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date: 26 March 2019

Egyptian‐Sudanese Trade in the Ottoman Period to 1882

Summary and Keywords

Egypt’s trade in the Ottoman period with the Sudanic kingdoms to its south waxed and waned according to political conditions at either end of its trade routes. During the 16th and 17th centuries, powerful kingdoms developed in the area of Sinnar (near modern-day Khartoum) and to the west in the area of Darfur. The trade route connecting western Sudan to Egypt, known as the Forty Days Road, was ancient, probably dating to the Pharaonic period, but it experienced a remarkable revival in the 17th century when the Keira sultans of Darfur consolidated their rule in western Sudan and engaged in trade with Egypt in order to obtain luxury goods. In the following two centuries, trade between Egypt, Sinnar, and Darfur flourished, the pattern being that Egyptian, Syrian, and European-made goods were exchanged primarily for Sudanic exports of slaves, ivory, ostrich feathers, and livestock. Sudanese merchants, known as jallaba, came to Egypt and Egyptians settled in the Sudan as a result of these developments. Asyut was the town in Upper Egypt chiefly benefiting from the revival of the caravan trade, but the primary trade destination was Cairo, whence most merchants went.

In 1820, the Egyptians invaded the Sudan and trade between the two countries fell under a different set of rules and regulations. Initially monopolized by the government, items in the trade began to be sold by individual traders, and after 1839, when the Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt, was forced to withdraw from lands his army had conquered in Arabia and the Levant, European free enterprise soon became a major economic force in the Nile Valley. For a brief period, between 1845 and 1860, Egyptian middlemen, working closely with jallaba, profited richly from the Sudan trade, the city of Asyut prospered, but eventually they fell victim to European economic domination.

Keywords: Asyut, Cairo, caravan trade, jallaba, Khabir, Sudan, Bilad as-Sudan, Darb al-arba’in, Darfur, slave trade, Nile cargo, promissory notes (IOUs), credit

Introduction to Ottoman Period

Trade between Egypt and Sudan, the regions to the south known in the 18th century as “the lands of the Blacks” (bilad as-Sudan or bar as-Sudan), is of ancient date and waxed and waned in accordance with the political situation on both ends of the trade routes. Individuals and groups of individuals organized into caravans to cross the rugged, mostly desert terrain between the two areas, spurred by motivations of an exchange of goods and by the need to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca and to pray at the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. Caravan parties, often armed and accompanied by guards, offered protection against marauding parties, whereas travel via the River Nile, while seemingly more accessible and less arduous, was frequently hindered by unsettled political conditions among the riverine peoples.

It has often and justly been stated that the Sahara posed no real barrier to the exchange of people and ideas. In Egypt, however, the knowledge of peoples and political organizations on the other side of the Sahara by ordinary people remained restricted except among those who read the encyclopedists, such as the Egyptian al-Qalqashandi, or with the travel accounts left by the North African Ibn Battuta and the Spaniard Leo Africanus. Nonetheless, documents in the religious courts of Ottoman period Cairo make it clear that specific places and towns, such as Sinnar, Katsina, and especially Timbuktu, were known and visited by long-distance merchants of Egyptian or Maghribi origin who traveled to “distant Sudan” seeking slaves, gold, and other goods. In the late 16th and into the 18th century, Wadai (now known as Chad) and Darfur, two new kingdoms in the eastern Sudan, also began to be mentioned, and even areas within the kingdom of Darfur such as Fazara and Kordofan found their way into these texts. Thus, people who wished to know about the interior parts of Africa would go to the caravansaries of the long-distance merchants or to al-Azhar where they could find students and pilgrims knowledgeable about these lands.1

The Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517 coincided more or less with the rise of the Funj sultanate in Sinnar (founded 1504), but for much of that century the millennia-old frontier of Egypt with Sudan remained at Aswan. In the 1550s, the Ottomans began to move southward, and Ibrim, in Egyptian Nubia, was made a province of the empire; forts were built as far south as Sai, on the Nile above Old Dongola. Trade, particularly in slaves and luxury goods, carried on as usual, and there is evidence that the Ottoman governors and local shaykhs and kashifs (authorities, deputies, who were often Nubians) cooperated in facilitating it. The situation was fluid, and for that reason, the caravan route called the darb al-arba’in [Forty Days Road], which originated in Darfur, became the road traders most often traveled to reach Egypt. Travelers from Sinnar would leave the valley in the area of Hannak and move west to join the darb al-arba’in at the oasis of Salima. The road then stretched northward across the small oases of Bir Natrun, Salima, and al-Shab before reaching Kharja oasis and thence east into the Nile Valley (see figure 1).2

Egyptian‐Sudanese Trade in the Ottoman Period to 1882Click to view larger

Figure 1. Map of caravan routes between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan. Redrawn from Terry Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 1700-1820 (Cairo: Institut Francais d’Archeologie Orientale du Caire, 1978), 5.

Thus, at the end of the 17th century, when non-Egyptians, North Africans, or Europeans wanted to travel into the Sudan to reach the kingdoms of the south or the fabled kingdom of Prester John (Ethiopia), they made their way to Egypt and to the cities along the Nile where the caravans from the south debouched after their long treks across the desert. In the late medieval and early Ottoman periods, those towns were al-Minsha, Farshut, or Manfalut, but by the end of the 17th century, Asyut emerged as the depot on which caravans converged, leaving their camels to graze in villages such as Bani `Adi, on the western edge of the Nile Valley during the months they stayed in Egypt so that they could fatten up before returning to Sudan.

When conditions along the Nile permitted, a more direct route was followed by merchants from Sinnar, coming northward through the desert to the town north of Aswan called Daraw. This route was described by the French during the occupation of Egypt (1798–1801), and it was from Daraw that the Swiss traveler John Lewis Burckhardt traveled to the Sudan in 1813.3

There was a third route connecting Egypt to Sudanic Africa. It entered Egypt from the west and drew sultans, merchants, and pilgrims from a vast area of western Sudan stretching from ancient Mali to Bornu in what is now northeast Nigeria. These caravans, often richly laden with the gold of Takrur and slaves from a wide regional pool, wound through the Sahara to the Libyan oases and thence east through Awjila and Siwa oases, stopping at the Egyptian villages in the neighborhood of the Pyramids west of Cairo. Often they would join the Maghribi hajj caravans coming from Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.4

Later Ottoman Period: 18th Century

It is in the 18th century that the trade of Egypt with precolonial Sudan took on the character it maintained for the following century and a half. In the east, the Funj sultans had already established relations with the north, and during the 18th century the new Keira dynasty of sultans further to the west in Darfur consolidated its control by encouraging caravan trade along the darb al-arba’in. These two kingdoms became the prime suppliers of Sudan goods to Egypt. In both cases, the caravans were often led by prominent personalities, sometimes coming to Egypt on diplomatic missions, accompanying the sultan’s merchandise or leading groups of pilgrims and other merchants. Traders following this route from Sudan were called jallaba (sing. jallab) and came from a mixture of ethnic backgrounds. There were riverine Sudanese peoples of Nubian-Arab background (Danaqla, Ja’aliyyin) who hailed from a variety of towns along the northern Sudanese section of the Nile including Dongola, Argo, Mahas, Khandaq, and Sinnar; there were Egyptians from the towns and villages of Upper Egypt—Asyut, Tahta, Akhmim, Bani `Adi, and al-Taytil (both near Manfalut)—as well as Orthodox Christian Syrians (whose place-names are not always given but identified as al-Nasrani al-Ya`qubi [Jacobites]), North Africans (Maghariba), and members of the Hawwara Bedouin tribe whose leaders emerged as de facto rulers of Upper Egypt during the late 17th to the mid-18th century. The jallaba brought slaves, ivory, ostrich feathers, tamarind, rhinoceros horn, gum, senna, hides, and camels from the Sudan which were exchanged for Egyptian and foreign-made textiles, beads, metals, armaments (including coats of mail), spices, and other luxury items. Of the trade goods from eastern Sudan, slaves were the most important, since they were in steady demand in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. In Darfur, officially sanctioned raiding expeditions were sent out by the sultan to capture slaves, not only to bolster his household and those of his family, but also because of their great exchange value in Egypt. Of goods taken back to Sudan, textiles were the most eagerly sought, amounting to more than 50 percent of the trade, according to French sources at the end of the 18th century.5

