Correspondence Relating to Persia and Affghanistan


Correspondence Relating to Persia and Affghanistan is a compilation of documents concerning British policy toward these two countries, published in London at the time of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42). The volume includes, for example, dispatches sent to the British foreign secretary, Viscount Palmerston (1784–1865), by British diplomats in Saint Petersburg and Teheran; Palmerston’s replies; the texts of treaties concluded by the East India Company with the shah of Persia, the amirs of Sind, and other parties; correspondence between Dost Mohammad Khan (1793‒1863), ruler of Afghanistan, and the governor-general of India; and reports concerning Afghanistan by Sir Alexander Burnes, political officer in India and Afghanistan, to Governor-General of India Lord Auckland. One section of the book documents the expedition of Shah Shuja (1785–1842), ruler of the Durrani Empire from 1803 to 1809, into Afghanistan in 1833–34 and his attempt to reclaim the throne in collaboration with Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ruler of the Punjab. Shah Shuja was defeated by Afghan forces at Kandahar under Dost Mohammad Khan. The First Anglo-Afghan War began four years later, when the British sent an Anglo-Indian army into Afghanistan in order to install Shah Shuja, who they perceived as more sympathetic to their interests than Dost Mohammad Khan, as ruler of the country. The documents provide a detailed look at the secret diplomacy that preceded the First Anglo-Afghan War.

Last updated: September 30, 2016