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population of which does not exceed Enveloped on all sides by deserts, it 300,000, a design, not of reprisals or presents the appearance of a fertile chastisement for past injuries, but of island among the waste : the deserts of conquest and permanent occupation. Kara-koom, or o the black sand," [A well-informed French journal, Le (sometimes termed the steppe of Kha. Commerce, states the divisions of the rasm,) extending from its western borRussian force as follows:-9000 in- der to the Caspian Sea ; while the fantry of the line, ten regiments of Kizil-koom, or “red sand," covers its the regular Cossacks of Siberia, five eastern frontier, forming also the regiments of Ural Cossacks, eight northern boundary of the Bokhara regiments of Tartars, Kalmucks, &c., territory, and reaching in that direcin all 11,500 cavalry; two demi-bri- tion as far as the confines of Kokan gades of artillery of mounted Cos- or Ferghana. In the middle ages of sacks, and a siege-battery-the dis- Mohammedan history it was of far proportionate force of the cavalry is greater power and consideration than explained by the opposition expected at present—the governors of Khafrom the Turkmans in crossing the rasm (as Khiva was then called) hav. steppe. The reserve is stated by the ing, in the early part of the 12th censame journal, on the authority of let- tury, thrown off their dependence on ters from Odessa, at 12,000 infantry, the Turkish Sultans of Persia, found. 8000 Don Cossacks, and twenty-four ed a dynasty before which the power guns, detached from the army of the both of the Seljookians and Ghorians Caucasus,* under the orders of the was subverted, and which extended Vice-Ataman Orloff. The fate of its supremacy from Kashgar to KerKhiva may therefore be considered as man, and from the Indus to Rei and sealed, unless the desert and the Turk. Ispahan. But the contest which the man hordes prove more efficient auxi. fifth Sultan of this race, Mohammed liaries than is probable; but since its Kootb-ed-deen, undertook against incorporation with the Russian domin- the hitherto unknown might of the ions will bring that empire into close Moguls, proved fatal to his power and contact (if not with the immediate family ; and the ruin of the Kharasoutposts of our own frontier) with mian monarchy opened the door to countries in which the recent events the irruption into Southern Asia of render it essential that British interests Jenghiz Khan and his descendants, should predominate, it may be useful, whose career of bloodshed and desolabefore entering into the consideration tion was arrested only on the confines of the concomitant questions of po. of Egypt by the prowess of the Mamlicy, to give some account of the past lukes. But their fury raged most history and present state of Khiva it- unsparingly in the provinces on which self, the very position of which on the their thirst for blood and plunder was map is scarcely known, we suspect, to first glụtted : Transoxiana was left the majority of the English reading desolate both of cities and inhabitants public.
-and Khiva does not again emerge The Khanate of Khiva or Orgunj, into notice till the commencement of against which the formidable force the 16th century, when it fell, with above detailed is directed, is of limited the adjoining countries, into the power extent, consisting principally of an of the Uzbeks, who expelled the oasis, about 200 miles in length from princes of the House of Timur from north to south, and half as much from all their remaining possessions; and east to west, extending along both from that time to the present, the banks of the Amoo or Oxus, before people of Orgunj (the name more its course is lost among the vast thick- commonly used in the East) are conets of reeds and rushes which precede stantly mentioned in the annals of its entrance into the sea of Aral. Persia as a rapacious and predatory
* From other accounts it would appear that this reserve is a sort of condemned corps, destined to garrison Khiva after its capture, and selected from the army of the Caucasus to punish its disaffection, which has co-operated with the valour of the Circassians in rendering the further prosecution of the war in that quarter for the present hopeless. See the article on the Cossacks in our September number of last year.
