Colonel Sir William Lewis Herries, C.B., K.C.II., has been appointed Chairman of the Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accounts, in. the room of Francis S. Larpent, Esq., who retires, after having filled the office for many years; and Sir Alexander Cray Grant, Bart., is no- minated a Commissioner, vice Sir W. L. Herries.—Morning Post.
The overland mail has arrived with intelligence from India to the 3d February, and from China to the 1st January. In India, the immediate point of interest is Scinde, which had beers in rather an unsettled state. The Ameers, whose doubtful policy and intriguing conduct had during some weeks kept up the alternation of war and peace, had been influenced by the presence of Major Outram to enter into terms, which were expected to be satisfactory. One of the youths of their family had attempted, by flying to a fort in a desert district, to baffle the intentions of the British commander, Sir Charles Napier ; but a force had been despatched, which soon obliged him to quit the fort, and it was then demolished. Generals Pollock, Nott, Sale, and bl'Caskill, (the last in charge of the Somnath gates,) had duly arrived at Ferozepore. They were re- spectively met at the end of the bridge of boats by the Governor- General, who very warmly shook hands with them. A salute of nine- teen guns was fired as Sir Robert Sale passed the troops, in honour of himself and the "illustrious garrison." On the morning of the 26th
December there was a grand review here, at which about 40,000 of the troops were assembled. In the evening, the Governor-General gave a
splendid ball ; for whieh, it is said, 26,000 seers of sweetmeats were ordered. He left Ferozepore, on his route to Delhi, on the 5th January, and expected to arrive there about the 25th February : his escort amounted to 10,000 men. At Delhi he purposed exacting an explana- tion respecting some intrigues there. While at Ferozepore, Lord Ellenborough had received a visit fro= the son and Prime Minister of Shere Singh, and he sent his secretary and other official persons to Lahore to return it. Shere Singh was about to send valuable presents to Queen Victoria. It is said that Lord Ellenborough intended eventually to fix his re- sidence at Agra or Meerat for some time.
Bundelcund was quiet, and 14,000 men had been sent to keep it so.
It is reported that Akhbar Khan had marched to Cabal, and taken peer- session of that city ; driving forth P. ince Shah Poor, who, deserted by the majority of his adherents, found himself unequal to maintain a con- teat with his powerful rival, and fled precipitately towards the Ifritials, provinces. It is also reported that Zeman Khan was governor of Jet- lalabad, Shumshoodeen of Ghuznee, and Sultan Jan of Kondalsar.
The Court-martial on Major Eldred Pottinger had made its report ; and the Governor-General had caused the following, the closing para- graph, to ba published-
" The Court, adverting to documents which have been laid before it is course of this inquiry, cannot conclude its proceedings without expressing .a strong conviction that throughout the whole period of the painful position ut.
which Major Pottinger was so unexpectedly placed, his conduct was marked by a degree of energy and manly firmness that stamps his character as can worthy of high admiration." The courts-martial held on Colonel Palmer, on charges respecting the surrender of Ghaznee, and on Captains Anderson, Troup, Boyd, Eyre, and Waller, on charges of having deserted their duty and sought the protection of Akhbar Khan, had terminated in the acquittal of those officers. The investigation into the conduct of General Shelton was still going forward. An act had been proposed in the Legislative Connell which tends to put a final stop to all descriptions of slavery in its extensive districts.
