"Overland Routes to India and China," steel engraving by John Tallis, published 1851; *a large scan*

ACCESS TO THIS MAP THROUGH THE *David Rumsey collection* website has to start with the main link. Then click on "Insight Browser." After the software has loaded, choose "by country" and wait till the country list appears. Then scroll down and choose "India; Arabia." Using their zoom system takes a bit of experimentation to learn, but the results are well worth it. This particular map is excellent for teaching purposes since it's an invitation to an imagined journey.

Author: Martin, R.M. ; Tallis, J. & F.
Date: 1851
Short Title: Overland Route To India.
Publisher: New York: J. & F. Tallis
Type: Atlas Map
Obj Height cm: 34

Information on the map image shown above:

"The map shown here is a rare map engraved from the ILLUSTRATED ATLAS AND MODERN HISTORY OF THE WORLD published by John Tallis in 1851. The engraved images show clockwise from top, (1) The Post Office, London, (2) Suez, (3) Bombay, (4) Madras, (5) Aden, (6) Malta, (7) Gibraltar and (8) The Mail Crossing the Desert (in the center). The colored routes show (1) The Mail Steam Packet Route in Pink/Red, (2) the Marseilles Overland Route in Yellow, (3) The German Overland Route in Blue and (4) the Euphrates Route in Green. Print size is 14 inches by 12 inches."


"As the intercourse between England and India increased--as the trade between the two countries augmented, and the benefits of lawful commerce flowed from the conquests our arms had made--and as a knowledge of the countries which lay between our island home and her empire in the East became better diffused, the attention of many who were interested in the connection between the two quarters of the globe, became directed to the questions--whether there were not means for shortening the route, and for reducing the time necessary for the voyage from one to the other? One of the first persons who succeeded in bringing speculation upon this point to a practical issue, was the late lieutenant Waghorn. This officer was born at Chatham in 1800. He entered the navy at an early age; and after performing his duty zealously for some years, by sea and land, and having obtained a respite from active service, he turned his attention to the establishment of a steam communication between England and India. Subsequently he projected the overland route. Having laid his plans before the Court of Directors, they sent him, in 1829, to India, by way of Egypt.

He traversed the continent to Trieste, which port he reached in nine days and a half. He was twenty-six days before he arrived at Alexandria; from whence he went to Cairo, and crossed the desert to Suez. Here he expected to find a steam-vessel; but being disappointed, he took an open boat, and went down the Red Sea, to Jeddah--a voyage which occupied six days and a-half, being a distance of 620 miles. Again disappointed of a steamer, he returned to Suez, quite convinced that the route he had traversed was that which ought, from every reason--moral, political, and commercial--to be adopted. He reduced his plan into form, and advocated it publicly; and though he met with much praise, finding few inclined to give him active assistance, he set about, himself, opening out the overland route. In the course of 1830 and 1831, be laid down the 'route across the desert. Making Alexandria his starting-place, he passed from there to Cairo, and established eight halting-posts between that town and Suez; put carriages on the road; and himself worked the overland mail from 1831 to 1836. In February of the latter year, he carried letters from Bombay to England in forty-seven days. Nine years later--on the 30th of October, 1845--he arrived in London from Bombay, which he left on the 1st; and he projected a still shorter route, by which he calculated he should reduce the journey and voyage between Bombay and London to twenty-one days.

He was never, however, supported as his zeal and public spirit deserved; and he died in 1850, having exhausted all his pecuniary means in carrying out his great enterprise. Since that period, the "Overland Route" has fallen into the hands of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which has now a navy of about fifty fine steamers, employs, afloat and ashore, above 4,000 persons, pays upwards of £100,000 per annum in salaries, and as much for coals. Yet large profits are made--a proof of the magnitude of the traffic.

The intercourse with China, as well as that to India, is carried on now by the Overland Route."

== Early 1800's index == Colonial index == Main map index == Glossary == FWP's main page ==