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New Records on the Travel Round the Globe
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, in 1876 the United States held a Centennial Exhibition in the same city. The Foreign Office of the late Qing court authorized the Commercial Tax Office for the Western Countries to arrange the Chinese display at the exposition. Li Gui (1842–1903), a secretary at the Customs Office, was dispatched to the United States with a delegation to assist in the arrangements. On his journey he also visited England, France, and other countries. After his ...
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National Central Library
Four Sons of Nawrūz Khan of Lalpoora
This photograph of four sons of Nowruz Khān, ruler of Lalpura, Afghanistan, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The young men are wearing handsome traditional Afghan garments and pointed shoes called paizaar, usually adorned with gold-thread embroidery. The photographer, John Burke (circa 1843–1900), accompanied the Peshawar Valley Field Force during part of the war, and became one of the first photographers to take pictures of Afghanistan’s people, rather than simply of military personnel. The khan was ...
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Library of Congress
Ali Masjid and the British Camp, 1878
This photograph of the British camp at Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ali Masjid is located in the narrowest part of the Khyber Pass, and was the first location captured by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) on his march with the Peshawar Valley Field Force towards Kabul at the start of war. The battle took place on November 21, 1878. Browne’s victorious British and Indian troops faced the Afghan army and tribesmen led ...
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Captured Guns at Ali Masjid
This photograph of artillery pieces captured by British forces in the Battle of Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. In the battle, which took place in November 1878, a British and Indian force led by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) won a victory over the Afghan Army and tribesmen led by Gholam Hyder Khan. Browne captured the fort at Ali Masjid and then marched to Kabul, prompting the Afghan amir, Sher ʻAlī Khān (1825–79 ...
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Library of Congress
Landi Kotal
This photograph of Landi Kotal is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Landi Kotal is a small town at the western edge of the Khyber Pass that traditionally marks the entrance to Afghanistan. It is the highest point along the pass. Pictured here is the encampment of the 12,000-strong Peshawar Valley Field Force, under General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901), as it crossed the Khyber Pass on the march towards Kabul at the start of the war. The ...
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Library of Congress
Landi Kotal Pass
This photograph of the Landi Kotal Pass is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Pictured are members of the Queens’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners of the Peshawar Valley Field Force inspecting the new road through the Khyber Pass that was constructed by the British during their march to Kabul at the start of the conflict. British forces had to travel through the Landi Kotal Pass to reach Jalālābād, the first major town on the Afghan side of ...
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Pipers Hill, Jalālābād
This photograph of Pipers Hill in Jalālābād is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Jalālābād was occupied by the British and Indian Peshawar Valley Field Force during its march towards Kabul in 1878 at the start of the war. The occupation was lengthy but unremarkable and passed without major armed clashes. One of several tribesmen in the foreground is digging with a pick, manned sentry posts are visible in the middle distance, and Jalālābād appears in the background at ...
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The Amir’s Garden, Jalālābād
This photograph of the Afghan amir’s garden in Jalālābād is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The site of modern Jalālābād was chosen by Zahīr al-Dīn Muhammad Bābur (1483-1530), the first Mughal emperor. Building began in 1560 under his grandson, Emperor Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar (1542–1605), who oversaw the construction of numerous gardens in the city. Many Mughal gardens were inspired by the Persian decorative style, chahar bagh (“four gardens,” a design that divided the garden into ...
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Buddhist Tope at Sphola
This photograph of the Buddhist tope (stupa) above the Afghan village of Sphola, about 25 kilometers from Jamrūd, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. This ruined stupa features a dome resting upon a three-tiered base. Sphola sits in a ravine located midway between Ali Masjid and Landi Kotal in the Khyber Pass. The stupa may have been constructed towards the end of the Kushan Empire or soon after (third to fifth centuries). It is the most complete Buddhist ...
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Suffain Koh Panorama
This panoramic photograph of the Suffain Koh or Safed Koh (meaning White Mountain) range is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Safed Koh range reaches up to 4,671 meters, creating a natural border between eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. A range of smaller hills runs across the middle distance of the photograph, while the Safed Koh looms behind them. The British military camp can be seen stretching across the plain in the foreground. The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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From the Khyber to Shuttugardun
This photograph of a rocky landscape beneath the Safed Koh range is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The caption mentions “Shuttugardun,” which is probably a reference to Shotur Gardan (meaning camel’s neck), a small town in Kandahar Province. The Safed Koh range dominates the background, while in the foreground signs of agricultural activity are visible. The right side of the photograph shows a receding layer of short stone walls. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 ...