The pacific relations with the Chinese Government had been threat- ; ened with serious disturbance. Sir Henry Pottinger, while he was stilI7 at Amoy, on board the steam-frigate Queen, issued a proclamation in. English and Chinese, dated 23d November, declaring that he had, sincq his arrival at Amoy, learned with extreme horror and astonishments that many more than 100 British subjects, who had been wrecked ift the ship Nerbudda and brig Ann in September 1841 and March 1842. on the coast of the island of Formosa, had recently been put to death by the Chinese authorities there ; who alleged that this cold-blooded set had been perpetrated by order of the Emperor. He had obtained positive proof, he says, that those commands "were drawn from his Imperial Majesty by the gross and merciless misrepresentations of the local authorities in Formosa ; who, with the object of personal aggran- dizement, basely and falsely reported to the Cabinet at Pekin that both the ship Nerbadda, and subsequently the brig Ann, had gone to that island with hostile intentions ; an assertion not more lying and false than manifestly absurd, since neither of those vessels were ships of war, or had, when wrecked, any troops or other fighting-men on board of them." Sir Henry goes on to say, that he was resolved to demand from the Emperor that the Weal authorities should be degraded and condignly punished, and that their property should be confiscated, and the proceeds handed over to the officers of the British Government for the relief and support of the ihmilies of those who had been thus
Mercilessly put to death. A threat of renewed hostilities was held out in case the demand should not be complied with. In another proclamation, the Plenipotentiary gave a more detailed account ; from which it appears, that on reaching shore, the crew of the Ann were seized, " stripped, and marched some distance without a particle of covering, exposed to a cutting north-wind. Two men died from cold, and several others dropped from the same cause and fatigue ; and were carried on in baskets to the capital, (about ninety miles from the spot were the brig was wrecked,) where they were separated into small parties, and put into distinct prisons in irons." Those who did not die of starvation were beheaded about August last. The treatment of the other crew was rather more summary and less elaborately cruel.
The Plenipotentiary proceeded to Hong-kong ; where new embarrass- ments awaited him. A formidable riot occurred at Canton on the 7th of December. The crews of some ships, principally Lascars, had been allowed to go on shore about nine or ten o'clock in the morning ; and their irregular conduct provoked an attack from the natives ; who had, it is said, previously been excited by an anti-British party in Canton. The Lascars retreated towards the British factory ; to which the attack was transferred. In the afternoon, the English and American ladies were sent to Mingqua's factory ; that merchant politely sending chairs for them. From the terrace of that building they witnessed the scene of riot. Early in the evening, the mob set fire to the English flag-staff, and the flames soon spread to the factory. The Eastern factories were burned : the Western were saved by the current of the air ; which, ' though light, tended to drive the flames in the opposite direction. To- wards dawn, there was a lull in the commotion ; and the ladies were sent, in Mingqua's boat, with a large escort, down to Whampoa. The apine of the mob was renewed in the morning— "A strong body of soldiers at length appeared at about noon, and cleared the square of the lawless fellows who had been more than twenty-four hours in possession of it. It was pleasant to sally forth again, and we went down to the seat of the conflict ; where five dead bodies of the Chinese, torn and bloody, showed that some at least had not escaped to run riot again. Numbers of wretches soon came creeping from the burning embers, evidently thieves; yet we saw none apprehended ; the officers seemed content to scatter them."
About the same time, arrived the steamer Proserpine, with Sir Hugh aough on board ; and the rioting ceased.
The merchants immediately began a correspondence with Sir Hugh and Sir Henry Pottinger. Sir Hugh agreed, at their request, to leave the steamer at anchor off the factory. Sir Henry was less compliant. In their letter dated the 13th December, they assert—first, that the dis- turbance originated in a preconeerted plan ; second, that it would have taken place sooner or later without the immediately-exciting cause of an affray between certain Lascars and the Chinese ; third, that the local authorities were either unable or unwilling to afford the necessary pro- tection; and fourth, that there was a spirit of hostility towards the English among certain classes in Canton, who guided and influenced the rabble in their operations. They proceed to observe, that it was not possible to carry on commercial pursuits at Canton except by actual -...,, residence ; adding, that their withdrawal would throw the trade into \ , the hands of Americans and others, who were not likely to suffer from at hostile feelings of the Chinese ; and they conclude by requesting that !he Plenipotentiary would move the naval and military, -com• manders-i -chief to place such a force for their defence and protection in Canton as might seem expedient. Sir Henry not only declined to do so, b4 administered a sharp rebuke ; touching upon their assertions categoric ly- " Wit respect to the first point, I am obliged to distinctly avow, that no single fa has come to my knowledge that authorizes me to concur in the opinion/you you have expressed on it. On the contrary, the accounts that have resale less t 170,) bad been allowed to go up to Canton on leave, from the ship a me show, that a large body of Lascare, (Sir Hugh Gough states no n Fort William and other vessels, without any apparent control or any person to look after them : that they had been fighting the whole day with the Chinese, whom they drove back and kept in check until towards the evening ; when the Chinese assembled in large bodies and overpow ered the Lascars who were in their turn driven back, and allowed to take refuge in one of die bongs that was subsequently burned ; and that only then the attack on the buildings com- menced."