race, sending out frequent chappows, mercial intercourse with the Uzbek and or plundering parties into the neigh. Turkman states over the Caspian, from bouring territories, particularly those Russia, were also found in the vansubject to the Persians, with whom quished city, and dismissed with hons religious differences (all the Uzbeks our and safety. being Soonis) placed them in a state But no permanent conquest resulted of perpetual hostility; while the insue from this inroad. The Khivans threw lated situation of their own country, off the yoke in a few months after the environed on all sides by extensive Persians retired ; resuming, at the and almost impassable deserts, secured same time, their former habits of rathem against the advance of a Persian pine, which the distracted state of Perarmy. In 1739-40, however,
sia, after the death of Nadir, enabled duction of the Uzbek states was re- them to prosecute with even more than solved on by Nadir Shah, then flushed their previous impunity. The sove. with the conquest of India, and elated reign of Bokhara, however, availed by the unexampled height of power to himself of the anarchy in which the which he had raised the Persian mo- death of Ilburz had left them, to assert narchy. Bokhara yielded without a supremacy over Khiva, which conresistance on the advance of the con- tinued to acknowlege a nominal subqueror, and its ruler, Abul-Fayez jection to Bokhara till the commenceKhan, a descendant of Jenghiz, was ment of the present century, when its restored by Nadir to a vassal throne; independence was re-established by but Ilburz, the Khan of Khiva, trust- Mohammed Raheem Khan, father of ing to his deserts and fortresses for the present ruler, Allah-Kooli ; and at defence, refused to do homage, and present the sway of the Khan of Khiva even put to death the envoys sent extends over the Turkman tribes, who from Bokhara to persuade him to sub- wander over the desert between his mission. But the desert was quickly country, the Persian frontier, and the traversed by the Persian army, with Caspian; the fortresses of Merv and its field artillery and battering train; Shurukhs, in Khorassan, were also, the Khan, rashly issuing
from the im- when Burnes travelled, subject to him; pregnable fortress of Hazarasp to and, under the father of the present give battle in the plain, was taken Khan, the Khivan forces once venprisoner and put to death, with twenty tured completely across the desert into of his principal officers, in vengeance Persia, in order to oppose the advance for his late violation of the law of of a Persian army which threatened nations ; and Khiva surrendered after these detached points of his dominions. a few days' siege.
The first recorded intercourse be20,000 Persian slaves, according to tween Khiva and Russia was in the Hanway, were delivered from bondage reign of Peter the Great, who, in 1716– on the capture of this stronghold of 17, dispatched thither Prince Alexanthe Uzbek freebooters; and a great der Bekevich, a Georgian by birth, number of Russian captives are fur- ostensibly on a mission to the Khan, ther said by Meerza Mahdi, the bio- and to ascertain the practicability of grapher of Nadir, to have been re- re-opening an ancient channel, by leased by the generosity of the victor, which tradition states the waters of the more laudable in this case, as exer. the Oxus to have been discharged in cised towards those of a different faith. primitive times into the Caspian sea, Two Englishment who had pene- at the Gulf of Balkan, but from which trated into these remote regions, in the they had, at a remote period, been difruitless hope of establishing a com- verted, either by artificial mounds or a
* This castle is celebrated in story for the siege which Atsiz, the founder of the Kharasmian dynasty, sustained in it against the Seljookian Sultan Sandjar; while the laureats of the two monarchs, the poets Anwari and Raschidi, emulated the warfare of their patrons by verses attached to arrows, and shot backwards and forwards from the camp to the castle.
† The names of these adventurous merchants were Thompson and Hogg. Their journal is published by Hanway, (vol. i. p. 345, 4to edition ;) and, though brief, is interesting as the only account of the country derived from English travellers.
convulsion of nature, to their present relations between Russia and Khiva, course into the Lake of Aral. It was the transference of the point of destibelieved, however, that Bekevich's nation for the Bokhara caravans from real instructions were to take posses. Mungushluk to the nearer and more sion of the mines of gold and lapis-la. commodious haven of Krasno-vodafin zuli said to exist in the mountain range the Bay of Balkan, and the abolition between Khiva and Samarkand ; and, of the trade in Russian slaves, of whom for the accomplishment of this insidi- Mouraviev says there were more than ous project, (which implied the occu- 3000 in Kbiva. All these propation of all the intermediate country,) positions were, however, rejected or he was accompanied by an escort of evaded: Mouraviev was even detained 2000 regular troops, with several some time in a fortress, on the not unpieces of artillery. The Khivans at reasonable suspicion of being the prefirst dissembled their suspicions, or cursor of an army, or at best a spy; were, perhaps, too weak to resist ; but, but two years later, when the return on the Russian force being impru- of Négri and his suite had proved the dently dispersed into winter
quarters, practicability of the direct route from the different detachments were simul- Orenburg, a caravan was dispatched taneously surprised and cut off.* Be- under an escort to penerate to Bokhara kevich was carried into the presence over the steppe east of the Sea of Aral, of the Khan, and, after being reproach, thus avoiding the Khivan territories ed by him for his meditated perfidy, altogether. The success of this scheme put to death by being cut limb from would have deprived Mohammed Ra. limb! His fate, however, appears to heem of the valuable duties which he have passed unavenged ; and, for more derived from the transit of goods than a century after it, no direct com- through his dominions; and the caramunication with Khiva was attempted, van was accordingly attacked by 7000 though caravans frequently passed horse, near the mouth of the Sirr or through its territory from Bokhara, &c., Jaxartes, and driven back to Russia, to trade with the Russians at the Bay after a great part of the merchandise of Mungushluk, in the north-east had been carried off or destroyed by angle of the Caspian ; and merchants the assailants. Yet even this daring from Khiva, according to Jooke, oc- outrage passed unnoticed by the Rus." casionally attended the great fair of sian government, on the allegation Astrakhan with precious stones and of there being no proof that it had been ingots of gold and silver, the produce instigated by the Khan ; and the caraof their Indian commerce.