The jallaba usually made contracts with Egyptian merchants, eager to profit from the trade in slaves, feathers, ivory, and gold. Hundreds if not thousands of contracts are recorded in the religious court records of Cairo, and others are mentioned in merchants’ account books. In the 16th century, several generations of one Egyptian family of merchants named al-Tahtawi, originally from the village of Tahta in Upper Egypt south of Asyut, entered into numerous contracts with jallaba traveling to bar as-Sudan; in the 17th century, other merchants such as Ahmad Muhammad “Kahlilha” al-Manfaluti (d. 1716) (from Manfalut), Muhammad Uthman al-Sunayli (d. 1698), probably from Bani `Adi, Ibrahim Madkur “al-Jallab” (d. 1671), and Salih `Abd al-Munim al-Bisatti (d. 1640) left substantial estates, indicating they were heavily involved in the Sudan trade.6 Other Cairo trading groups, such as North Africans from Fez and Tunis, were prominent in the trade of western Sudan, often traveling as far as Timbuktu to import gold and sell goods from the east.7 The most common contracts took the form of simple IOUs (tamassuk) and legal loans (qard shar`i) and were registered in the religious courts in the standard fashion, with witnesses and guarantors in most cases.8 The terms offered were usually for a six-month period of time, but in fact time limits were pro forma, since jallaba usually look many more months before returning to Cairo with the slaves, feathers, or other goods stipulated in their contracts. Other loans were drawn up as partnerships, usually split fifty-fifty; that is, two local merchants each contributed half of the capital, which they then lent to the jallab, or in some cases goods were invested with the jallab who contributed his labor as capital and promised to return with a specified amount of “Sudan goods” saleable in Egypt. More specific details of these arrangements are clear in a study of the Asyut-based al-Jawhari merchant family archive dating from the mid-19th century (see “Asyut in Its Commercial Heyday and Innovations in Commercial Practice”).9

It is most probably during this period that a number of Egyptians from Upper Egypt settled in both Sinnar and Darfur. Theodore Krump, who reached the capital of Sinnar in May 1701, commented on the multinational group seen in the marketplace, including Egyptians who ran to greet him.10 To the west, Sultan Muhammad Tayrab (r. 1752/3–1785/6) welcomed in Darfur not only traders among the Danaqla and Ja’aliyyin who had contacts with the north but also a number of Egyptian merchants from Asyut and elsewhere, such as the al-Jayyar and the al-Khatib families of Asyut and the surrounding area. It was the al-Khatibs who extended hospitality to William Browne, the English traveler in Darfur (1792–1796), who remained a mainstay in the caravan trade up to the middle of the 19th century.11 They and the al-Jayyars were frequently in Cairo accompanying khabirs and Darfur merchants and going to the courts to register a variety of documents during their stay. The 1848 census shows that the al-Jayyar family still had members living in Asyut as well as “being absent” (i.e., resident) in Darfur.12 Charles Cuny, the French doctor living in Asyut who befriended the jallaba and wrote an authoritative article on the caravan trade of the city in 1854, mentions that the Coptic Christian Shinuda family, who were prominent in the Sudan trade, had been invited by the ruler of Darfur to send a son to live there.13 The story confirms the close ties that existed by this time between the merchant communities in Darfur and Asyut, which the correspondence of the al-Jawhari family with leading Darfur merchants amply demonstrates.

Wikalat al-Jallaba, the Central Market for Sudanese Goods in Cairo

During the Ottoman period, the ultimate destination of Sudan trade merchants was the great caravansary in the heart of Cairo called Wikalat al-Jallaba, wikala being the Egyptian variant of khan, or funduq. It was a large building complex near al-Azhar Mosque and Khan al-Khalili that was known chiefly as the market for the sale of “black” (i.e., Sudanese and Abyssinian) slaves.14 Goods were brought into the center of the market and displayed; store rooms could be rented or purchased for the safekeeping of merchandise, and upper floor chambers were available for merchants to rent or purchase as private quarters if they worked in the wikala. A great deal of information on the market is available in the court archives, including the names of merchants and brokers attached to it, prices and conditions of slaves, terms of trade, taxes collected on slave sales, and the operations of the guild within the market. Parts of the building date to the Mamluk period—it was once a palace of one of the Mamluk grandees—but it was renovated in the 17th century and came into its final shape in the course of the 18th as the central market for long-distance merchants from Sudan. By this time, the shaykhs [heads] of the guild of merchants at the market originated in Upper Egypt, indicating the key role played by Upper Egyptians in this particular branch of international trade. The slave trade continued to take place there until 1843 when the market was abruptly closed by the government and the purchase of slaves was transferred to the area of Qaitbey mosque and into private quarters in the nearby Jamaliyya and Bab al-Sha`riyya quarters of Cairo.15

Trading in Slaves, Ivory, Ostrich Feathers, and Other Goods

It is difficult to know how many slaves were brought to Egypt during this period. Estimates run between 1,000 and 5,000 per year. One estimate suggests that during the 18th and 19th centuries, as many as 722,000 people were forcibly migrated to Egypt by all routes from bilad as-Sudan, including the Red Sea, some of whom were re-exported to Turkey and elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean.16

Trading in slaves was governed by the rules of Islamic commercial practice; this meant that if a defect could be found in a slave that would reduce his or her value, then the slave could be returned to the market and the price refunded.17 The religious court records testify to the frequency with which slave purchases were subject to dispute, the result of one “defect” or another being discovered in a slave after the purchase was completed. The majority of slaves brought to Egypt were females and children (usually considered anyone under the age of 15) who had been uprooted from their homes in Sudan, held in camps, and sometimes traded in Sudan multiple times before being forced to walk under duress and in pitiable conditions to Egypt.

Women and girls were primarily used in households as drudges and men and boys were apprenticed to or used by merchants and artisans to work in shops or as assistants. There was a strong belief that the best slaves were aged 14–15; they were called sudasiyin by the jallaba, a term meaning “six spans tall,” measured from heel to earlobe.18 A study of the 1848 census in which all households were enumerated reveals that two-thirds to three-quarters of the slaves in Cairo were female, and that they lived in all parts of the city. Many were freed after a certain period of service or were married and freed by their partners. Surprisingly few had children or had children who survived into adulthood. Up to 10 percent of the trans-Saharan African population in 1848 was in fact freed. After emancipation, ex-slaves tended to continue to live with their former masters, as they had no relations in the city; others took to living with other freed slaves in slums and the poorer sections of towns.19 The overwhelming majority became Muslim, even those who had been enslaved by Christian masters.

Male slaves also served in households, although there was a tendency to train them for service as soldiers. The private armies of the Mamluk grandees in the 18th century enrolled black slaves. Several efforts were made by Egyptian rulers in the course of the 18th century to obtain black males from Darfur to serve as troops, including one by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798–1799 during the French occupation of Egypt (1798–1801); in the 19th century, the Egyptian invasion of the Sudan had as a principal goal the enslavement of black slaves for the new military army that the new ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, was envisioning.20 Of male slaves brought to Egypt, several hundred were castrated, either in Sudan before they were transported to Egypt or by monks in a monastery near Asyut after they arrived; those who survived the operation were sold at high prices in Cairo. They worked in elite households, often managing the affairs and property of wealthy women whom custom forbade leaving the household except if accompanied and protected by eunuchs.21 (In the 19th century, there was an uptick in men used in agricultural work, a consequence of the cotton boom.22)

Slave markets may have existed in all the important towns of Egypt, although relatively little information is known about them. In Asyut, the port of entry for many slaves coming from Darfur, then the chief supplier of slaves to the country, travelers mentioned visiting the “slave market,” but the market may not have been designated as such but rather may have been in a privately owned wikala or perhaps in an area outside the site where the jallaba lived during their sojourn. In the 19th century, it was customary for jallaba to rent rooms in the town for the length of their time in Egypt, and slaves were likely sold out of those quarters (see figure 2); other jallaba bought property in Asyut, an indication that they frequently returned.23

Egyptian‐Sudanese Trade in the Ottoman Period to 1882Click to view larger

Figure 2. The Wikalat al-Jallaba in 1830, the central market in Cairo for Sudan goods (the slave market). From Robert Hay, Illustrations of Cairo (London: Tilt and Bogue, printed by Moyes and Barclay, 1840), plate XXV.

Courtesy Wellcome Images, V0050649.

