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G. Drysdale (George Drysdale) Dempsey.

Tubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings online

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Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 3 of 13)
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only kept loyal, but turned to good account in
helping to put down the mutiny and recover
Delhi. Sir John Lawrence saw at once the su-
preme necessity of recovering Delhi with as
little delay as possible. He almost denuded
the Panjab of British soldiers and hastened
them off to Delhi. Early in June a force of
three or four thousand men occupied the ridge
on the western side of Delhi, and commenced a
siege that lasted all through the intense heat of
an Indian hot and rainy season, until the middle



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^RS IN InDIA. 49

of September, when the city was taken. The
suffering endured through all this period by the
army can not be described. The force at no time
consisted of more than 6,000 men, and the number
was constantly lessened by casualties in battle,
and by sickness from the dreadful exposure. In
the fall of Delhi the backbone of the mutiny was
broken; but much hard fighting remained to be
done, especially at Lucknow. The royal family
was broken up, the princes were slain, the old
king, Bhadur-Shah, was banished to Burmah,
where he died soon after.

A short time before the mutiny broke out, the
king of Oudh had been deposed and his country
annexed to the British possessions. His Govern-
ment was so corrupt and oppressive that it could
be endured no longer. He had been warned re-
peatedly by different governor-generals that he
must reform his court and administration; but
these warnings were unheeded, and affairs con-
tinued to go from bad to worse. The time came,
at length, when this could not be suffered longer,
and the king was removed and the country taken
4



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50 Twenty-one Years in India.

over by the British in the interest of humanity,
and who proceeded to revise the land tenure, so
as to protect the cultivators against the rapacity
of the Zemindars, or land-owners. The people
however, gave the English no credit, but looked
upon it as usurpation and unjust. The landed
proprietors complained of oppression, because
they were not permitted to oppress their tenants
as they had before done, and the tenants them-
selves distrusted the motives of the Government,
so Oudh became a hot-bed of discontent and
mutiny. Many of the sepoys in the army were
from Oudh, and they all shared in this dissatis-
faction. In this way they were prepared to make
the most of any incident that turned up and that
afforded an opportunity to show their ill-will
toward the English.

It now seems strange that so many could be-
lieve as they did that the purpose to rise and throw
off allegiance to the British was not at this time
almost universal in the sepoy army. After half
the army had mutinied, many English officers
said their own regiments would not mutiny, and



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. 5I

persisted in trusting in their men. Many more
might have escaped, but for this blind confidence
in the loyalty of the sepoys. Sir Henry Law-
rence was commissioner of Oudh at the time
the mutiny broke out in Lucknow. He seemed
to have taken in the situation from the first, and
formed an accurate conception of the extent of
the danger threatened. Years before he had pre-
dicted that some day the native army would
mutiny and attempt the overthrow of the Gov-
ernment. He now believed that what he foresaw
was about to occur, and he set about preparing
the residency so that all Europeans might seek
shelter there when the storm should burst upon
them. He laid in supplies sufficient for a siege
of long duration. So when the exigency arose
they were ready. The wisdom of all this was
seen later. They had food, water, and fuel suffi-
cient to meet the wants of all confined there for
more than five months. They had an abundant
supply of ammunition also; had either food or
ammunition failed they must have perished. The
preservation of all that cc¬Ђnpany of people was



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52 Tw^NTY-ON^ YMRS IN InDIA.

therefore due to the wise foresight of that great
and good man, who was killed early in the siege
by a cannon-ball which entered his room. For
more than five months they defended themselves
in their frail defenses against vast hordes of the
enemy that surrounded them in the city, subject
to every disadvantage and constant peril by night
and day. Havelock and Outram fought their
way into the residency, but the enemy closed the
way behind them so that they could not get out
after they had forced their way in. They re-
mained shut up with the others until finally re-
lieved in November by Sir Colin Campbell. Luck-
now was not taken until March following, 1858.
The story of the siege of the residency in
Lucknow is a thrilling one. It is hard to imag-
ine the suflEering endured during those months
of that dreadful hot season. Under the most
favorable circumstances the intense heat is al-
most unendurable to foreigners; it is a wonder
how any lived through it, shut up in small or
overcrowded quarters, with little chance for ven-
tilation, and with their necessarily coarse fare



