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Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1
Page 428
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Wilson, Charles William, Sir. Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 428. 1881. Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 5, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2637.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Wilson, Charles William, Sir. (1881). Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 428. Exotic Impressions, Views of Foreign Lands. Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2637

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Wilson, Charles William, Sir, Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 428, 1881, Exotic Impressions, Views of Foreign Lands, Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 5, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2637.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Wilson, Charles William, Sir
Publisher D. Appleton and Company
Date 1881
Description Index: Introduction / by the Very Rev. Dean Stanley -- Jerusalem / by Col. Wilson -- Bethlehem and the north of Judaea / by the Rev. Canon Tristram -- The mountains of Judah and Ephraim / by Lieut. Conder -- Samaria and the Plain of Esdraelon / by Miss E. Rogers -- Esdraelon and Nazareth / by the Rev. Canon Tristram -- Galilee, Northern Galilee, Caesarea Philippi and the highlands of Galilee, Mount Hermon and its temples / by the Rev. Dr. S. Merrill -- Damascus / by the Rev. Dr. P. Schaff -- Palmyra, The Wady Barada, Ba'albek / by the Rev. S. Jessup.
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Egypt
  • Palestine
  • Sinai Peninsula
Genre (AAT)
  • books
  • illustrations (layout features)
  • plates (illustrations)
  • maps (documents)
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location DS107 .W73 v. 1
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b1703789~S11
Digital Collection Exotic Impressions: Views of Foreign Lands
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic
Repository Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/william-r-jenkins-architecture-art-library
Use and Reproduction No Copyright - United States
Identifier exotic_201304_014
Item Description
Title Page 428
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name exotic_201304_014_448.jpg
Transcript 428 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE. The government at Constantinople is supposed to bear the expense of the yearly present to Mecca; but urgent calls for money in other directions have thrown the burden largely upon Damascus. The yearly cost to Damascus of the caravan is about ,£40,000. In 1876 it was ,£42,575; and in 1877 £o9>°91- Isaiah spoke of " the burden of Damascus" (xvii. 1). This language would be appropriate if used with reference to the present financial condition of this ancient city. The expenses connected with the Haj form only one of its burdens. In 1873 and 1874 the fifth army corps, numbering twenty-two thousand men, was quartered in Syria, and had to be provided for entirely by this district. This is mentioned as a sample, since it bears a similar burden continuously. It supports also a police force of four thousand men. Furthermore, there is an army of officials employed in the civil branches of the government who have in some way to be supported. To crown all, the home government sometimes demands more money than the entire revenue of the'city. An illustration of the management of affairs in Syria is furnished by the official estimate for the revenue of the Damascus district in the year 1873, which was £"2,381,255, while the actual amount received was only ,£629,337. Considering all the facts, the statement will occasion no surprise that the debt of the city increases year by year. In 1872 the debt of Damascus was ,£350,000, which amount, in two years from that date, or in 1874, had actually doubled, all of which bore a compound interest of 18 per cent. In this district agriculture is the chief source of revenue ; but those who have watched the progress of affairs under the present government for a series of years testify that " not only is the zone of agriculture in the valleys of the Anti-Lebanon yearly contracting to a most alarming extent, but the inhabitants are also fast disappearing." The farmer is pressed for taxes until he is obliged to mortgage his crops or his land for money, on which he pays an exorbitant interest. When the year comes round he has obtained no relief, and is in no better condition to meet the inevitable and inexorable demands of the government. A new loan is effected, but on more ruinous terms than before. At last, in despair, he takes refuge in flight. In this manner, and on this account, the inhabitants of an entire village sometimes disappear in a single night. Such cases are not unfrequent. One sees north and south of Damascus, and elsewhere in Syria as well, many abandoned villages; but unless one is familiar with the facts, he might not perhaps suspect that this depopulation was due far more to the usurer and tax-gatherer than to the wild Arabs to whom it is usually attributed. It may be of interest to mention further that all such accounts, especially arrears of taxes, are kept open, and even if the land should be tilled by strangers, the fruits of their labour would be seized to fulfil obligations said to have been incurred by the soil in times past. If the Turkish Government, instead of practically robbing its own people, would help them to develop the resources of the country, the revenues would soon be more than ample for all its needs. Thus, while Damascus has an antiquity before which we stand amazedj and a long history that is at once thrilling and brilliant, the present condition of the city and its inhabitants is such as to call forth the deepest sympathy from the civilised world.