Other key goods brought by caravan were ivory and ostrich feathers, although information about their buyers in Cairo remains obscure for the period prior to the 19th century. Traditionally, ostrich feathers were sorted into four or five grades, the best variety being white feathers called “swimmers” (`awamma), the poorest being black.24 The jallaba from Darfur knew very well which feathers were most prized, and in the 19th century would indicate their potential value to their correspondents in Asyut.25 The cheaper black feathers had a ready market in Egypt and therefore were the easiest to sell. In the 19th century, the al-Jawhari Papers indicate that Jewish merchants, such as Efraim Arbib, the Freres Cassuta, and the French trader Maximos Sakakini were the most frequent purchasers of their ostrich feathers. The primary market in Europe was Paris, and the trade tended to pass through the Italian port of Livorno.26

In the earlier period, ivory and gum must also have been sold to Europeans, although a smaller portion of ivory would have been consumed in Cairo where it was used for the making of ornaments and inlay for woodworking and furniture. Other goods brought by the jallaba—tamarind, natron, rhinoceros horn, and hides—had local markets. Rhinoceros horn was often used in the making of cups and ornamental sword handles, it being thought by Egyptians that they offered magical powers and warded off evil spirits.27

Organization of Caravans

The organization of caravans was a complicated and time-consuming business requiring considerable advance planning to accommodate as many as 1,000 to 5,000 individuals during an arduous and physically demanding trek.28 Sufficient numbers of camels had to be secured to carry needed supplies of water and provisions and for transporting heavier goods such as ivory and tamarind. Often caravans would be accompanied by a contingent of armed cavalry to protect goods, men, and women brought by the merchants. It was not infrequent for wives to accompany their husbands on these long trips. Slaves did not ride camels across this forbidding terrain but were required to walk; many are thought to have perished during the trek, and the hardships endured were often remembered by slaves for the rest of their lives.29

Chief merchants were appointed leaders of caravans by the sultan and given the title khabir in the pre-19th-century period; the caravans were officially met by officers sent by local governors, and the leaders were given honorary robes called binish (pelisse or cloak) after they entered Egyptian territory. Ceremonial drums were also sounded as they entered into Egyptian (or Sudanese, upon returning) territory.30 Taxes were levied when the caravan reached the outlying oasis of Kharja. Much of the information about this period comes from French sources written during the period of the French occupation.31 The khabir of the caravan may have acted as the sultan’s personal merchant, buying and selling goods on his behalf, and also may have been responsible for relaying diplomatic messages between the rulers of the two areas, Sudan and Egypt.32

More recent information about the khabirs that is found in the al-Jawhari Papers belonging to the 19th-century Asyut family of merchants indicates that the title khabir was given to any merchant who was head of a contingent of traders that formed part of any specific caravan, although one of them may have been acting on behalf of the sultan and thus known as the most important. In the caravan that arrived in Asyut from Darfur in 1847, for example, some 1,358 individuals were enumerated in the Egyptian census then being carried out; six jallaba were given the status khabir, the chief one commanding some 735 free and slave men and women and others as few as 18. Often the khabirs would be required to stand as guarantor for loans taken out by members of their contingents, and they were clearly taken as the most responsible party among any group of jallaba. Merchants—at least in Asyut—would extend credit to a jallab by linking his name on the document recording the transaction through having the khabir sign it as guarantor.33

Newer information indicates that khabirs formed close ties with local Upper Egyptian merchants and sent them messages while still on the road from Darfur asking for loans to pay for customs, for clean clothes to replace the ones they had worn during the march from Darfur, and even for coffee and sweets to tide them over until they reached the city.34 These personal communications and modes of friendship may well have existed in the earlier century although to date we have no evidence to collaborate it. However, the diminishing status of the khabir in the course of the 19th century could well reflect the changing times. As trade increased between Europe and Egypt, and consequently between Egypt and Sudanic kingdoms, more people entered into commerce, and the traditional ways of doing business were transformed.

The 19th Century: Muhammad Ali: Interruptions

Muhammad Ali, the Turkish adventurer who arrived in Egypt at the head of a contingent of Albanian troops to secure Egypt for the Ottoman sultan in the aftermath of the French occupation, consolidated his own power in Egypt in the period from 1805 to 1811 and then reigned until 1848 after establishing his family as the hereditary rulers of the country. He and his son, Ibrahim, pushed southward to Upper Egypt during the period from 1809 onward, eventually ousting the entrenched Mamluks who had sought refuge there. Ibrahim took up quarters in Asyut and, in 1824, it became the capital of Upper Egypt—the seat of the governor general.

Muhammad Ali was called upon to assist the Ottoman ruler in subduing a revolt in Arabia in 1811, and he soon formulated the idea of conquering that part of bilad as-Sudan directly south of Egypt with the aim of forcibly recruiting soldiers for a new army, trained along European lines, and of finding new sources of gold which he believed—mistakenly—to be plentiful in Sudan. The invasion was launched in 1820, and thousands of Sudanese, both men and women, were subsequently enslaved and expatriated to Egypt. Training camps were set up in Farshut and Aswan; other camps were established at new military barracks, one of which was placed near Bani Adi, the terminus of caravans from Darfur, not far from Asyut. The government announced it was taking over the purchase and sale of a wide variety of goods, including slaves and other “Sudan” trade items. One result of these edicts was a halt in the export of slaves from Darfur. However, the monopoly on slaves, having been deemed a failure because so few slaves were exported by the sultan of Darfur, was relinquished in order to restore this traditional avenue of slave labor recruitment. Nonetheless, the new Egyptian rulers in Sudan (known as the Turko-Egyptian regime, since the administration was staffed by Turkish-speaking Egyptians) institutionalized slave raids in the Nuba Mountains and later in the southern territories inhabited by Dinka and Nuer. The raids brought in thousands of new recruits but also meant that the Egyptian military, which was always short of cash though rich in slaves, frequently paid its officers in slaves, and merchants applied to them for their commercial needs, even in Egypt.35

Despite a concentrated effort to capture Sudanese men and make soldiers out of them, they did not reach the desired manpower levels that Muhammad Ali sought. He decided then to institute national military conscription. Tens of thousands of young Egyptian farmers were drafted into the army amid great public outcry; thousands of others maimed themselves or fled the countryside to avoid it. Farmers’ families subsequently had difficulties in meeting quotas for taxes, often paid in kind.

The government’s control over trade and implementation of taxes in the new Egyptian Sudan caused an acute dislocation of traditional commerce and farming, and the early decade of rule involved restoring both political and financial order to the newly conquered areas.36 The region of Kordofan, which had been under Darfur rule, was also annexed to Egyptian Sudan, but further attempts to move against the Darfur sultanate were postponed.37 With this east–west trade avenue obstructed, the highway to the north along the darb al-arba’in remained open. Although the sultan remained suspicious of Muhammad Ali’s motives, he nevertheless continued to send commerce-laden caravans to Egypt. In the aftermath of the cholera and plague epidemics in Egypt in 1830–1831 and 1835, which killed thousands of Egyptians and was especially lethal to Sudanese slaves, a major increase in the slave trade began in the late 1830s and continued throughout the 1840s.