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Tw^NtY-ONE Y^RS IN India. 53

and lack of all comforts of life, to which they had
been accustomed ; as it was, many succumbed. The
residency is now in ruins, but it is carefully pre-
served in its present form as a memorial of those
dreadful days. No stranger would come to India
without visiting the residency. It is indeed his-
toric ground. Lucknow is a large city with many
objects of interest and worthy of the attention of
the stranger. It is vastly different from what it
was before the mutiny. The people of Oudh are
now prosperous and happy imder British rule. It
is a noble field for missionary work, and much is
being done to improve and elevate the people.
It is the very garden of India, its people are nat-
urally a noble race, all they lack is Christianity;
this many are now receiving, and the prospect is
that in the near future great numbers will do
the same.

Another of the leading spirits, in events lead-
ing to the mutiny, was Dhondo-Pant, or Nana-
Sahib, as he is more commonly known. He was
the adopted son and heir of the last of the Mah-
ratta chiefs. A pension had been given to the



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54 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

Peshwa, with the distinct understanding that it
should cease at his death, which occurred in 185 1.
Nana-Sahib, though left a large fortune, was not
satisfied. The lapse of the pension was a sore
grievance to him, and what he regarded as a gross
wrong rankled in his breast, and when all efforts
to get it renewed failed, his rage and hate of the
British became most intense. He lived at Bithur
on the Ganges, a few miles to the west of Cawn-
pore. He was apparently very friendly with the
English residents of the station, and often got up
lavish entertainments for them at his palace. All
the while he was plotting their destruction. That
he had been plotting with the king of Delhi and
the Nawab of Lucknow, or of Oudh, is now well
known. He did his utmost to promote discon-
tent in the native army. He directed the sepoys
in their movements when they mutinied, and
openly assumed command of the rebel forces.
There was a part of a European regiment at
Cawnpore at the time, and a large number of
European and Christian families. The place se-
lected where they were to congregate in case of



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TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 55

disturbance, and make their defense, was not
well chosen. It was for the most part open
ground, with no natural defenses of any account.
There were some barracks, but they were but
poorly adapted either for shelter or defense, but
they did the best they could to protect themselves.
For three weeks in the terrible heat of June, they
kept at bay all the forces of Nana-Sahib. Dur-
ing this time, however, many were killed, and
many died of exposure. If they could hold out a
few days more relief would come to them. Have-
lock, with an avenging army, was on the way to
their relief, his guns might almost have been
heard at the time, but this was unknown to them,
though well known to their enemies. The Nana
now sought to accomplish by craft what he was
too cowardly to do by force. He sent in a flag
of truce, proposing to supply them with boats and
all needed supplies to take them to Allahabad, if
they would surrender their arms and march out
of their defenses. In an evil hour General
Wheeler, their commanding officer, listened to his
proposal, and trusting his integrity and sincerity.



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56 Twenty-one Years in India.

accepted his terms, and marched out and took the
road to the river a mile away. As they entered
the boats and were pushed out into the stream, a
masked battery opened upon them, and only four
men escaped. The women and children who were
not killed were marched back to the station and
a little later were all huddled together in a small
bungalow and were butchered in cold blood, and
their bodies, the dead and dying together, were
thrown into a well near by. A more cruel and
diabolical deed has never been perpetrated, cer-
tainly not in modem times. No name is so cov-
ered with obloquy as that of this wretched man
Nana-Sahib. He fled ultimately to Nepal, where
in some lonely spot in the mountains, it is sup-
posed, he ended his wretched life. Over the well
is now a beautiful monument, and surrounding
it is a beautiful and well-kept garden of several
acres, called the "Memorial Garden." No one
drives through it faster than a walk; natives are
not permitted to enter it. It is one of the great
sights of India, not surpassed in interest by any
other. No traveler would think of passing it by.



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MEMORIAL WELL IN CAWNPORE.



