In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Egypt I have divided the long entry into separate documents, expanded abbreviations for easier reading, and added paragraphing and links to material in the Victorian Web. Unless otherwise noted, charts and illustrations come from the original Gazetteer. — George P. Landow

Decorated initial T

he trade of Alexandria is considerable. The principal articles of export are cotton, beans, pease, rice, wheat, barley, gums, flax, hides, lentils, linseed, mother-of-pearl, sesamum, senna, ostrich feathers, &c. The chief imports from Great Britain are manufactured goods, coals, iroi goods, olive oil, indigo, earthenware, hardwares, sugar, cloth, drugs, machines, liquors, pitch, &c.

The number of vessels that left the port of Alexandria with cargoes in 1852, was 1708, of which 382 were British.

The monopolizing spirit of the late Pasha, Mehemet Ali, operated most ruinously for the country, threatening its general trade with entire annihilation. In 1842, he locked up in his own stores all the cotton in Egypt, and from these stores alone was the demand of foreign countries supplied, amounting, in that year, to 110,290 bales. Not less injurious to the interests of the country than his own immediate monopolies, was a practice, largely adopted by Mehemet Ali, of farming the privilege of selling particular commodities, such as wine, spirits, vinegar, salt, &c., the price of such privilege being 1200 purses, or 6000.

In 1838, a treaty was entered into by Great Britain with Mehemet Ali,wherein a great many impositions and exactions, affecting the trade between the two countries, were removed or modified, and the right of selling trading privileges resigned. But, in practice, matters remained much as they were, the Pasha evading or miscon struing every clause except those favourable to himself. Since the death of Mehemet Ali, a more liberal and enlightened policy has been pursued.

Alexandria possesses a considerable transit trade, in consequence of being the principal station on the Overland route from Europe to India. Steamers sail to and from England, Marseilles, Trieste, and Constantinople, regularly, and goods, passengers, and mails pass thence to Cairo, then across the desert to Suez, and thence by the Red Sea and Arabian Sea to Bombay, Calcutta, China, &c. [1.79-80]

Tables of Exports and Imports


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive. Inline version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 31 July 2020.

Last modified 31 July 2020