In Egypt, Muhammad Ali inaugurated a system of economic monopolies aimed at controlling both domestic agricultural production and commerce in order to pay for his military and arms buildup. He also began an industrialization program that attempted to replace Egyptian-made goods with foreign ones. Textiles and munitions were an obvious target, and new cotton factories were established in a number of cities and towns to produce equivalents of the cheap calicoes and other cloths being churned out in the industrialized European countries. Munitions factories were established, including saltpeter works in Upper Egypt that was used in manufacturing gunpowder. However, the industrialization efforts were not as successful as the ruler had hoped for, and already by the 1830s, factories were falling into disrepair.38 Modern assessments of his reign, which lasted from 1805 to 1848, now focus on the great hardship, harm, and injustice endured by the great mass of Egyptian people, the peasants and workers.39

Muhammad Ali’s threat to the Ottoman Empire during the period of 1831 and 1832 and again from 1838 to 1839 forced the European powers to act on the Ottomans’ behalf, and he was obliged to withdraw from the Ottoman lands he had occupied as well as sign a treaty limiting his authority to Egypt and Sudan (but curiously also including Darfur, which in fact he did not control).40 The terms of the treaty also spelled the end to his commodity monopolies trade, and European merchants exerted the right to trade directly with the countryside. However, trade in certain goods, such as winter crops and other commodities, including some items of the Sudan trade, had already been relaxed, beginning in the 1830s, providing for the survival if not revival of native Egyptian commerce.41

Asyut in Its Commercial Heyday and Innovations in Commercial Practice

Merchants in the Sudan trade soon took advantage of loopholes in government regulations which, in any event, were hard to enforce. They were again trading in slaves, ivory, tamarind, ostrich feathers, and hides, which were again being brought by jallaba along the darb al-arba’in as well as from Egyptian-controlled Sudan. Leaders in the revived caravan trade with Darfur were Christian merchant families, the earliest being the Shinudas of Asyut, followed by the al-Jawharis, the al-Khayats, the Maqars, and, by the 1850s, almost all the resourceful Christian families of the town were involved. Nor were they alone. The chief Muslim families, led by the sarr-tujjar—a new title created in the mid-1830s for the chief of the merchants—of the town, Muhammad Faraghali al-Hilali and his sons, the Khashaba family, the Dissuqi, the Jad al-Haqq, and others also traded in Sudan goods. The period between 1844 and 1865 is considered a heyday for the city and finds a reflection in the huge increase in the export of ivory and gum from Egypt to England.42 Between 1846 and 1864, the import of ivory by British boats jumped from 547 cwt. to 2,356 cwt. and gum went from 1,221 cwt. to 28,649 cwt. In the late 1850s, the import of ostrich feathers also increased significantly.43

While caravans came to Asyut on a regular basis, sometimes as many as two a year, trade with Egyptian Sudan remained bogged down in bureaucratic holdups, snafus, and maneuvering that favored entrenched government and private interests. Merchants in Khartoum, including a number of French and Maltese, wrote bitterly to their consuls in Cairo about the obstructions to trade by the governor-general.44 These obstructions may account for increased trade between Asyut, Dongola (in northern Sudan), and Kordofan during this period, as suggested by the presence of Dongolese merchants in Asyut during the 1848 census and contracts registered in the Asyut religious court involving local and Kordofanian merchants.45

Among the townspeople of Asyut, the approach of the Darfur caravans was greeted excitedly by young aspiring Copts who saw an opportunity for personal gain. One wrote in 1853 to Khayr Daus al-Jawhari, a member of the Bayt al-Jawhari, seeking advice on whether to become a clerk, as Christians usually did, or open a shop to cater to the jallaba.46 The al-Jawhari and the Shinuda merchant houses may well have been drawing cards for young Copts seeking employment in Asyut, now the capital of Upper Egypt and the center of growing agricultural and international commerce. The al-Jawharis’ trade with the jallaba—although not their primary business—which was agricultural—often involved them in carrying out private commissions for Darfur’s chief merchants. In letters sent from important Darfur merchants, they were asked to make special jewelry for the sultan’s sisters, purchase particular kinds of beads, order specific kinds of colored textiles, to have calicoes and other textiles dyed particular colors (often blue or dark reds), to purchase coffee cup sets with metal holders (zarf), and even to purchase iron beds with headboards. Sometimes particular merchants were mentioned in the letters as having the kinds of textiles they wanted. These requests were enclosed in letters that also functioned as bills of lading—that is, letters that mentioned the Sudanese goods being sent to them with one caravan leader or another. One of the chief correspondents and also the “head” of the jallaba in Darfur was Muhammad Imam, a khabir, a merchant of high standing who was married to a sister of the sultan and brother of another important Darfur personality of a later date.47 He would send ten or twelve sudasi slaves, both male and female, along with qintars of ivory, ratls of white, black, and gray feathers, and a number of IOUs worth several thousand piasters. Money was calculated in fictional currency known as mahbubs (one mahbub equaled three piasters) or in the nonmetallic currency that circulated in Darfur known as terki or tekaki.48 The al-Jawharis were very familiar with the value of the terki (pl. terek), and prices of goods in Sudan were sometimes quoted in letters to them in terek. In one of the letters from Muhammad Imam, he asked the al-Jawharis to make terek, instructing them to buy certain numbers of bolts of calico cloth, cut them in twelve pieces, and have them dyed blue. In one letter, 5,000 terek were ordered, constituting four camel loads for the return trip; in another, 4,800.49 In a sense, the al-Jawharis functioned as a mint for one of Darfur’s currencies.50

The al-Jawharis often extended credit to their clients, both Egyptian and Sudanese, which was the common practice in trade in precolonial times.51 In the long-distance trade, as mentioned, a six-month period was the usual term, to which was added an additional number of ratls of a particular good, such as “feathers.” In the 1860s, the date of the surviving contracts in the al-Jawhari archive, credit amounts varied from 475 to 30,000 piasters and was usually given in kind. Jallaba would return to Darfur or elsewhere in bilad as-Sudan and exchange the cloth given by the al-Jawharis for Sudan goods saleable in Egypt. But the nature of the long- distance trade was such that the al-Jawharis might not hear from their correspondents for years. Some would go off to remote parts of the Sudan; others could be robbed and were destitute; still others might have passed away without being able to repay the debt. In one letter, dated 1863, Khabir Muhammad Imam responded to a letter from `Abd al-Massih al-Jawhari, the successor and nephew of Khayr Daus al-Jawhari who died c. 1856, who had evidently listed a series of unpaid debts and had asked the khabir to collect them for him or at least give him news of the debtors.52 However, the archive contains a court document signed by the qadi (judge) of Kobbei, the commercial “capital” of Darfur, attesting to the fact that a loan of 320 mahbubs (960 piasters) from Shinuda Daus al-Jawhari some dozen years earlier had finally been repaid to Shinuda’s son, `Abd al-Massih.53

The entry of Europeans into the Sudan trade was gradual but could not be stopped once it started, sometime in the mid-1840s. Ivory and ostrich feathers, but also increasingly gum, were sought after items. The difficulty for Europeans was that at this time Egypt lacked banking facilities, and communications between Alexandria and Cairo, where they lived, with the provinces was difficult. The transportation of cash was a risky business for foreigners. Moreover, communication via the post between Cairo and Khartoum could take weeks.54

Asyut offered an attractive alternative. It was only 250 miles south of Cairo; it had a ready supply of all three goods; it had a Christian minority that was heavily involved in the Sudan trade; it was the capital of Upper Egypt and maintained good boat and postal service with Cairo. The prominent Anglo-Greek firm of Cassevetis and Company, with offices in Alexandria, Cairo, and Manchester, sent an agent to Asyut to purchase ivory arriving with the Darfur caravan of 1847. He was given instructions to make a deal with the jallaba before they got to their Egyptian clients in order to get the ivory at a cheaper price but, being a foreigner, his mere presence in the town put everyone on guard and the plan failed. He was forced to pay the top price for the ivory, which was 1,500 piasters a qintar. Moreover, he discovered that he had insufficient cash and was obliged to borrow money at substantial interest from their competitors, the al-Jawharis. Consequently, the Cassavetis back in Cairo were furious and refused to pay the invoice he submitted for his fees and personal costs.55 One of the witnesses to appear in the resulting trial in Cairo when it took place in 1849—held at the British consular agency because the Cassavetis were British protégés—was `Abd al-Sayyid al-Jawhari, the Bayt al-Jawhari’s representative in Cairo.

