CHAPTER XIV  pp. 457-489


By John Clark Marshman

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SECTION I

LORD DALHOUSIE'S ADMINISTRATION—SECOND SIKH WAR

Lord Dalhousie landed at Calcutta and took his seat in council on the 19th January. He was in his thirty-sixth year,—the youngest of governors general. He had occupied a seat in the House of Commons before he succeeded to the family title, and in Sir Robert Peel's last cabinet enjoyed the post of president of the Board of Trade at the most busy period of its existence, when it was flooded with railway schemes. He entered upon the government of India without any of that acquaintance with its institutions and policy which Lord Wellesley, Lord Minto, and Lord William Bentinck had brought with them, but his natural genius soon caught the spirit, and mastered the details of the administration. The period of his rule, which extended to eight years, was crowded with transactions which will long continue to affect the happiness of the vast population of the empire, and may be considered one of the most memorable in its history. Waiving the chronological order of events, we shall distribute them under the three sections of military operations, annexations., and social and material improvements.

Within four months of his arrival, the note of war was again sounded in the Punjab. A small cloud appeared on the horizon over Mooltan, which in the course of six months overspread the country and brought on a conflict as arduous as that of 1845.

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