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IV^NTY-ONE Y^ARS IN India. 57

The monument and the garden are beautiful as
works of art, but it is the shocking event they
commemorate that invests them with such uni-
versal interest to all intelligent people the world
over. I will conclude this chapter by briefly sum-
marizing the causes that led up to the mutiny,
as the matter is now imderstood.

The trouble with the sepoys respecting the
cartridges is one of the causes, no doubt, but it
alone could never have produced the great up-
heaval of that time. There were other causes
that did not appear on the surface of events then
transpiring. I think it is now clearly understood
that the Mohammedans were the prime movers
in that struggle. They ruled the country for sev-
eral hundred years before the British took it from
them. The purpose with them was to regain their
supremacy. They were the leaders in the plot.
They had a tradition among them that the Brit-
ish supremacy would be for one hundred years;
that supremacy began with the battle of Plassey,
in 1757, so according to that tradition it would
end in 1857, the year of the mutiny. Much was



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58 Twenty-one Years in India.

made of that, at the time, and it had great weight
with superstitious people.

The Brahmins were drawn in to co-operate
with them, because they saw that, in the order of
things brought in by the foreigners, their craft
was in danger. They hated our schools, which
meant the elevation of the common people. They
especially hated female education, railways, and
missionaries, and the English way of administer-
ing justice. Their ideas of human equality and
progress were especially offensive to the Brah-
mins. With them it was a struggle against Chris-
tianity, as that means progress, and the overthrow
of their system of caste and their forms of idol-
atry.

The Mohammedans and Hindus are antago-
nistic, and under no ordinary circumstances could
they fraternize and co-operate; but their hatred
of the English and all forms of progress, and of
Christianity, was so great, that the Hindus of
some of the higher castes were led for the
time to sink, in some measure, their antipathy
toward the Mohammedans, and to join with them



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TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 59

in this effort to sweep out the hated foreigners,
who stood for Christianity and progress.

The mutiny will ever mark a crisis in the his-
tory of the English, and of Christianity in India.
It was overruled so as to bring in a period of ad-
vanced progress in the country. India had been
won by the East India Trading Company. It
was a great achievement that can hardly be
equaled in history ; but the company had had its
day, and the year following the mutiny the Gov-
ernment passed over to the crown, much to the
advantage of the country in many ways, as the
history of the intervening years will show.

Another effect which followed the mutiny was
greater interest in the work of missions among
Government officials, both in the civil and mili-
tary departments, and among all classes of Eng-
lish people in the country ; but for their liberality
we could not have accomplished what we did in
opening our Mission Station, as is mentioned in
a future chapter. We received encouragement
from English people, such as we could not have
received before the mutiny occurred. It awak-



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6o Tw^NTY-oN^ Years in India.

ened a deeper interest in the cause in England,
and in this country than had before been felt. It
brought in a new era in mission work and of gen-
eral progress.

It was followed by an impression among the
more thoughtful of the native population, that
the country was to become a Christian country,
and this predisposed them to give the Gospel a
hearing. I think that this has had much to do
with the great progress that has signalized these
later years.



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CHAPTER IV.

Beginning to Open Our Work.

Th^ day after our arrival was Sunday, and
we intensely enjoyed its rest and quiet. In the
afternoon a service was held in the parlor of Mr.
Butler's residence, and a good number of promi-
nent people were present, especially ladies. The
gentlemen were mostly in the plains on duty with
the army, or engaged in restoring things to order
in places recovered from the sepoys, so we had
but few of them with us at this service. Mr.
Butler preached a delightful sermon, and it was
indeed a treat to hear a sermon again. A little
later our superintendent was honored with the
title of Doctor of Divinity from one of our home
colleges, an honor most worthily bestowed in this
instance. He was a very superior preacher; it
was said of him that he was the best preacher in
India. The service begun that afternoon has
6x



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62 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

been continued ever since. For more than a score
of years it was conducted as an evening service
only; in the morning a Hindustani service was
held. Then a morning service in English was
begun, which has been continued up to the pres-
ent time. Our English Church in Naini Tal has
been a power for good in all these years.