During the first decade or so after the relaxation of the government monopolies, from roughly 1845 to 1860, Asyuti merchants profited greatly from being the middlemen in the Sudan trade. One of their advantages was access to transport. The port of Asyut was located at al-Hamra, which was linked to the city by a mile-long causeway. It was where government granaries were located, where merchants stored their goods for shipment up and down river, where weighers had offices, and cameleers, donkey men, and merchants’ slaves were employed to load and off-load cargoes. It had a dockyard and had become a center of shipbuilding.56 The village was also the home for the many boatmen who worked on the Nile, manning cargo boats from Aswan, Qina, Jirja, Asyut, and northward to Cairo. The al-Jawharis had several boats of their own—a flat-bottom vessel called qayasa, capable of carrying goods during the low Niles, a markib, which was heavier and could maneuver the river during the high and middle Niles in the months following the annual flood, and a dahabiyya, which was used primarily to transport its members and agents but could also be used to carry goods. Since they shipped cargos of grain to Cairo multiple times a month, they also hired boats, noting the rents in their account books along with expenses such as food and weighing fees for the duration of the voyage. Although shipbuilding was one of the industries of Asyut during these days, there was always an acute shortage of available ships, and foreign merchants, lacking local ties, often had difficulties in finding boats to carry their goods back and forth. Up until the 1840s, it was not uncommon for the government to commandeer what boats they could to take government grains and produce to Cairo.57

Modern communications also benefited the Sudan and grain trade merchants in striking new ways. Muhammad Ali had developed a postal service sometime in the 1820s, and provincial merchants soon took advantage of it. The earliest letters in the al-Jawhari Papers date to 1832–1833, but these were delivered by hand, usually carried between cities and towns by boat captains. In the early 1840s, they were assigned a “postal number” by the government postal service, by which the cost of sending letters was tabulated by weight and destination for each user and an invoice sent every month or so for the accumulated charges. Invoices from the postal service that have survived date to the period from 1852 to 1853 and from 1857 to 1858. They showed that during a four-month period they exchanged as many as 240 letters with correspondents in Qina, Jirja, and Cairo. Foreign merchants and tourists had access to the postal service as well, and travelogues of tourists during the 1840s often mention stopping at certain Nile towns, including Asyut, to collect or send mail.58

The postal service between Egypt and Europe was also used by merchants in the Sudan trade to keep abreast of prices of ivory and gum in major markets abroad such as London and Manchester. At the time of the brouhaha with the Cassevetis and the ivory purchase of 1848, the al-Jawharis were working in partnership with a Syrian merchant family named Ubayd (also spelled Ebeid, Abet) who had offices in Manchester and who traded in Cairo in British imports (chiefly textiles).59 From them, the al-Jawharis received some 9,000 piasters, along with advice on the going price of ivory that they had just received by letter from a correspondent in London where ivory from India was in competition with ivory from Egypt and Sudan.60 Another correspondent was David Robino, a Jewish merchant who supplied information in the 1850s on prices of various textiles in Liverpool; the letter in the al-Jawhari’s Papers is a carbon copy; the original may well have been sent to the Ubayds.61 This and other letters make it clear that merchants in Asyut were aware of international global markets.

For jallaba, the availability of river transport became an option for them early in the 19th century when river security was established by the government. Cargoes of slaves were shipped by boat from various towns in Upper Egypt to Cairo and were often seen by tourists.62 The al-Jawhari accounts also mention the sale of slaves from their boats, for instance, in 1844, when four were sold in Bani Suwayf by the boat captain en route to Cairo.63 Steamships started appearing on the Nile in Lower Egypt in the 1850s and were gradually introduced to the Upper Nile later in the decade.64 In the early 1860s, the al-Jawharis were shipping some of their goods by wabur (steamboat).65

Railways first appeared in Egypt in 1854, and the connection between Alexandria and Cairo was completed in 1858. Although Alexandria was connected by telegraph with Europe as early as 1851, the service to Cairo was not extended until 1854.66 The history of the extension of the telegraph south of Cairo remains undocumented, but rare copies of telegraphs sent in the period 1862–1864 by the al-Jawharis indicate they kept in touch with their branch offices via this new if expensive method of communication. In two telegraphs, the Cairo office provided information on the price of ostrich feathers and rhinoceros horn.67

The establishment of general security in the country under the rule of Muhammad Ali and his successors allowed for an increase in migration of Nubians, called Barabira (sing. Barbari) in the 19th century, to work in Cairo and Alexandria. They came looking for employment as guards, watchmen, and doorkeepers, and eventually, household servants. Others became jallaba, trading in slaves and merchandise on a small scale. They worked as independent traders in and out of the Wikalat al-Jallaba, while it remained open, and then worked out of private residences. Some Nubians working in Cairo saved money to invest in the Sudan trade, hoping to profit from the difference in price of textiles in Cairo with prices in the Sudan,68 while others made contact with European traders, hoping for a similar outcome, and taking large sums of piasters in goods to sell in the Sudan in exchange for ivory and gum. Occasionally they would not return, and the foreign consular agents, such as `Abd al-Massih Shinuda al-Jawhari, were asked by foreign consuls to use their Sudanese contacts in Asyut to find out where these absent Nubians were, and, if possible, have them detained by the authorities.69

Tumult, Revolution, and Collapse

Trade between Egypt and bilad as-Sudan in the 19th century endured continuous stress and strain, first with the invasion of the Sudan by Muhammad Ali and the subjugation and mass enforced migration of thousands of men, women, and children from their native lands. New restrictions were placed on trading in a wide variety of goods, including people, but these were gradually overlooked, ignored, bypassed, or withdrawn in the course of the four decades of Muhamad Ali’s rule. A heyday in the Sudan trade ensued, particularly in Upper Egypt, where trade regulations were lackadaisically applied, resulting in the growth of the city of Asyut’s population and size, the development of the port, commerce, and wealth. Foreign visitors passing through the markets commented on the variety of goods available in it, on the number of khans and caravanserais, and on the general hum of the bazaar.

With the ascent of Khedive Ismail as ruler in 1863, foreign commercial interests and contacts were favored. Trading houses established comptoirs (offices) in Asyut and elsewhere in Upper Egypt, allowing them to either bypass Egyptian middlemen altogether or force them into partnering with them. These houses were able to draw on substantially larger pools of money available in Europe to invest in commercial projects in Egypt. In 1863, several of the largest of the European houses combined with rich Egyptian sources to form the Sudan Company, with contributions coming from Cassavetis, Sakkakini, Kyriakos Christodolo, Andreas Debono, and the Cairene merchant Musa Hasan al-Aqqad. With a capital of 2,800,000 piasters, they aimed to exploit the commerce of Upper Egypt, Sudan, and the Red Sea, with offices in Asyut, Alexandria, Khartoum, and Jidda. As might be expected and certainly without surprise, the company encountered difficulties in transporting goods between Cairo and Khartoum, and eventually it was unable to supply orders. It eventually changed its name to the Egyptian Trading Company, and the former Sudan Company was liquidated in 1868.70 The emergence of the company, however, spelled the effective end in Egypt of a role for Egyptian middlemen in the Sudan trade. With their contacts abroad and greater sources of liquidity, European commercial houses henceforth dominated the trade.

During Sa’id Pasha’s tenure and continuing into Khedive Ismail’s, the desperate search of payments for loans contracted with European banks and firms resulted in the selling of thousands of feddans of land owned by the khedival family. Many merchants in Upper Egypt, finding their share of the Sudan trade dwindling and not willing to suffer the consequences of the vicissitudes of grain prices, started purchasing land. Bishara Ubayd of Qina, who had married a daughter of Khayr Daus al-Jawhari, purchased 2,300 feddans in 1863, and more at a later date. Both Coptic and Muslim families also followed suit, some becoming extremely wealthy as landowners by the end of the 19th century. The al-Jawhari family also started to purchase land in the 1850s, when they could, but they only amassed a total of 100 feddans, a paltry amount by the later standard of other families. In 1866, the scion of the family, `Abd al-Massih al-Jawhari, died, and the fortunes of the firm fell into the hands of one of his cousins-in-law, Maqar Dimyan, and ultimately to his heirs, none of whom bore the al-Jawhari name.

Khedive Ismail had ambitions to extend his empire in Sudanic Africa. Europeans officers were hired to administer the existing provinces in Sudan, and expeditionary forces, also under foreign officers, were sent to conquer Ethiopia and even Somalia. These attempts failed. However, a merchant adventurer in Sudan named al-Zubayr Rahman al-Mansur, a slave trader originally of Ja’ali origin, moved against Darfur, which he conquered in 1874.71 Eventually it was taken over by the Egyptians and annexed to Ismail’s Sudan empire. Trade along the darb al-arba’in withered and died, and caravans no longer traveled to Asyut.72 In 1881, Muhammad Ahmad, known as al-Mahdi, began his revolution against the Turko-Egyptian state, culminating in his successful capture of Khartoum in January 1885 and the death of the last Egyptian governor-general, General Charles Gordon. Egypt itself was invaded by British troops in 1882 and became a “veiled protectorate” of Great Britain. The political situation at both ends of the trade routes between Egypt and Sudan entered a totally new configuration.

