LOW, Captain James (1791-1852)
A Dissertation on the Soil & Agriculture of the British Settlement of Penang, or Prince of Wales Island, in the Straits of Malacca; including Province Wellesley on the Malayan Peninsula. With Brief References to the Settlements of Singapore & Malacca, and accompanied by incidental observations on various subjects of local interest in these straits
Singapore: Printed at the Singapore Free Press Office, 1836. Large octavo. (9 7/8 x 6 inches). v, 321, errata leaf. Two hand-colored folding lithographic plates printed in Calcutta by J.B. Tassin (tears mended on versos). Presentation copy.
Original cloth backed. Blue paper boards.
Rare Singapore publication, presentation copy inscribed on title page, "James Low, from his cousin the author, Cal: 1836."
Captain James Low was one of the first Europeans to visit the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand, stretching from Phuket to the Malaysian border, as part of his mission as an officer of the English East India Company based at Penang. Born on April 4, 1791, in Scotland, Low graduated from Edinburgh College and started his career in 1812 with a cadetship in the East India Company's Madras Army in 1812. By January of 1819, Low moved to the East India Company's settlement in Penang and spent the rest of his career in and around the Straits of Malacca, where he learned the languages of Malay and Thai. Low was a pioneer in the study of Thai language, literature, and art as a Westerner and he published several articles and books on the Thai language, history of Siam, and Thai Buddist art, law, and society.