After writing our home letters and getting
settled, which occupied a day or two, we began
to look about to see what we could do in the way
of beginning work among the natives. A school
for boys first engaged our attention. Mr. Josiah
Parsons had joined Dr. Butler some little time
before our arrival, who was living in Naini Tal
and waiting to begin work. He had made all
the arrangements for our reception. He and his
wife both had a good knowledge of the language,
and were especially valuable to us at that time
on its account. A place was rented in the Bazar,
and a school for boys was soon opened under the
charge of Mr. Parsons.

A school for girls was also soon opened in
Mr. Pierce's residence, imder the charge of the



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TwENTY-ON^ Years in India. 63

ladies of the Mission, with more than a score
of girls in attendance. These schools have gone
on all the intervening years to the present time,
and they have done much in shaping the character
of the residents of the native community. We
also began a Hindustani service on Sunday morn-
ing. Having no suitable place in which to hold
such a service, an out-building connected with
the servants' quarters of Dr. Butler's residence,
which was designed for housing sheep, was reno-
vated and made suitable for the purpose. My part
in the arrangements was to make some seats,
which I did with my own hands. I was rather
suspicious from the first that what I was doing
might be rather superfluous, but it was thought
the proper thing, of course, to have seats in a
place of worship. Later we learned that the na-
tives do not see things just as we do in this and
in many other things; a piece of matting or the
bare ground would be much preferred by them
to benches, or chairs even.

Early in May the British army entered Rohil-
cund, and Bareilly was taken from the mutineers ;



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64 TwENTY-ON^ Years in India.

Khan Bahadur Khan, with his followers, had fled
in hot haste to the jungles towards Nepal. Many
of the leaders were captured and were executed
or banished to the Andaman Islands. Those who
had remained loyal to the British and protected
English people during the ascendency of the mu-
tineers, were handsomely rewarded. Captain
Gowan and other Europeans were protected in a
village fifteen or twenty miles out of Bareilly for
months, and finally made their escape. General
Gowan, as he became in time, for many years
supported a native minister and a school in that
village. He was a very warm friend of our Mis-
sion, and subscribed liberally for its support up
to the time of his death, which occurred only a
few years since.

Immediately upon the taking of Bareilly the
country settled down and became quiet, as though
nothing had happened. This certainly would not
have been if the people generally had been in-
volved in the uprising. In a very brief time the
roads were opened, and travel on the main lines
of commimication was resumed and became safe



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TwENTY-oN^ Years in India. 65

as before. We soon heard that our goods, that
we dispatched from Calcutta nearly three months
before, and that we hardly ever expected to see
again, had actually arrived at the foot of the
mountains, and we were called upon to make ar-
rangements for their being brought up the hills
to Naini Tal. This was cheering news, indeed.
Soon after the way to Naini Tal was opened by
Moradabad, Mr. Knowles joined us with his fam-
ily, coming from Meerut.

Mr. Knowles was an officer in a volunteer
company of cavalry which did good service in the
mutiny, and would have been well cared for had
he chosen to remain in Government service, but
he chose service for Christ in the mission field,
and has had a most useful career. After nearly
forty-five years of uninterrupted service, having
had only two years' furlough to England in the
meantime, at the last session of the North India
Conference he took a superannuated relation.
He is the senior missionary in our service in the
field, and proposes to spend his last days in the
field of his life work. He is a superior scholar
5



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66 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

in the languages of India, and an able preacher,
both in English and in the vernaculars.

We had a service in English in the midweek
as well as the Sunday service, which was very
well attended by our English friends; at these
services we preached in turn. We also began
Bazar preaching, which was conducted by Mr.
Parsons and Joel Janvier, the native minister.
Many plans had to be considered for opening our
work in the plains. Rohilcund, with the moun-
tain country to the north, had been accepted as
our field. There came a letter from our Mis-
sion rooms in New York authorizing us to re-
consider our field, if we thought it desirable to
do so on account of the mutiny.