Discussion of the Literature

Introduction to the Ottoman Period and Later Ottoman Period

For early references to the Sudan in Arabic sources, see R. S. O’Fahey with J. O. Hunwick and D. Lange, “Two Glosses concerning Bilad al-Sudan on a Manuscript of al-Nuwayri’s Nihayat al-arab.”73 For the authoritative history of Darfur, see R. S. O’Fahey, The Darfur Sultanate.74 On the Funj and the lands south of Egypt, see Jay Spaulding, The Heroic Age in Sinnar; David N. Edwards, “Post Medieval Sudan and Islam (1500–1900)”; Intisar Elzein, “Ottoman Archaeology of the Middle Nile Valley in the Sudan”; V. L. Menage, “The Ottomans and Nubia in the Sixteenth Century”; and Terence Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 1700–1820.75 For new information gathered from Sharia court documents on the trade of Maghribi merchants during the 17th and 18th centuries, see Hussam Muhammad Abd al-Mu`ati, al-A’ilat wa al-thawra: al-Buyut al-tijariyyat al-Maghribiyya fi Misr al-Uthmaniyya, Cairo: al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-`Amma lil-Kitab, 2008; on Asyut in the pre-19th-century period, see Nicolas Michel, “Les artisans dans la ville: Ateliers de tissage et tisserands d’Asyut a la fin du XVIIIe siecle, d’apres les registers du tribunal du qadi”; Zeinab Aboul-Magd, Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt; and Layla `Abd al-Laif Ahmad, Al-Sa`id fi `Ahd Shaykh al-`Arab Humam.76

The 19th Century: Muhammad Ali and Interruptions

See Khaled Fahmy, “The Era of Muhammad Ali Pasha, 1805–1848”; Kenneth M. Cuno, “Egypt to c. 1919”; Roger Owen, The Middle East in the World Economy 1800-1914; and Richard Hill, Egypt in the Sudan, 1820–1881.77On the slave trade, see Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno, eds., Race and Slavery in the Middle East: Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean; Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Slavery in the Sudan: History, Documents, and Commentary; and Ehud R. Toledano, As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East.78

Asyut in Its Heyday

See Terence Walz, “The Private Papers of the al-Jawhari Merchant Family of Asyut, 1832–1866”; Terence Walz, “Asyut in the 1260s (1844–53)”; `Ali Mubarak, al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyya, al-Jadida li-Misr al-Qahira; Adel F. Sadek, “Christianity in Asyut in Modern History”; and Nicholas Hopkins and Reem Saad, eds., Upper Egypt: Identity and Change.79

Primary Sources

In the past half century, important new sources have been utilized by social and economic historians. The old school of historians such as Charles Issawi and Gabriel Baer plumbed the European archives and published primary and secondary sources to great scholarly benefit. André Raymond, the French historian and author of the landmark Artisans et commerçants du Caire au XVIIIième siècle, was the first to use the remarkable Sharia court records of Egypt, now housed in the Egyptian National Archives (Cairo), and many Egyptian, American, and European historians following him have benefited from his research, including the author, whose work Trade between Egypt and Bilad as Sudan, 1700–1820, is based on these records. They provided a firsthand record of the network of merchants trading in Sudan goods in Cairo as well as the long-distance merchants who brought the goods to Egypt, in addition to an enormous amount of data on prices of goods traded. Gross data on the total value of goods traded remains elusive as the customs records maintained in Upper Egypt and Old Cairo have not been located.

As the Egyptian National Archives became better organized in the past three decades (it was moved from the Citadel to a new building on the Corniche of Cairo), scholars have been able to work fruitfully in its vast collection of documentation. For social and economic historians, the value of the unpublished censuses of 1848 and 1868 is only now being recognized. They were first discussed by Kenneth M. Cuno and Michael Reimer in an article “The Census Registers of Nineteenth-Century Egypt: A New Source for Social Historians,” and a team of researchers headed by Ghislaine Alleaume and Philippe Fargues was the first to systematically survey its data; preliminary reports were included in two articles: “La naissance d’une statistique d’Etat: le rencensement de 1846 en Egypte,” and “Voisinage et frontier: resider au Caire en 1846.”80 A quantitative analysis using the censuses was recently published by Mohamed Saleh in two articles: “The Reluctant Transformation: State Industrialization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth-Century Egypt,” and “A Pre-Colonial Population Brought to Light: Digitization of the Nineteenth Century Egyptian Censuses.”81 A survey of the trans-Saharan African population in Cairo in 1850, based entirely on the 1848 Cairo census volumes, can be found in the author’s article in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery in the Middle East: Historians of Trans-Saharan Africans in Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean, Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010.82 For the first time we have basic information on slaves of black African origin living in Cairo and other Egyptian cities as well as in the countryside.

In the 1960s and 1970s, it became clear that the records of the Sudan National Archives (National Records Office) and private archives held by individual families offered great potential for future histories of the country. Spurred by the Sudanese historians Yusuf Fadl Hasan and Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Salim, heads of the National Archives, they were plumbed by R. S. O’Fahey (mostly recently in The Darfur Sultanate) and by Jay Spaulding (co-author with O’Fahey of Kingdoms of the Sudan, as well as The Heroic Age of Sinnar), and Anders Bjorkelo (Prelude to the Mahdiyya), works that provide an essential core for mapping out and understanding the pre-19th-century trading networks between Egypt and Sudan. The political disruptions in Sudan in the past four decades, however, have dealt a blow to this once promising documentation center. Nonetheless, new archeological discoveries and the reading of old Nubian texts are now offering a needed reassessment of the medieval period in the Sudanese Nile Valley. Noteworthy new studies included Derek A. Welsby, The Medieval Kingdoms of Nubia, Giovanni R. Ruffini, Medieval Nubia: A Social and Economic History, and David N. Edwards, The Nubian Past.

The value of Ottoman archives on Egyptian and Sudanese history has been long recognized but only recently explored, particularly as records of the Ottoman frontier territories in the 16th and 17th centuries are uncovered. There are few scholars with both Arabic and Ottoman Turkish language skills. For political reasons, the Egyptian National Archives’ vast holdings of Sudan-related documents remain closed, to the detriment of scholarship. A model pioneering work based partly on a survey of Egyptian national archival documentation then partly held in the Abdin Palace was made by Richard Hill in his Egypt in the Sudan (published in 1958).

Further Reading

Abd al-Mu’ati, Hussam Muhammad. “The Fez Merchants in Eighteenth-Century Cairo.” In Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1600–1900. Edited by Nelly Hanna and Raouf Abbas. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Bjorkelo, Anders. Prelude to the Mahdiyya: Peasants and Traders in the Shendi Region, 1821–1885. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989.Find this resource:

Bjorkelo, Anders, and Mustafa A. Ali. “A Sudanese Merchant’s Career Based on His Papers: A Research Project.” History in Africa 17 (1990): 31–40.Find this resource:

Cuno, Kenneth M. “Egypt to c. 1919.” In The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance. Edited by Francis Robinson, 79–106. Vol. 5 of The New Cambridge History of Islam. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Cuno, Kenneth M. “African Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Rural Egypt.” In Race and Slavery in the Middle East; Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean. Edited by Terence Walz and Kenneth R. Cuno, 77–98. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Elzein, Intisar. “Ottoman Archaeology of the Middle Nile Valley.” In Frontiers of the Ottoman World. Edited by A. C. S. Peacock, 371–383. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Fahmy, Khaled. “The Era of Muhammad `Ali Pasha, 1805–1848.” In Modern Egypt, from 1517 to the End of the Twentieth Century. Edited by M. W. Daly, 139–179. Vol. 2 of The Cambridge History of Egypt. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Graeber, David. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. New York: Melville House, 2011.Find this resource:

Hasan, Yusuf Fadl. “The Fur Sultanate and the Long Distance Caravan Trade, c. 1650–1850.” In The Central Bilad al-Sudan: Tradition and Adaptation: Essays on the Geography and Economic and Political History of the Sudanic Belt. Edited by Yusuf Fadl Hasan and Paul Doornbos. Proceedings of the Third International Conference of the Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, November 1977. Khartoum: El Tammaddon P. Press, 1977.Find this resource:

Kropaček, Luboš. 1970. “The Confrontation of Darfur with the Turco-Egyptians under the Viceroyships of Muhammad `Ali, `Abbas I and Muhammad Sa`id.” Asian and African Studies (Bratislava) 6 (1970): 73–86.Find this resource:

LaRue, George Michael. “‘My Ninth Master Was a European’: Enslaved Blacks in European Households in Egypt, 1798–1848.” In Race and Slavery in the Middle East; Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean. Edited by Terence Walz and Kenneth R. Cuno, 99–124. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Liat Kozma. “Black, Kinless, and Hungry: Manumitted Female Slaves in Khedival Egypt.” In Race and Slavery in the Middle East; Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean. Edited by Terence Walz and Kenneth R. Cuno, 197–216. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Menage, V. L. “The Ottomans and Nubia in the Sixteenth Century.” Annales Islamologiques 24 (1988): 137–153.Find this resource:

Nugud, Mohamed Ibrahim. Slavery in the Sudan: History, Documents, and Commentary. Translated and edited by Asma Mohamed Abdel Halimm and Sharon Barnes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.Find this resource:

O’Fahey, R. S. The Darfur Sultanate. London: Hurst, 2010.Find this resource:

O’Fahey, R. S., and J. L. Spaulding. Kingdoms of the Sudan. London: Methuen, 1974.Find this resource:

Peacock, A. C. S. Frontiers of the Ottoman World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Powell, Eve M. Troutt. Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement from Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Empire. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012.Find this resource:

Rivlin, Helen Anne B. The Agricultural Policy of Muhammad Ali in Egypt. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1961.Find this resource:

Shaw, W. B. K. “Darb al-Arba’in,” Sudan Notes and Records 12, no. 1 (1929): 63–71.Find this resource:

Spaulding, Jay. The Heroic Age in Sinnar. East Lansing: African Studies Center, Michigan State University, 1985.Find this resource:

Stiansen, Endre. “The Gum Arabic Trade in Kordofan in the Mid-19th century,” In Kordofan Invaded. Edited by Endre Stiansen and Michael Kevane. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1998, 60–85.Find this resource:

Walz, Terence. “The Private Papers of the al-Jawhari Merchant Family of Asyut, 1832–1866.” Annale Islamologiques (2018, forthcoming).Find this resource:

Walz, Terence, and Kenneth R. Cuno. Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 1700–1820. Cairo: Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 1978a.Find this resource:

Walz, Terence, and Kenneth R. Cuno. “Asyut in the 1260s (1844–53).” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 15 (1978b): 113–126Find this resource:

Walz, Terence, and Kenneth R. Cuno. 1979. “Trading into the Sudan in the Sixteenth Century.” Annales Islamologiques 15 (1979): 211–233.Find this resource:

Walz, Terence, and Kenneth R. Cuno. “Family Archives in Egypt: New Light on Nineteenth-Century Provincial Trade.” In L’Egypte au XIXe siecle. Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1982, 15–33.Find this resource:

Walz, Terence, and Kenneth R. Cuno, eds. Race and Slavery in the Middle East; Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010.Find this resource:


(1.) John Ledyard sought out the jallaba in 1788: see Proceedings of the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa, 2 vols. (London: W. Bulmer, 1810), I, 37; various articles by U. de Seetzen, “Nouveaux renseignmens sur le royaume ou Empire de Bornou, recueillis au Caire par . . .,” Annales de Voyages 19 (1812): 175–177; Seetzen, “Nouveaux renseignmens sur l’interieure de l’Afrique,” Annales de Voyages 21 (1913): 145–179.

(2.) David N. Edwards, The Nubian Past: Archaeology of the Sudan (London: Routledge, 2004), chap. 9; W. B. K. Shaw, “Darb al-Arba’in,” Sudan Notes and Records 12, no. 1 (1929): 63–71.

(3.) Joseph Mercure Lapanouse, “Memoire sur les caravanes venant du royaume de Sennaar,” Memoires sur l’Egypte, 4 (Paris, 1801): 89–124; John Lewis Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia (London: John Murray, 1822).

(4.) Terence Walz, Travel between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 1700–1820 (Cairo: Institut Francais d’Archeologie Orientale, 1978), 3–22.

(5.) Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 32–50; see also R. S. O’Fahey, “Slavery and the Slave Trade in Dar Fur,” Journal of African History 14, no. 1 (1973): 29–43, and Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Slavery in the Sudan: History, Documents, and Commentary, trans. Asma Mohamed Abdel Halim, ed. Sharon Barnes (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), chap. 3.

(6.) Terence Walz, “Trading into the Sudan in the Sixteenth Century,” Annales Islamologiques 15 (1979): 211–233; Manfaluti DWQ, Mahkama al-Qahira, Qism Askariyya vol. 108, 157–164, no. 140 dated 14 Rabi` al-Awwal 1128 (March 9, 1716); Sunayli: Qism Arabiyya, vol. 72, 114, no, 183, 13 Jumada al-Thani 1110 (December 17, 1698); Madkur: Qism Askariyya, vol. 69, 377ff, dated 21 Dhu al-Hijja 1081 (May 1, 1671); al-Bisatti: Qism Arabiyya, vol. 36, 379, no. 608, dated 1 Dhu-al-Hijja 1049 (March 25, 1640).

(7.) Hussam Muhammad Abd al-Mu’ati, al-A’ila wa al-thawra: al-Buyut al-tijariyya al-maghribiyya fi Misr al-`uthmaniyya (Cairo: Hayat al-Misriyya al-`amma lil-kitab, 2008); see also his “The Fez Merchants in 18th century Cairo,” in Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1600–1900, eds. Nelly Hanna and Raouf Abbas (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005); see Walz, “Gold and Silver Exchanges between Egypt and Sudan, 16th–18th Centuries,” in Precious Metals in the Later Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, ed. J. F. Richards (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1983), 305–328.

(8.) Not all merchants resorted to the religious courts to record debts, but the important ones almost always maintained account books in which debts were recorded. These played an important role in estate probates in the pre-19th-century era.

(9.) The author is deeply indebted to the al-Jawhari family and to Magdy elGohary, in particular, for being given access to these documents.

(11.) William G. Browne, Travels in Africa, Egypt, and Syria from the years 1792 to 1798 (London: T. Cadell Jr. and W. Davies, 1799) 189, 229, 241; one of the family, Ali al-Khatib, died in Darfur in 1839 and his estate was partially settled in Asyut: DWQ, Mahkama Asyut, 1139–002114 no. 297, dated 8 Jumada al-Awwal 1255 (July 20, 1839).

(12.) Altogether seventy-one Asyutis were living in Darfur: DWQ, Ta`dad Nufus 1264, Mahafazat Asyut, vol. 2 “List of Asyutis Living in Darfur,” 108.

(13.) Charles Cuny, “Notice sur le Dar-four et sur les caravanes qui se rendent de ce pays en Egypte, et vice-versa,” Bulletin de la societe de geographie de Paris, 4e series, 7 (1854): 81–120.

(14.) White slaves (Circassian, Georgian, and others) were sold in another market. On the Ottoman slave trade in the later period, see Ehud R. Toledano, The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression, 1840–1890 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982); Y. Hakan Erdem, Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and Its Demise, 1800–1909 (London: Macmillan, 1996); there is relatively little information to date on the export of slaves from Alexandria and other Egyptian Mediterranean ports.

(15.) Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 246; Terence Walz and Kenneth R. Cuno, eds. Race and Slavery in the Middle East; Histories of Trans-Saharan Africans in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010), 56; in Cairo, one of the chief slave merchants in the city in 1848—after trading at the Wikalat al-Jallaba was prohibited—had some fifty slaves in his private quarters in Bab al-Shar`iyya: DWQ, Ta`dad al-nufus 1264, Mahafazat Misr (Cairo census), Qism Bab al-Sha`riyya, Vol. 3, 749.

(16.) Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, Introduction, 3.

(17.) See Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, chap. 6.

(18.) Burckhardt, Nubia, 290.

(19.) Walz, “Sudanese, Habasha, Takarna, and Barabira: Trans-Saharan Africans in Cairo as Shown in the 1848 Census,” in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, 43–76; Liat Kozma,“Black, Kinless, and Hungry: Manumitted Female Slaves in Khedival Egypt,” in Walz and Cuno, 197–216.

(20.) One of the best known was Ibrahim Bey al-Sinnari al-Iswid al-Sinnari, the kakhuda of Murad Bey; see the obituary in `Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, `Aja’ib al-athar fi al-tarajim wa al-akhbar, eds. Thomas Philipp and Moshe Perlmann, 4 vols. (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1994), III, 219; this practice continued into the early 19th century: see Emad Ahmed Helal, “Muhammad Ali’s First Army: The Experiment in Building an Entirely Slave Army,” in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, 17–42.

