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1799, he first formed the eccentric and arduous design of erecting an independant principality for himself. The country of Hurrianah, which, from the troubled state of the times, had for many years acknowledged no 'master, but became in turn the prey of each succeeding invader, appeared to him as best adapted for the execution of his purpose. .
The scarcity of water, however, in this part of India, induced Mr. Thomas to postpone his intended expedition until the approach of the rainy season. Having reinforced his army, and being well provided with every thing neceffary to ensure success, he commenced his march,
His first attack was directed against the town and fort of Kanhoree, the inhabitants of which place were notorious for their thievish depredations. "Advancing with celerity, Mr, Thomas, according to his usual custom, at tempted to carry the place by storm. In this, however, he was not only prevented by the fpirited conduct of the enemy, but compelled to retreat with the loss of three hundred of his
In consequence of this severe check, it became necessary to fortify his camp; and the constant and heavy rains which now fell preventing his erecting batteries, he fortified a chain of posts round the town, and thereby prevented any succour from without.
The garrison he well knew was straitened for provisions; and the fiege, thus converted into a blockade, augmented their distress. The enemy, by frequent sallies, endeavoured to interrupt Mr. Thomas's operations. In one of these, an attack was made on the redoubt occupied by himself. In the confusion attendant on a business of this nature, the greater part of his people, being panic-struck, ran away. Mr. Thomas was thus reduced to a situation truly critical: five men only remained with him of the infantry, to whom had been allotted the particular charge of his fire-arms, consisting of pistols and blunderbuffes of a large fize. With these, and the assistance of a few horsemen, who had likewise adhered to him, he maintained the post for a considerable time against every effort of the enemy; and at length, by repeated and well-directed difcharges, compelled them to retreat. .
A few days after this occurrence, the weather becoming more favourable, and Mr. Thomas having rallied the fugitives, erected a battery, from which he fired with such good effect, as to bring down a considerable part of the wall; but night intervening before he could prepare for storming, the assault was delayed until the ensuing day. It was however rendered unnecessary by the enemy's having evacuated the town during the night..
The best and bravest men of Hurrianah being in this town, Mr. Thomas reduced the other places with but little resistance. In a short time he gained complete possession of the whole fouth part of the province; but the north-western part being occupied by the Bat-. ties, the rajah of Pattyalah, and other seik chieftains, it cost him considerable time and much trouble to establish his authority as far as the river Cauggur.
The fuccessful termination of this campaign,
affords us an opportunity of presenting a detailed account of the country possessed by Mr. Thomas; with some relative observations on the nature and quality of the soil, and on the general character of its inhabitants.
In the district called Hurrianah, ninety miles to the north-west of Delhi, is the country of Mr. George Thomas. It extends eighty coss
from north to south, and the same distance - from east to west. To the northward it is bounded by the possessions of Sahig Sing, chief of Puttialah, on the north-west by the Batties, west by the dominions of Beykaneer, and south by Jypore, south-east by the pergunnah of Dadaree, east by the districts adjoining to Delhi, and north-east by the cities of Rhotuck and Panniput. That part of the country more immediately occupied by Mr. Thomas, is in shape nearly oval, and extends from sixteen to twenty-four cofs * in different directions. The northern boundary is formed by the river Cauggur, beyond which are the seik territories. To the south it is bounded by the town of Behal,
* Consult the map.
OF [A. D. 1798. east by Mahim, and west by Behadra, containing in all eight hundred villages.
Within this tract of country, as in most parts of Hurrianah, water is scarce, more especially during the hot season. To remedy this inconvenience, the inhabitants have constructed wells of considerable depth, not unfrequently from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty feet.
In addition to this each district has two or three tanks faced with stone. These afford a plentiful supply of water until the approach of the hot winds of the ensuing season, when they are dried up. The number of wells differ according to the industry of the respective inhabitants. At Hiffâr, for instance, are three hundred ; at Hansı, thirty; at Mahim, one hundred; Tuhana has only fix; and some of the smaller towns from two to five. In this country the Cauggur river is of the greatest service to the inhabitants. It is overflowed during the rainy season by the accession of the streams which issue from the mountains; and on the retiring of the waters, leaves, like the