The second point, that the disturbance would have arisen without the conflict with the sailors, he says, is based merely on surmise. The insinuated unwillingness of the authorities is in no degree borne out by any of the details stated in the letter, and is totally at variance with in- formation and opinions which he had obtained. The alleged inability \ of the local authorities to afford protection was mere conjecture : "we all know what an unmanageable thing an exasperated mob is, in every part of the world." ' Up to the period of that course of events which terminated in leaving Canton at the mercy of our troops, although the British had endured contumely from the Chinese Government, the mass of the people had always been as civil and well-disposed as Sir Henry had found them ---. -since the peace, in all parts of the empire which he had visited-
/ " It thence follows, that the change which at that time came over the people, ./ and which has gradually led to their present state of exasperation and excite- ment, must have been brought about by ourselves; that is, partly by misma- nagement and partly by ill-treatment ; and I believe both these causes to have had a share in bringing matters to their present crisis.
"The fourth point Is so mixed up with those that precede it, that in exa- mining it, I might repent many of my foregoing observations ; but I will spare you the repetition, and will content myself with asking you, collectively and Individually, whether, with your admitted knowledge of the hostile feelings of certain classes at Canton, coupled with the influence which you declare you believe those classes to be able to exercise over the people, and also bearing in Mind your recorded belief, that sooner or later an outbreak would take place, you, to whom this letter is particularly addressed, as well as all other foreigners, whether subjects of England or not, can stand forward and conscientiously assert that you have studied the complexion of the times—that you have in any single iota or circumstances striven to aid me in my arrangements as the ' humble but zealous instrument of the Government, whose protection has been extended to you in an unparalleled degree, and which, I may add, you are ' always ready to claim and expect—by endeavouring to dissipate and soothe the very excitement and irritation of which you so loudly complain? I may even ask, whether you have not thrown serious difficulties and obstacles, if not posi- tive risk, in the way of the very arrangements and measures which you so earneetlz desire to see perfected, and which, next to the assertion of her Ma- jesty's dignity and honour, have been the leading object of my public actions fox the last eighteen mouths? It is needless to occupy your time and swell this letter by detailing circumstances; but I presume that you will now be ready to allow, that it would have been better had you gone on, as in past times, quietly and unobtrusively with your mercantile pursuits, until it was announced to you that the provisions of the recent treaty were to be moul- dered in full force. Even in the most civilized parts of the globe such a course would have been equally advisable and expedient ; and how much more so do they appear with a jealous, arrogant, and unapproachable government like that of China, which we have for ages allowed, and almost encouraged, to revile and treat us as human beings of a lower grade ?"
He trusts that the necessity of the merchants' removal from Canton will be averted through the measures which he has in view ; but he does not accede to their closing request-
" I must at once, finally, most explicitly, and candidly acquaint you, that no conceivable circumstances should induce me to place her Majesty's Govern- ment in so false and undignified a posture as I should consider it to be placed in were I to send troops and ships of war to Canton in opposition to the request and wishes of the local Government, in order that you might carry on your trade under the protection of such troops and ships of war. Such an arrange- ment, irrespectively of the conclusive objection to it which I adduce above, would inevitably lead to further beartburning, and violence; and its only result must be disappointment, and, in all likelihood, a renewal of hos- tilities between the Governments of England and China,—a calamity which I feel certain you will one and all cordially unite with me in earnestly de- precating." The merchants replied on the 23d. They remark, that their opinion on the spot is at least as good as the reports which reached the Ple- nipotentiary accidently at Hong-kong. The practice of allowing sea- men of all nations to proceed to Canton is of long standing ; and the remedy could not be considered as resting with the British merchants, who had no control. To Sir Henry's question, whether they have ever striven to aid him, they reply thus- " Since your Excellency's arrival in China, nearly a year and a half ago, the letter of the 13th instant is the first and only address which has been submitted to your Excellency by the British merchants, individually or collectively, either seeking for information or asking protection ; your Excellency's proclamation dated the 12th August 1841 distinctly stated, that the mercantile community must carry on their trade at Canton entirely on their own risk and peril : sueh. proclamatim was in some measure indirectly rescinded, by one dated Chusan, 15th November 1842,' which allowed the trade at Canton to continue, although no Government protection was even then actually promised or afforded ; and that during the progress of such trade no protection has directly or indirectly been given or claimed within the port of Canton, at a time when warlike operations and seizures of Chine,e property have been carried on along the whole coast, and even in the Canton river itself. We conceive, therefore, we may be al- lowed in some degree to dissent from the opinion of your Excellmcy, that the protection of the Government has been extended to us in an unparalleled
" We may be allowed further to observe, that none of us are aware of any occasion on which your Excellency has thought it desirable to seek for our opinions or coiiperation in any way; the only information we have received of your Excellency's views or wishes being found in certain proclamations made public during the progress of hostilities : so we can conscientiously assert, that none of us have ever, to our recollection, thrown risk or difficulty in the way of your Excellency."
