The mental value of the separation caused by caste. 215 210 217 219 220 221 222 214 The separation caused by caste has not hindered advancement amongst the rural population. The Coorgs an instance of this. 223 Disadvantages of caste as regards town populations. Instances of the evils of caste amongst the higher classes in the towns. 224 225 Inquiry as to how far caste has acted beneficially in opposing the existing interpretation of Christianity. 227 Worthlessness of pure dogmas when adopted by a degraded people. 228 Native Christians readily revert to devil worship in cases of danger or sickness. 229 Native Christians neither better nor worse than the low-classes from which they are usually drawn. Experience of the Abbé Dubois. 230 The upper class peasantry having to give up caste would be injured by being converted. The town population would not be injured by conversion. Causes of the outcry against caste. Its alleged tendencies. 231 232 233 234 The way to retain the good and lessen the evil of caste. 235 To become a Christian our missionaries compel the entire abandonment of caste. Their version of Christianity wisely rejected. 230 Mischievous action of our missionaries as regards caste. Their erroneous views a bar to the progress of Christianity. 237 Bishop Heber's "Letter on Caste". 238
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