vans returned, without further molestIn 1819–20, however, (nearly at the ation, to the old route by Khiva to same time with the fruitless embassy Mungushluk. of M. de Négri to Bokhara,) General From this sketch of the past history Yermoloff, then governor of Georgia, of the country now apparently dessent his aid-de-camp, Captain Moura- tined to be absorbed into the Muscoviev, on a mission to the Khan of vite empire, it is obvious that, political Khiva, Mohammed Raheem, who had motives apart, Russia has ample then lately shaken off his dependence grounds of complaint to justify, her
in on Bokhara ; and from the narrative suppressing a nest of ruthless brigands, of this expedition, published at Paris who have not only perpetrated acts of in 1823, nearly all our recent know- open hostility against hertrade and sub. ledge of Khiva is derived. But the jects, but have long systematically carenvoy totally failed in the declared ried on, under shelter of the deserts objects of his legation, which were the which surround and protect them,a mer. ratification of commercial and friendly ciless and man-stealing warfare against
* The guns taken from Bekevich are said, by Hanway, to have been used in the defence of Khiva against Nadir.
† Krasno-voda, (the Crimson Water,), nearly opposite the mouth of the Araxes, iš only seventeen days' journey from Khiva-Mungushluk thirty.
From the information acquired by Burnes, he considers that there are not fewer than 30,000 Persian slaves in Khiva, and about 2000 Russian ; the latter, however, are no longer sold in Bokhara, in consequence of a convention with Russia to that effect.
all surrounding nations not of Uzbek view from the work of Mouraviev,
race, similar to that formerly practised will, we think, sufficiently prove; and i against the Christian powers of Europe though his prognostications were dis
by the Barbary pirates. If the imprison- missed with little ceremony by the ment of the Russian envoy, and the at- writer in the Quarterly, which then tack on the Orenburg caravan, had been held as an article of its creed that all promptly answered and avenged by danger from Russia to our Indian emthe march of an army, the retaliation pire was chimerical and visionary, we would have been well-timed and justi- suspect that few will be found in the fiable; but the ambitious views of Rus- present day to question their general sia in Central Asia were not then suf- correctness or practicability. ficiently matured or distinct to render
6 Even now, caravans from the counthe possession of Khiva necessary for tries of the South arrive at Khiva ; and their immediate furtherance. Persia, if commerce does not acquire a greater also, was then erect and independent, degree of extension, it is because it is under the government of the crafty shackled by the frequent depredations of and sagacious Futteh-Ali, who would the nomade tribes. If we possessed Khiva, have viewed with distrust the approxi. the conquest of which would not be diffimation of Russian arms and machina. cult, the nomades of Central Asia would tions to his turbulent and scarcely sub- dread our power, and a route for commerce dued province of Khorassan. The would be established by the Sind (Indus) time, in short, was not yet come for
and Amoo-deria (Oxus) to Russia ; all
the riches of Asia would then flow into developing the schemes, of which the countries east of the Caspian were the
our country, and we should see the brildestined theatre; and the insults offer
liant projects of Peter the Great realized. ed to the majesty of Russia were thus
Once masters of Khiva, many other states would become dependent upon us.
In a suffered to pass with impunity. But the events of 1 838 and 1839 have given vanced post, opposed to the commerce of
word, Khiva is at this moment an ada widely different aspeet to Asiatic
Russia with Bokhara and Northern India; polities. The victorious entrance of an
but if subject to us, the Khivan territory English army into Candahar and Cabul
would become a stronghold, which would has rendered it essential for Russia, in
defend this commerce against the attacks accordance with her invariable policy, of the tribes dispersed over Southern Asia. to counteract by an instant demonstra- This oasis, situated in the midst of an tion the moral influence thus accruing ocean of sand, would become the point to England, and to acquire, by a step of re-union of all the commerce of Asia, in advance of her present Siberian and would shake, even to the centre of frontier, a counterpoise to the exten- India, the enormous commercial prepondersion of the Anglo-Indian dominion ance of the dominators of the sea. The towards the north. Hence the con- route from Khiva to Astrakhan might be quest of Khiva, (originally planned greatly shortened, since it is but seventeen two years back, as the organs of Russ days' march from Orgunj to the Bay of sia admit, but postponed in conse
Krasnovodsk, whence, with a favourable quence of the repulse of the Persians wind, Astrakhan may be reached in a few before Herat,) becomes an object of days.”
