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David Nisbett letters and journal


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Leather bound volume containing the transcriptions of letters and of journal entries spanning from 1794 to 1799 by British surgeon and soldier David Nisbett. The prominent years in volume are from 1798 to 1799. The letters and journal entries were probably transcribed by Nisbett's mother at Kew Cottage in Surrey, England. Nisbett mentions the cottage and his sisters. The pages in the volume are numbered 1 to 262. Nisbett served as a surgeon in the medical battalion of British East India Company. He has provided some observations of his voyage from England to India, but does not mention the ship name. Nisbett wrote of his bungalow in Cawnpore (Kānpur) and social aspects of living with other soldiers. He mentioned the wives of fellow soldiers and noted tales of children being carried off by wolves and tigers. Nisbett gave information of living conditions describing in detail how the bungalows were cooled by a frame of fabric and the use of water. Nisbett mentioned he had servants and the cost of keeping them. The Nabob, an account of the succession to throne of Oudh, and Nawab Wazir Ali Kahn are included in the volume. He wrote of his travels by boat, camel, and horse along with dogs from Kānpur to Chunar, Allahabad, and Lucknow. Nisbett discussed sleeping in tents, the jungle, architecture, and buying cloth from merchants. Several pages in the volume are devoted to General Claude Martin (1735-1800) and his castle at Lucknow where Nisbett dined with the General. Nisbett also wrote to his mother of meeting and dining with Sir James Craig. Nisbett noted little of his posts as surgeon, but does write of transporting the sick and wounded. The end of the volume follows the pursuit of Vizier Ali of Oudh from April to May 1799. The spine of the volume is stamped India journal D. Nisbett.

Sold by Bristow & Garland Booksellers (Hampshire, United Kingdom), 2015.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
November 2015
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This collection is open for research.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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David Nisbett letters and journal, 1794-1799. 1 volume.
Volume 1
Physical Description

1 volume

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