Towards The End Of The 18th Century The British Rulers Of India Were Looked For A Suitable Site Where They Could Set Up A Penal Settlement Of Colony For Convicts, Found Guilty Of Most Heinous Efforts By Judges Of The Continent Of India. The Suitability Of Andaman Islands For The Purpose Was Left To The Discretion Of Two Outstanding Explorers-Captain Blair One Of The Early Hydrographers Of The East India Company And Col. Colebrook, Then The Surveyor General Of India. On Their Recommendation The First Settlement Was Set Up In The Andamans At Port Blair. This However Was Abolished In 1796. In The Year 1857, The Then Governor-General, Lord Canning (In History) Known As Clemency Canning) Ordered A Fresh Expedition To The Andamans Under His Close Friend, Frederic J. Mouat, Inspector Of Indian Jails, Who Is The Author Of This Volume. The Author Set Sail For The Island In A Large Steamer Pluto A Ship Of Royal Navy., Accompanied By A Complement Of Officers, A Large Native Crew And Twelve Europeans, Duly Equipped With Sufficient Provisions And Armaments. Mr. Mount Made A Most Detailed Survey Of The Entire Group Of Islands And Came To The Ultimate Conclusion That Port Blair, Was The Only Appropriate Place For An Ideal Convict Settlement. A New Land-Locked Harbour, Which Was Later Christened By Lord Canning As Port Mouat, Was Discovered By The Author. The Author Has Left A Most Interesting Account Of The Aboriginal Inhabitants Of These Islands Which Is Unrivalled As One Of The Most Authentic Books Ever Written On The Andaman Islands And Their Natives.
Born at maidstone in 1816 into a family of army surgeons, Dr. FREDERIC JOHN MOUAT (1816-1897) was educated at universities in London, Paris. He was trained at University College, London, qualifying Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1838. He received his MD at Edinburgh in 1839 and entered the Indian Medical Service (Bengal) in 1840. He had spent 30 Years in india, where he was a leading figure in the field of education and prison reform. Dr. Mouat made an impressive academic career: Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica at the Bengal Medical College (1841-1845), of Medical Jurisprudence (1841-1849), of Medicine and Clinical Medicine (1849-1853). In 1853 he became first Physician to the Medical College Hospital at Calcutta and in 1855 Inspector-General of Jails of the Lower Provinces. His interest in furthering contact between British and Indian people in 1851 lead him to found the Bethune Society "for closer cooperation between educated natives and Europeans" During retirement in England Dr. Mouat kept himself busy as Medical Inspector of Local Government Boards (1870-1887) and as President of the Royal Statistical Society (1890-1892). He died in London on 12th January 1897 leaving a widow and four stepchildren.
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