The writers solemnly deny the charge of ill-treating the Chinese ; and complain that public censure is cast on the foreign merchants gene- rally, "in consequence of outrages assumed to have been occasioned by the acts of a few," and that in "the absence of understood regulations: A letter from Hong-kong, written on the 31st December, throws some further light on this correspondence-
" I may mention to you, that the censure of the Plenipotentiary is merited by the merchants ; who, in smuggling opium and all other kinds of goods at Whampoa and at Canton, have outraged all former precedents, and created much distrust in the minds of the Chinese authorities. Few of the vessels now pay port charges, although the consignees, no doubt, pay it ; and the whole course of proceedings in the Canton river has been and is a disgrace to civilization.
" It is admitted, that, in direct contravention of the Plenipotentiary's autho- rity, ships have been despatched secretly to the new Consular ports."
Sir Hugh Gough, with forty-three transports full of Sepoys, and the frigates Endymion and Dido, arrived, at Singapore, on the 1st of Janu- ary, on the way to India. Several regiments had reached Madras in that month. There were, however, more than twenty British vessels of war with five steamers remaining on the Chinese coast. The land-forge then consisted principally of about 6,000 European troops, most of them living in the garrisons of the still occupied places.
In the earthquake which visited the West Indies on the 8th February, the French colonists suffered far more than the English. The worst fears entertaioed at St. Thomas respecting the fate of Guadeloupe are more than confirmed by the reports in the French papers ; though net mention is made of any volcanic eruption, which the master of an English vessel thought he saw in passing. " Pointe-i-Pitre," says Gover- nor Gourbeyre, in a report from Buse Terre to the French Govern- ment, "no longer exists." He proceeded on horseback to the place, and made another report, which we subjoin.
" Poiute it-Pitre, gib February, Three o'clock; " Pointe4.-Pitre is entirely destroyed. What was spared by the earthquake has since perished by fire, which burst out a few minutes after the houses fell. I am writing in the midst of the ruins of this unfortunate city, in presence of a population without food and without asylum' in the midst of the wounded, of whom the number is considerable (it is said from 1,500 to 1,800!) The dead are still under the rains, and their number is calculated at several thousands. The fire is still raging. "All the quarters of the colony have suffered. The town of Moule has been destroyed, and thirty persons are dead. The small towns of St. Francos, St. Anne, Port Louis, Bertrand, and St. Rose, have been overturned ; and in all there are dead and wounded. I implore in favour of the inhabitants of .Guads- loupe, that inexhaustible goodness which from the Throne pours forth so many benefits ! I implore all France to stretch forth an aiding hand to us, as she has already done to Martinique. She will not abandon this population, entirely French, nor leave to wretchedness the widows and orphans whom this terrible disaster has overwhelmed. I shall speedily send you such details as I shall be able to collect. I fear that the sugar-crop will be lost, for the mills are all destroyed. Famine stares us in the face; prompt succour is absolutely neces-
sary. Joinville has much suffered ; Petit-Bourg is destroyed. ; • •
" GOURBEYRE, Governor."
A letter from Pointe-it-Pitre, dated the 9th, says-
" All was overturned, except the wooden houses. Immediately after the shock, fires broke out in 200 or 300 places together, and totally consumed the houses. At present the flames are playing °vet the remaint ; and in the whole
o f the town, which contained 16,000 souls, tlwre are not ten houses inhabitable.
* * * The number or wounded is exceedingly great. 1Vomen and young girls may be seen with two or three limbs fractured. The scene is a hundred 'times snore horrible than afield of battle."
