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ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL,
The usual monthly meeting of the Asiatic Society was held on Wednesday evening, the 2d of June.
Capt. WM. MUNRO, in the Chair. The minutes of proceedings of the last meeting were read and adopted, and the accounts and vouchers for May laid on the table as usual.
The following gentlemen having been duly proposed and seconded at the May meeting, were ballotted for and duly elected :
R. O'Dowda, Esq.
J. Johnstone, Esq. Mr. E. Currie of the Civil Service was named as a candidate for election, proposed by Mr. E. C. Samuells, seconded by Mr. Bushby.
From Major Sturt, Secretary to Government of India, Military Department, forwarding copy of a pamphlet by Professor Ansted, entitled, “Facts and suggestions concerning the Economic Geology of India.”
From Mr. Secretary Young, forwarding the annexed correspondence regarding the discovery of Cannel coal at Junk Ceylon.
To the Secretary to the Asiatic Society,
Dated, Fort William, the 19th May, 1847. Letter from the Governor of P. W. Sir,-I am directed to transmit for Island, Singapore and Malacca, No. 31
the information of the Society a copy of 27th February, 1847. Ditto Mint Master of Calcutta No. 456,
of the Correspondence noted in the dated 30th ultimo, 1 Enclosure.
Ditto to Governor of P. W. Island Sin margin regarding a specimen of Coal gapore and Malacca, No. 469, dated 19th
discovered in Junk Ceylon.
A. R. YOUNG,
(No. 31.) From the Governor of P. W. Island, Singapore and Malacca, To C. BEADON, Esq., Under-Secretary to the Goverment of Bengal, Fort
William. Dated, Singapore, 27th February, 1847. Sir,-My letter under date the 26th July 1845, No. 124, will have made the Hon'ble the Deputy Governor of Bengal acquainted with my belief that Coal was to be found in the vicinity of Penang, and although I failed at that time, in discovering the mineral, yet I did not relax my inquiries, and I am now enabled to report very satisfactorily on the subject.
On the recent return of the Hon'ble East India Company's Steamer Hooghly from the Northern end of the Straits, after conveying the IIon'ble Recorder, and Court Establishment to Penang, Captain Congalton brought me a specimen of Coal which had been deposited by some person at the Harbour Master's Office ; search had been made for the party without avail, and I apprehended that I should be again baffled, when I was favored with a letter, regarding the said Coal, by the Resident Councillor at Penang, a copy of which I beg to enclose.
The Hon'ble the Deputy Governor will observe that the Coal now discovered, (a specimen of which I beg to forward for the purpose of being tested,) is found on the Southern Coast of the Island of Junk Ceylon, which is not far from the River Gurbie, on the Malayan Peninsula, where my
former search was made, and if we may judge from the seam noticed by Kong Kiyon, who brought in the Coal, there must be a large quantity available.
I do not think that Kong Kiyon is competent to enter into the engagement proposed by the Resident Councillor at Penang, or that we should be justified in making any agreement with him to supply the mineral from the territory of our Ally, the King of Siam, without previously ascertaining
how far he may be cognizant of such a proceeding ; neither would the price demanded, viz. 7 dollars per ton, justify me in laying in any quantity whilst that of ascertained good quality can be purchased for 6 dollars per ton.
I have however ventured to authorize Mr. Garling, to commission from Kong Kiyon two or three coyans of the Coal, and on delivery, to present him with 25 dollars from Government in addition to the price of the Coal, for having made the discovery known to the authorities, and with a view of inducing others to come forward with any information likely to develope the resources of these settlements, and the adjacent native states, which I trust will meet with the approval of the Hon'ble the Deputy Governor of Bengal.
The Junks from China and Cochin China are now daily making their appearance, and I am averse to withdrawing the Steamer from the vicinity of Point Romania for any lengthened period, or I would have furnished a more full Report on the subject of this Coal, but I hope to proceed on my annual tour early in May, or as soon as it shall be ascertained, by the change of the monsoon, that the whole of the Junks of the season have arrived, when I shall send the Hooghly to Junk Ceylon, and do myself the honor of reporting the result.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Governor. Singapore, 27th February, 1847.
(No. 161 of 1847.)