It seemed probable that it would be a long
time before things would be so settled that we
could begin our work ; but instead of abandoning
our field. Dr. Butler proposed an immediate en-
largement of our plans by occupying the chief
cities of Oudh, with a force of not less than
twenty-five foreign missionaries. He declared
that this had been his plan from the beginning.



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA., 6/

To our great delight, the scheme he outlined was
accepted by the Board, and we were informed that
a strong re-enforcement to our number would be
sent out the following year. This was indeed
cheering news to us. We now took Oudh into
our plans, and the time seemed to have come to
arrange for an immediate occupancy of Lucknow,
the capital of the province. Dr. Butler was a
man of great faith, of unflinching courage, and
unbounded energy; just the man needed at that
time. A cautious or a timid man would have
hesitated, and the opportunity would possibly
have been lost to us, to lay the broad foundations
that were laid for our work, and which the grand
results of the years gone by have abundantly jus-
tified.

The chief commissioner and other high offi-
cials of Oudh gave us much encouragement to
begin at once and occupy Lucknow. Early in
September, Dr. Butler and Mr. Pierce left for
Lucknow, where they found things even more
encouraging than they anticipated. They soon
fixed upon a location, purchased property, and



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68 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

began the preparation of residences for the mis-
sionaries who were to conduct the work of the
station. On the way down from the hills, Dr.
Butler and Mr. Pierce spent a Sunday in Bareilly
as the guests of Colonel Troop, Dr. Butler's
friend in Bareilly before the mutiny occurred. Dr.
Butler settled in Bareilly in January, 1857, ^^^
opened a service for English people in his parlor.
Colonel Troop was officiating as the commanding
officer of the station. Colonel Sibbald, the com-
mandant, had gone for a tour in the hills. About
the middle of May, Colonel Troop sent word to
Dr. Butler, informing him that the native troops
could not be relied upon, and that it was his
opinion that they would mutiny in a very few
days ; that they were only waiting to mature their
plans. He said he was about to issue an order
for all foreign ladies and non-combatants to leave
at once for Naini Tal, where they would be com-
paratively safe if the sepoys did mutiny. They
were all in a very exposed condition in Bareilly,
and there would be but a very slight hope of es-
cape should the mutiny actually occur. He re-



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Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA. 69

quested Dr. Butler to go with his family also, and
use his influence to allay the irritation among the
ladies his order would be likely to create. These
ladies were mostly wives of officers in the army
and civil officers of government.

People generally had confidence in the sepoys,
and could not be made to think they would mutiny
and turn upon them, as they had done in other
places. The officers and families often become
strongly attached to the men with whom they
are so intimately connected. There is a feeling of
comradeship awakened in military regiments that
is very marked and interesting. It is so every-
where, but it was especially so in the service in
those days. The officers had led their men in
many campaigns, and on many a battlefield, and
they had never failed them. It was not strange
that it was hard for the officers to believe that
their men would turn against them, protesting
their loyalty, even with tears in many instances,
as they did, when the ladies and children were be-
ing sent away to a place of safety. In some
cases the sepoys came to their officers and begged



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70 Tw^NTY-ON^ Y^ARS IN InDIA.

them not to send away their families, as it was
a reflection upon them; this when they fully ex-
pected to mutiny in a very short time. It is not
easy for Anglo-Saxons to realize what adepts at
fraud and deception Orientals are. The ladies
sent from Bareilly with Dr. Butler met the com-
manding officer on his return to Bareilly at the
foot of the mountains, about a dozen or fifteen
miles from Naini Tal. He was greatly incensed
towards Colonel Troop, and expressed his dis-
pleasure in terms not complimentary. His wife
and daughters were among the ladies dispatched
to the hills. At first he threatened to compel
them all to return, but he hardly dared to take
the responsibility of anything so rash. Then he
insisted that his own wife and daughters should
return, but he finally thought better of it, and
relented. He stoutly maintained that the sepoys
under his command would not prove false to their


1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Online LibraryG. Drysdale (George Drysdale) DempseyTubular and other iron girder bridges, particularly describing the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges; with a sketch of iron bridges and illustrations of the application of malleable iron to the art of bridge-building. With wood engravings → online text (page 3 of 13)