A letter from Martinique, dated the 14th, adds some particulars-
., The best built, and consequently the richest quarter of' the town, has suf- fered most ; and it is said that the elite of the inhabitants have perished. We arc told, that at the moment of the earthquake, upwards of 200 people were assembled at the Café Americain, to witness the drawing of a lottery for a small vessel, and none escaped. Some wretches took advantage of the dire con- fusion to plunder. At first, they were said to be Negroes, led on by a man of 'Colour: but this it has since appeared was an error. and that the unfeeling rob- bers were all sailors, some say Americans, beaded by their captain ; all of whom have been arrested, and confined in the hold of some ship."
Many were burned alive in the hospital. After all was over, the -number of dead made the town pestilential, and the survivors fled. Besse Terre was also much injured. Several buildings fell, and others were so damaged as to be uninhabitable. One letter says, The colony is ruined, but the fortitude of the Creoles is great ; no person is borne down by the blow."
The inhabitants of Martinique escaped with little more than a fright ; and they bestirred themselves to aid those in the sister island. On the --9th, the Governor, M. Duval d'Ailly, sent a steamer, laden with stores, linen, medicine, and several surgeons ; the inhabitants St. Pierre sent their quota of similar supplies ; and Admiral de Moges, the Commander on the station, sailed for Guadeloupe to share with the destitute the provisions of his squadron.
The mail-steamer Acadia, which left Boston on the 1st instant, brings New York papers to the 28th February.
A letter from Mr. Everett had been read in the Senate expressing surprise at Robert Peel's statement in the House of Commons that England did not by the Ashburton treaty give up the right of visitation. Mr. Benton and Mr. Allen, two warlike Senators, delivered some rather extravagant remarks, proposing altogether to set the treaty aside ; and they made motions which had for their object the refusal of means to carry out the part of the treaty relating to the cruising force on the West coast of Africa. They were opposed by Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Crit- tenden, and others; and the motions were successively rejected, by 36 to 5 and 36 to 4.
Besides the Senatorial bill for the settlement of the Oregon Terri- tory, a Select Committee of the House had reported another bill on the subject ; being a bill to authorize" measures for the occupation and settlement of the Oregon Territory, and for extending the laws of the United States over the same." This bill had been read twice, and re- ferred to the Committee of the whole House.
A land-slip had taken place at Troy : ten dwellings were buried be- neath the ruins ; fifteen men, women, and children, were taken out of them dead, and seventeen seriously maimed.
Intelligence from Canada, to the 22d of February, announces a sur- prising change in the health of Sir Charles Baeot. On the evening of the 11th, his life was despaired of. On the Sunday, he was seized with violent vomiting ; which at once relieved him, and disclosed the fact, that his disease of the chest was not dropsy, but an abscess, which had burst. From that time the bulletins down to the 22d indicate a gradual improvement.
A vessel arrived at New York from Hayti, had brought intelligence that an insurrection had broken out in the Southern part of the island, to make the Government more republican, but it had been suppressed.
Letters had been received from the American Consul at Tahiti, one -of the Society Islands, dated September 11th, which stated that the French Admiral, Dupetit Thouars, arrived there on the 8th, and made a demand on the Tahitans of the sum of 10,000 dollars, in reparation for abuses, and as a guarantee for their future adherence to the treaties. A negotiation was commenced, which ended in the surrender of the island to France. The Reine Blanche was at Tahiti.
The intelligence of the terrible earthquake at Guadeloupe was the signal for instant efforts in France to send assistance to the sufferers. The Government had appointed a committee under the Presidency of Vice-Admiral Baron Mackau, for the purpose of receiving and forward- ing the subscriptions. The King and the Royal Family had subscribed 42,000 francs. A pastoral letter of the Archbishop of Paris was read on Sunday in all the churches of the capital, ordering a collection during high mass on Sunday next. All the theatres of Paris were to give benefits in favour of the inhabitants of Pointe-A-Pitre ; and subscrip- tions were to be opened in every company of the National Guard.
Advices from Constantinople, of the 22d February, announce the de- tection of a conspiracy in Belgrade, having for its object the assassina- tion of Prince Alexander, the new ruler of Servia, and his Ministers. The conspirators, who have been seized, assert that they have acted at the direct instigation of the Russian Consul ; and the Princess Lu- bitzkzt, the mother of Prince Michael, is also accused of being im- plicated. The Government of Servia has, it is added, removed from Belgrade to Cracowitz.