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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Sidenote Affair of Quallah Buteau In America


The

most formidable revolt of the year was that of Mehemet Ali, the Viceroy of Egypt, against his suzerain, Sultan Mahmoud of Turkey. The disappointing results of Egypt's participation in Turkey's war in Greece left Mehemet Ali dissatisfied. He considered the acquisition of Crete by Egypt but a poor recompense for the loss of his fleet at Navarino.

[Sidenote: Mehemet Ali's revolt]

[Sidenote: Siege of Acre]

[Sidenote: Turkish reverses]

[Sidenote: Russian intervention]

A quarrel with the Pasha of Acre, Abdallah, gave Mehemet Ali a chance for Egyptian aggrandizement in that direction. Egyptian forces under the command of Mehemet Ali's adopted son Ibrahim marched into Palestine and laid siege to Acre. That stronghold resisted with the same stubbornness that Bonaparte had encountered years before. The protracted struggle there gave the Sultan time to prepare an expedition wherewith to intervene between his warring vassals. He took the part of the Pasha of Acre. A proclamation was issued declaring Mehemet Ali and his son rebels. A Turkish army under Hussain Pasha entered Syria. The fall of Acre, while the relieving army was still near Antioch, enabled Ibrahim to throw his full force against the Turks. In the valley of the Orontes the two forces met. The Turkish vanguard was routed and the Turkish main column fell back

on Aleppo, leaving Antioch and all the surrounding country to the Egyptians. The Pasha of Aleppo, won over by Mehemet Ali, closed the gates of his city against Hussain's disordered forces. The Turks retreated into the mountains between Syria and Cilicia. The Egyptians pursued. At the pass of Beilan a stand was made by Hussain. The fierce mountain tribes turned against him, and with their help Ibrahim won a signal victory over the Turks, on July 29. The retreat continued through Cilicia far into Asia Minor. After several months a new Turkish army under Reshid Pasha, Ibrahim's colleague in the siege of Missolonghi, advanced from the north. A pitched battle was fought at Konieh on the 21st of December. The Turks were utterly routed. The army was dispersed and Reshid himself was made a prisoner. The road to Constantinople now lay open to Mehemet Ali. Sultan Mahmoud was so alarmed that he turned to his old adversary, Russia, for help. General Muravieff was summoned to Constantinople and was empowered to make terms for Turkey with Mehemet Ali.

[Sidenote: Affair of Quallah Buteau]

In America, likewise, President Jackson had found it necessary to assert the rights of the United States by means of a punitive expedition. This grew out of the affair of Quallah Buteau on the Island of Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies. The American ship "Friendship" had put in there during the previous year to load with pepper. The captain, whose men were on shore, permitted the crew of a Malay boat to come on board. There was not a sign of danger, when suddenly the Malays attacked the Americans, killing the first officer and two sailors and plundering the vessel. They then tried to beach the vessel, but two other American ships compelled the Malays to flee. The Rajah of Quallah Buteau appropriated the plunder and refused to return it. Commodore Downs, with the frigate "Potomac," was ordered to Sumatra. He reached there early in February. Finding that nothing could be accomplished by peaceful means he landed two hundred and fifty of his sailors under command of Lieutenant Shubrick. The Malays refused to give or receive quarter. Their palisades were torn down and turned into a bridge, and the fort was stormed. The Stars and Stripes were hoisted. Another fort with its magazines was blown up. The town was occupied. In all one hundred and fifty Malays were killed and wounded, among them the Rajah. The total loss of the Americans was two men. The offending town was razed.


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