The album of 90 photographs documents
the information gathering mission from Leh, India to Yarkand (Shache) China led by Sir T. D.
Forsyth in 1873. The photographs portray the southern branch of the Silk Road and its
routes, and are the first photographic record made of the indigenous inhabitants of Chinese
The British army officer and geographer, Edward Francis Chapman (1840-1926), was
commissioned into the Bengal Artillery (later Royal Artillery) in 1858. He saw service in
Abyssinia, Arogee and Magdala before accompanying Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth on his
six-month mission to Yarkand in 1873. Prior to their departure Chapman took a compressed
course in photography at the Bourne & Shepherd studio in Shimla, India. Chapman rose
through the military, becoming Commander-in-Chief of India in 1881 and its Quarter-master
General in 1885. In 1896 he achieved the rank of general and was made Commander Scottish
District. He was awarded Knight Commander of the order of the Bath (KCB) in 1905. Chapman
authored several books on military tactics and military history.
2 Linear Feet
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