Fitzjames’ drawings

During the Euphrates Expedition some of the officers (Chesney, Fitzjames, Estcourt, Cockburn, A. Staunton) made drawings of their surroundings and the people they encountered. When the commander of the Expedition, Francis Rawdon Chesney, published his account in 1868, it was accompanied by lithographs of a selection of these drawings. The lithographs were printed by the company Day & Haghe, lithographers to the Queen, and some were made by C.H. (Charles Henry) Fairland.

Out of the total of 45 drawings published in the book, 11 drawings by Fitzjames have been included. I am still trying to locate Fitzjames’ original drawings, but thus far have been unsuccessful. For now, have a look at these wonderful images. Click on an image to view it in full size.

Fitzjames’ Euphrates drawings shown in chronological order, from left to right:

[Information source: Chesney, Francis Rawdon Narrative of the Euphrates Expedition: Carried on by Order of the British Government During the Years 1835, 1836, and 1837, 1868]

The boiler passing the bar of the Orontes
10 April 1835,
“marked the successful landing of one of the heaviest pieces of boiler”. 

Iskenderun (also spelled Scanderoon)
May 1835
In Lieutenant Cleaveland’s journal it is noted that “On May 7, Mr. Fitzjames set off for Scanderoon to join the surveying party under Lieutenant Murphy.”

The first boiler fording the Kara-Chai
Moorad Pasha (also spelled Murad Pacha)
July 1835
“Thus, within less than an hour of the breakdown, the boiler was supplied with a new guiding-beam, and was moving on towards Guzel Burj, where water-carriage was substituted for that by land ; and it fell to Mr. Fitzjames to convey the heavy weights across the lake to Murad Pacha, where the task of their conveyance onward to Port William devolved upon Captain Estcourt.”

(also spelled Gindareez or Chindarees)
October 1835
“The [transport] line from the Sájur river to Port William was now allotted to Lieutenant Cleaveland and Seyd Ali, who had recently joined us from Bagdad ; that from the Sajur to Azaz was given to Messrs. Hector and Rassam ; while to Mr. Fitzjames fell the charge of the portion on from Azaz to Gindareez.”

The steamers passing Thapsacus
May 1836
“We resumed the descent on the 9th, keeping one of the boats ahead, to facilitate our examination of the river, and give notice of any obstruction. In this way we carefully examined the banks on either side of the memorable passage of Thapsacus (now Hamman), and also the extensive ruins of ancient Susa, and other sites of interest […]”

Anah (also spelled Anna)
End of May 1836
After the wreck of the Tigris on 21 May “our steamer was brought up at the outskirts of the long town of Anna. We expected that this place would eventually become a permanent station, and we gladly availed ourselves of our temporary halt to celebrate our gracious Sovereign’s birthday, by firing a royal salute on the morning of the 26th, and treating the Arabs to a display of rockets after dark. Here we also made all such arrangements for continuing the survey as were practicable until funds should be sent us from Bagdad ; and from this point the survivors of the ‘Tigris’ departed for England, bearing with them a despatch to the Government, giving an account of what had occurred, which afterwards appeared in the ‘London Gazette.’”

June 1836
“We arrived at Hit sufficiently early in the day to enable us to visit the celebrated and inexhaustible bitumen fountains of this place. They bubble up from the ground with sufficient force to justify this designation, and the value of the bitumen as an article of trade can scarcely be overestimated. It was used by us largely for the purposes of fuel for the steamer, when sufficiently consolidated by an admixture of earth, and answered every purpose of coal. As cement, its value was well known to the ancients. The salt-pits, the lime-quarries and sulphur-mines, and the long-celebrated tepid mineral springs of Hit, were also all visited by us at this time.”

Baghdad and bridge
Late August 1836
“During the afternoon of August 30, we steamed the remaining nine miles by water, and Colonel Taylor came on board, and was saluted with eleven guns. As we approached the city the bridge was thrown open. Our salute was returned from the Residency ; and we steamed through the bridge towards evening, into the midst of the wondering population, which covered the roofs of every house, when one individual, placing his head between his knees, was heard to call out, with great emphasis, ‘Has God been pleased to make only one such creation?’”

Sheik-el-Shuyukh (modern day Suq al Shuyukh, Iraq)
October 1836
“Eight miles below Kut-el-Amrah, and 75 miles from El-Khudhr, is Sheikh-el-Shuyukh, the commercial capital, and the largest town which is permanently occupied by the Arabs on the Euphrates. It contains some 1,500 clay-built houses, and as many tents, situated on the right bank of the river, and is most pleasantly shaded by vines, fig and pomegranate trees, interspersed with rose-bushes, &c.”

Woodcut of Fitzjames’ drawing

November 1835 “Fitzjames and I took the opportunity while at Gindaris to make an excursion to the home of St. Simon Stylites upon the rocky ridge known to the natives as Sheikh Barakat. We found, among other ruins, a quadrangular building with aisles marked out by double arches, and a handsome choir. Fitzjames made some sketches which were reproduced in General Chesney’s work on the Euphrates Expedition.” – William Francis Ainsworth