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Panorama of an Afghan City
This panoramic photograph of an unidentified Afghan city is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The city is in the middle frame, flanked on both sides by rocky hills, and with mountains rising in the distance. The right frame shows a sentry tower atop a hill and a man with his mule stopping for rest beneath it. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan ...
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Shamsher Bridge and Masjid, Kabul
This photograph of Shah-do-Shamsher Bridge and the Shah-do-Shamsher Masjid (mosque) in Kabul is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Shah-do-Shamsher means “king of two swords” in Dari. Shamsher Bridge crosses the Kabul River, which is the main waterway through the city. Except during the summer, the flow of the river is minimal. An Afghan soldier overlooks the river with the bridge in the background, while several people take shelter from the sun in the shadows of a nearby building ...
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Kabul River, Old Bridge, Bala Hissar in the Distance
This photograph of the Kabul River and one of five bridges that crossed the river at the time is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The river, a tributary of the Indus, is seen running through the center of the photograph. Soldiers stand atop the bridge, while people walk along the road in the distance. In the right foreground people sit or squat on the bridge; behind them soldiers ride by on horseback. Bala Hissar (High Fort) is in ...
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Panorama of the Bala Hissar
This panoramic photograph of the Bala Hissar (High Fort) in Kabul is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The British envoy to Kabul, Sir Pierre Louis Napoleon Cavagnari (1841–79), was murdered inside the fort in September 1879, triggering a general uprising and the second phase of the war. The Kōh-e Shēr Darwāzah (lion door) Mountain rises behind the fort, while the ancient walls with battlements and sentry towers trail off into the distance on both sides. The fortress ...
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Camp on Shagai Heights
This photograph of the British camp on the Shagai Plateau is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The ascent to the Shagai Plateau begins shortly after the entrance to the Khyber Pass from the southeast (at Peshawar, in present-day Pakistan). The encampment of the conical tents of the Peshawar Valley Field Force stretches off into the horizon. The camels seen among the tents were used by the British and Indian troops to transport supplies and equipment. Smaller hills in ...
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Guns Captured at the Peiwar Kotal. Parked at Kohat
This photograph of captured Afghan artillery pieces at Peiwar Kotal is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mobile field guns of various sizes are arrayed in front of a line of British tents. In the foreground is a row of trees, probably watered from the irrigation ditch alongside. Peiwar Kotal was the site of a battle in late November 1878 between British forces under Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914), who outmaneuvered Afghan forces under an unknown commander. The result ...
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Means of Carrying the Wounded
This photograph of a makeshift transport for a wounded British (Indian) soldier is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Two soldiers wearing sun-shielding pith helmets stand at the front of the photograph. They flank two Afghan camel drivers who likely are escorting the wounded soldier. The soldier’s head is swathed in bandages and he lies on a platform atop another dromedary camel. Because of their greater endurance in the harsh Afghan climate, camels were generally preferable to horses ...
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An Afghan Water Mill in Afghanistan
This photograph of an Afghan water mill is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The mill, rectangular shaped with a thatched roof, was probably operated on a part-time basis by the family pictured in the photograph. The water mill is a traditional design with a small horizontal mill-house built of stone, or perhaps mud bricks. The men look directly at the camera, but a woman wearing a chador partially screens her face for modesty. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began ...
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Bridge Across the Indus at Attock
This photograph of a pontoon bridge across the Indus River is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Pontoon bridges such as this one, formed from boats lashed together by various materials, were easily assembled and disassembled. This pontoon bridge was built near the town of Attock in Punjab Province, in present-day Pakistan, and likely was used by the British Army to ferry supplies and troops across the Indus. Laborers, fishermen, travelers, soldiers, and pack animals are seen in the ...
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Kohat Pass
This photograph of Afridi tribesmen at the Kohat Pass is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Kohat Pass links the town of Kohat with Peshawar further to north. The pass is the home territory of the Pashtun Afridi tribe, who were regarded by the British authorities as a strongly independent and “warlike” tribe. The Afridi men shown here are observing the photographer, who might have been John Burke. He was rejected as an official photographer but accompanied the ...
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Library of Congress