In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Madras, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing, subtitles, and links. The table is from the original. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851. This discussion of a major city in British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

There are some extensive forests in the presidency, yielding teak, ebony, and other valuable timber trees. The other principal vegetable productions are rice, wheat, barley, maize, and all the other grains common in India; sugar-cane, areca, yam, plantain, tamarind, jack fruit, mango, melons, cocoa-nuts, and a variety of other fruits; ginger, turmeric, pepper, tobacco, hemp, and cotton, for the growth of which it seems to be particularly well adapted.

There has been a large increase of late years in the cultivation of sugar in Madras, as will be seen from the following Table, showing the imports of that article into the United Kingdom from that presidency:

Year Tons
1843 177
1844 2152
1845 5301
1846 8435
1847 8572

There are two kinds of sugar made in Madras, one from a species of date tree, the other from the cane ; the former is of a very inferior description, and brings but a low price. The wild animals met with here are those common to other parts of India; namely, the elephant, tiger, chetah, bear, bison, elk, spotted deer, antelope, jackal, wild hog, jungle sheep, &c. Cotton cloths were formerly manufactured here to a great extent, but the superiority of British piece-goods has nearly extinguished this branch of industry in India. A little, how ever, is still done in the E. districts of the presidency, and the produce exported to the W. Indies and America. Bed cloth, muslins, carpets, and silks also continue to be manu factured to a limited extent. [II, 257]


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 21 November 2018.

Last modified 22 November 2018