Narrative of a Journey into Khorasān, in the Years 1821 and 1822


James Baillie Fraser left his native Scotland for India in 1813. After a short and unsuccessful stint working in a trading business in Kolkata (Calcutta), in 1815 he joined his brother William Fraser on an expedition to find the sources of the Jumna and Ganges rivers. He documented the trip in Journal of a Tour through Part of the Snowy Range of the Himālā Mountains, published in 1820. A skilled artist who produced sketches and acquatints of different parts of India, in 1821 Fraser accompanied Dr. Andrew Jukes of the East India Company on a diplomatic mission to Persia. Jukes died in Isfahan in late 1821, but Fraser continued the journey, visiting Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, and other cities before returning to London. This book is Fraser’s account of his voyage through Khorasān, a historical region that includes parts of present-day Iran, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. It contains detailed information about the peoples of the region and their customs, religious practices, and forms of government. Appended to the main work is a lengthy “Geographical Sketch of the Principal Districts of Khorasan,” with descriptions of the countryside and of towns such as Herat, Afghanistan. At the end are listed the route and travel distances from Mashad to Herat, Herat to Kabul, Kabul to Balkh, and between various other points. Also included are several tables with geographic and meteorological data.

Last updated: September 30, 2016