Auction Date: 26/11/2014 at 01pm
India – History of the Sikhs by Cunningham first Edition 1849. 427 pages complete with 2 maps ex Haverhill Library copy complete with Library book plate dated 1875. A history of the Sikhs from the Origin of the Nation to the Battles of the Sutlej by Joseph Davey Cunningham late Captain of Engineering in the Indian Army. Joseph Cunningham spent many years in the Punjab and was witness to the Anglo-Sikh wars. A History of the Sikhs from the Origin of the Nation to the Battles of the Sutlej by Cunningham is generally recognized as the first serious and sympathetic account of the Sikh people written by a foreigner. Cunningham had spent considerable time and studied the available Sikh scriptures. The first four chapters cover the history of the Sikhs from its beginning to 1764. He traced the growth to their religious faith which he inferred was the main motive force of their history. He felt that Sikhism appeared at a time in India when the historical situation needed it the most. The last five chapters covered a period of which Cunningham was himself a witness. He made use of official and secret records of the government of the East India Company for these chapters. A large part of these five chapters dealt with Maharajah Ranjit Singh's rise to power his achievements and relations with the British. The last chapter “The War with the English” was a criticism of Governor-General Lord Hardinge who as per Cunningham had precipitated the war. According to Cunningham the British won the war but could have lost it. An important work on the Sikhs.