— Movraviev, pp. 344-5. (Quart:
Rev. vol. xxxvi. p. 127.) paramount importance to the cabinet of Petersburg; and the marauding It could hardly be expected that habits of the people, combined with Russia would tamely submit to see their bygone infractions of diplomatic these brilliant prospects closed against courtesies, furnish the same ready pre- her by the advance of the “dominators text for invasion which was at hand of the sea” beyond the Indus,--anevent to France, when, by the capture of of which no anticipation existed when Algiers on similar grounds, she laid the above lines were written ; but the the foundation of a dominion which commercial value of Khiva cannot be bids fair to extend, at no distant duly estimated without a previous experiod, over the whole of Northern planation of the change in political Africa. That the advantageous re
relations which will be induced by its sults to be expected from the conver- conquest; and this point we shall first sion of Khiva into an appendage to proceed to consider. Hitherto, conAsiatic Russia were long ago per- tented with a line of southern frontier ceived and pointed out, the following in Asia, which intersects that contiextract, given in the Quarterly Re- nent through its entire length, and
places under her eye every change in great part sterile and desert, probably the political horizon from the Bos- for want of the artificial irrigation phorus to Pekin, Russia has abstained which enriched its soil in its ancient from any direct interference with the days of superabundance and fertility." various states which overspread the The territory of Khiva, as noticed. vast area extending east from the Cas- above, occupies its north-west divipian to the limits of the Chinese ema sion ; and from the frontiers of Khiva, pire, and from the Siberian outposts the kingdom of Bokhara and its deto the Himalaya and the Hindoo- pendencies extend along the course of Koosh. With all these regions the the Oxus to the borders of the petty intercourse of Russia, up to the pre- state of Koondooz, bounding Affghansent time, has been confined to an oc- istan on the north. The north-east casional embassy ; but the possession part of Mawara’lnahr, along the course of Khiva will at once give her the of the Sirr, and immediately contiguundisputed sovereignty of the Sea of ous to Chinese Tartary, consists of Aral, which, though shallow and en- the small Uzbek kingdom of Kokan or cumbered with sandbanks, is navigable Ferghana, (the former patrimony of the by flat-bottomed vessels or steam-boats house of Timur,) with which, since of small draught of water; and the the mission of Nazaroff in 1812, an equipment of flotillas on the streams of occasional intercourse has been kept the two mighty tributaries to this in. up by Russia.
With the districts lyland sea, the Amoo or Oxus, and the ing along the valley of the Sirr, and Sirr or Jaxartes, * will speedily bring their cities of Khojend, Otrar, and within the reach of Russian machina. Taskend, Europe is at the present day tion the various intervening territories, absolutely unacquainted ; and we are up to the Chinese dependencies in not aware that any European (with Kashgar and Yarkend!
The vast the exception, perhaps, of a stray Rus. tract lying between these two rivers sian trader) is even known to have was known in the early ages of Mo- visited them since the days of Timur, hammedan conquest by the name of when Clavijo appeared at his court in Mawara’lnahr, or “beyond the river;" 1402, as ambassador from Henry III. and is eulogized by the Arabian geo. of Castile. graphers as “the garden of Asia, and The state of the kingdom of Bok. one of the three earthly paradises ;" hara, the most extensive and important and Ebn-Haukal declares that if all division of the Uzbek nation, over the rest of the earth were afflicted which its sovereign asserts a nominal by famine, the deficiency might be supremacy, has been made better supplied from the superabundance of known in Europe by the travels of the last year's crop in Mawara’lnahr. Moorcroft, Conolly, and Burnes, espeBut these flowery descriptions are far cially the last-named author, whose from being corroborated by the few invaluable work forms a text-book on recent accounts which we have re- the commerce, power, and resources ceived, which represent it as being in of the regions bordering on the Oxus.
* “ The navigation of the Oxus ceases only at a short distance from Cabul ; and once masters of this river and the towns on its banks, the Russians may proceed against the capital of Shah Shooja unopposed by England, with much more facility than an army from Herat.”—Le National (French journal.) — The Jaxartes is navigable about 600 miles, nearly up to the city of Kokan.
+ We cannot agree with the writer in the Quarterly, (vol. xxxvi. 128,) above referred to, in considering the ancient accounts of the fertility and population of Mawara'Inahr entirely in the light of Arab exaggeration. The inhabitants appear to have been nearly exterminated by the devastating fury of the Moguls, whose first attack fell on this de. voted region ; and the consequent ruin of the ancient water-courses, traces of which are found in the midst of the desert at the present day, reduced the tracts distant from the rivers to the arid state into which Egypt, or any other country destitute of rain, would fall under similar circumstances.
$ The journal of this embassy was published at the private expense of Count Romanzoff; but the charts were suppressed by order of Government. All that is known of the geography of this and the adjacent regions is given in the introduction to the Memoirs of Baber, translated by Erskine and Leyden.