To the Hon'ble the Governor, &c. &c. &c. SIR,--Captain Congalton, in command of the Hon'ble Company's Steamer Hooghly, will have shown to you a muster of Coal brought to Penang just about the time the Steamer reached this port. He procured the muster from Mr. Gottlieb, the Harbour Master, but no particulars could be obtained, as the man who brought the sample could not be found. Mr. Gottlieb having at last succeeded in tracing the man, sent him to my office, and I have now the honor of giving you the result of my inquiries. The man's name is Kong Kiyon, a Siamese by community, but born in Penang. By his statement, the Sample was found on the river bank mingled with the mud, close upon the jungle, and about 2 or 3 hundred feet from the mouth of the river, on the Southern Coast of the Island of Junk Ceylon. There are rocks on the coast-Kong Kiyon went there to collect Ratans-any persons may there go into the jungles and collect what they please ; sometime since he brought a piece of this mineral to Penang, but it was considered as useless. Having been spoken to on the subject, immediately he came upon this Coal as stated,
he set to cooking his rice with it, and finding it answer the purpose well, he ventured to bring away about 4 or 5 coyans of it. The boat has now gone away and he has now left but one small piece, which he promised to bring to
He discovered a stratum ab out 3 feet in thickness close under the surface, but of its length and breadth he knows nothing. Why the people do not use it for culinary purposes he knows not, but supposes that they may know nothing about it. There are no inhabitants in the vicinity of the Coal, and he entertains no difficulty in bringing away any quantity.
Kong Kiyon told Mr. Gottlieb that he would engage to bring the Coal at the rate of 812 per coyang of 45 Peculs. He has thought better of it. He tells me that, after consulting his comrades, he would not engage under 8150 for an 8 coyang boat load, being upwards of 50 per cent. beyond his offer to Mr. Gottlieb. But Kong Kiyon says, that for 8150 per load of an 8 coyang boat, he will enter into a bond with securities to supply the mineral always, provided a small advance of cash be made to him, as he has no funds of his own.
Mr. Gottlieb brought one piece burnt. It had the appearance and smell of a common cinder, only it was very light in weight. Captain Congalton spoke well of it after trial. I shall await your instructions in this matter.
I have, &c.
Resident Councillor. P. W. Island, the 13th February, 1847.
15th.-P. S. The specimen of Coal not having yet come to hand, I shall no longer detain this letter.
(Signed) S. GARLING,
Resident Councillor. (True Copy) (Signed) W.J. BUTTERWORTH,
Governor. (No. 290.) Copy of this letter and of its enclosure, together with the specimen of Coal otherwise received, forwarded to the Mint Master of Calcutta, for the purpose therein mentioned. By order of the Hon'ble the Deputy Governor of Bengal.
(Signed) C. BEADON,
Under Secretary to the Governor of Bengal. Fort William, 7th April, 1847.
(No. 456 of 1846-47.) From Lieut.-Col. W. N. FORBES, Mint Master. To C. BEADON, Esq. Under Secretary to the Goverment of Bengal. Sır,-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter No. 290, dated the 7th April 1847, forwarding a copy of a letter and enclosures from the Governor of P. W. Island, Singapore and Malacca, together with the specimen of Coal which accompanied them, and in reply to state that, as the specimen supplied was insufficient for experiments conducted in the Steam Engine, or other mint furnaces, I requested Dr. W. B. O'Shaughnessy, Chemical Examiner to Goverment to examine it in detail, and I have now the pleasure of transmitting in original his very satisfactory report on its assay and analysis.
I have, &c.
Mint Master. Calcutta Mint, the 20th April, 1847.
(No. 26.) From Dr. W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, Chemical Examiner to Government,
To Lieut.-Col. W. N. FORBES, Mint Master.
Dated, Chemical Examiner's Office, Fort William, 30th April, 1847. SIR,-In reply to your letter of the 14th inst. requesting me to furnish a report on a specimen of Coal received from the Government of Bengal, I have the honor to send you the accompanying memorandum of the results of its analysis, which shows that this Coal is by far the most valuable hitherto found in this or adjacent countries.
2. The coal is identical with the “ Cannel” or “ Wigan" kind. It is free from sulphur, cokes well and yields such an abundance of gaseous inflammable matter as to be of the utmost value for generating steam or manufacturing gas. The proportion of ash is moreover very small. The discovery of this kind of coal promises moreover to prove of additional importance in as much as it is generally found to accompany deposits of the richest and best ordinary coking coal. 3. The documents sent with your letter are herewith returned.
I have, &c.