(21.) Said to come from Dar Runga, a non-Muslim dependency of Darfur: Muhammad Umar al-Tunisi, In Darfur: An Account of the Sultanate and Its People, 2 vols. (al- Tashdidh al-adhhan bi-sira al-bilad al-arab wa al-sudan), ed. and trans. Humphrey Davies (New York: New York University Press, 2018), vol. 2, 95. Otto Meindardus, “The Upper Egyptian Practice of the Making of Eunuchs in the XVVIIth and XVIIIth Century,” Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, Band 94, Heft 1 (1969): 47–58; when Huda Sharawi, heavily veiled, was taken to a department store at the end of the 19th century, her eunuch demanded that the staff and clientele avert their eyes: Huda Shaarawi, Harem Years, trans. and intro. Margot Badran (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1998), 68–69; in general, George Junne, The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire (London: I. B. Tauris, 2016).

(22.) Kenneth M. Cuno, “African Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Rural Egypt,” in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, 77–98.

(23.) Cuny, “Notice,” 107; DWQ, Mahkama Asyut, register 1139–002114, no. 245. 13 Shawwal 1254 (December 30, 1838): `Abd al-Qadir Hijazi al-Mahasi al-Jallab died in Darfur, leaving a tamassuk (IOU) in the hands of `Ali Abd al-Raziq Khashaba worth 1700 mahbubs or 5100 PT. He apparently had part of a house in Asyut, which seems to also have been owned by Ahmad Ali al-Khatib, one of the Egyptian merchants who traded into Darfur; see also Licurgo Santoni, Alto Egitto e Nubia, Memorie di Licurgo Santoni (1863–1898) (Rome: Modes and Mendel, 1905): the story of Hamza Pasha Imam, the Darfur khabir who retired to his house in Asyut in 1885 following the victory of the Mahdists in Sudan.

(24.) The 17th-century traveler Johann Michael Vansleb provides early information on this trade: The Present State of Egypt: or A New Relation of a Late Voyage into That Kingdom Performed in the Years 1672 and 1673 (London: J. Starkey, 1678), 122; on the Jewish part in the trade, John Lewis Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, 251; on the trade by Jews in ostrich feathers in Libya, Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008).

(25.) For example, Khabir Ali Ibrahim lists black, choice white (`awamma), grey (rabida), feathers from the wing (janah), and “ordinary” in a letter to `Abd al-Massih al-Jawhari dated Rabi` al-Thani (September 1863) (JP: DM).

(26.) Henri Delaporte, “Commerce du Darfour avec l’Egypte par les caravanes qui, traversant le grand desert, arrivent a Siout, capitale de la Haute Egypte,” in France, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Correspondence commerciale, 29, enclosed in Delaporte au Ministre, August 5, 1852; Cairo: al-Jawhari Papers, Cairo Kitab Asnaf 1272 (Goods Accounts, Cairo, Years 1855–1856), 35a, 94a; on the importance of the Livornese Jews in the ostrich feather trade of Tripoli, see Stein, Plumes, 7.

(27.) Burckhardt, Nubia, 280.

(28.) See Ghislaine Lydon, “The Organization of Caravan Trade in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Western Africa,” in Ahmida, Bridges across the Sahara, 25–62. One of the best descriptions in English of the departure of the caravan is “The Haj in Damascus,” chap. 1 in Charles Doughty’s classic, Travels in Arabia Deserta, 2 vols. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1888).

(29.) George Michael LaRue, “‘My Ninth Master Was a European’: Enslaved Blacks in European Households in Egypt, 1798–1848,” in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, 99–124; Eve M. Troutt Powell, Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement from Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Empire (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

(30.) Krump, 220; Browne 185–186; Cuny, “Notice,” 99; in Sinnar and Darfur; drums were also used to signify rank and dignity: O’Fahey and Spaulding, Kingdoms, 56, 177.

(31.) French sources: P. S. Girard, “Memoire sur l’agriculture, l’industrie et le commerce de l’Egypte,” Description de l’Egypte, Etat moderne 2 (Paris, 1812): 491–714; 2nd ed., vol. 17 (Paris, 1824): 1–436; Joseph Mercure Lapanouse, “Memoire sur les caravanes qui arrivent du royaume de Darfurth,” Memoires sur l’Egypte, 4 (Paris, 1801): 77–89: “Memoire sur les caravanes venant du royaume de Sennaar,” Memoires sur l’Egypte, 4 (Paris, 1801): 89–124.

(32.) There has been debate on the nature of the relationship between the khabirs and the sultans. Some historians, such as Jay Spaulding, embrace the ideas of Karl Polanyi on “archaic” economies and “administered commerce” and see the exchange between Sudanic kingdoms and Egypt as not being based on profit motive per se, but rather on the redistribution of luxury goods to enhance the sultans’ power. See R. S. O’Fahey and J. L. Spaulding, Kingdoms of the Sudan (London: Methuen, 1974), 54–56. Wilkinson mentions meeting Khabir Abubakr who c. 1825 was sent a message from Muhammad Ali to deliver to the sultan: John Gardner Wilkinson, Modern Egypt and Thebes, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1843), 2, 84

(33.) As evident in the majority of the fourteen surviving IOUs in the al-Jawhari Papers.

(34.) JP: DM, letter from thirty jallaba led by Khabir Muhammad Imam to `Abd al-Massih Shinuda, dated Ghurrit Ramadan 1269 (June 8, 1853).

(35.) JP: CC, letter from Daus to Shinuda and Khayr Daus al-Jawhari, dated 1 Rabi al-Awwal 1248 (July 29, 1832).

(36.) Anders Bjorkelo, Prelude to the Mahdiyya: Peasants and Traders in the Shendi Region, 1821–1885 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Jay Spaulding, “Slavery, Land Tenure and Social Class in the Northern Turkish Sudan,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 15, no. 1 (1982): 1–20.

(37.) Kropacek, Lubos, “The Confrontation of Darfur with the Turco-Egyptians under the Viceroyships of Muhammad Ali, Abbas I and Muhammad Sa’id,” Asian and African Studies 6 (1970): 73–86

(38.) See Helen Anne B. Rivlin , The Agricultural Policy of Muhammad Ali in Egypt (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961); Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot,Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Khaled Fahmy, “The Era of Muhammad `Ali Pasha, 1805–1848.” In. Modern Egypt, from 1517 to the End of the Twentieth Century, ed. M. W. Daly, 139–179. Vol. 2 of The Cambridge History of Egypt (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Kenneth M. Cuno, “Egypt to c. 1919,” in The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance, ed. Francis Robinson, 79–106. Vol. 5 of The New Cambridge History of Islam (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

(39.) Khaled Fahmy, Mehmed Ali: From Ottoman Governor to Ruler of Egypt (Oxford: Oneworld, 2009).

(40.) For the text of the firman, including control of the government of Darfur, see Recueil de firmans imperiaux ottoman addresses aux valis et aux khedives d’Egypte (Cairo: Institut Francais d’Archeologie Orientale du Caire, 1934), 231–232.

(41.) Ahmed Abdel-Rahim Mustafa, “The Breakdown of the monopoly system in Egypt after 1840,” in Political and Social Change in Modern Egypt, ed. P. M. Holt., 291–293, 297 (London: Oxford University Press, 1968); Kenneth M. Cuno, The Pasha’s Peasants (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 184ff; Amira el-Azhary Sonbol, The New Mamluks (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000), 37.

(42.) The earliest use of the title dates to 1838: receipt for berseem bought for the livestock of the Inspector General of Upper Egypt, in the hands of the al-Hilali family, shown to the author in 1972 by Abbas el-Helaly, Alexandria University. The sarr-tujjar was principally responsible for transacting the commercial business of the governor general and top administrators of the local government; Terence Walz, “Family Archives in Egypt: New Light on Nineteenth-Century Provincial Trade,” in L’Egypte au XIXe siècle (Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1982), 15–33; Walz, “Asyut in the 1260s (1844-53),” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 15 (1978): 113–126.

(43.) Great Britain, Public Records Office, CUST 5/26-63 and CUST 5/471-473.

(44.) See Endre Stiansen, “The Gum Arabic Trade in Kordofan in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” in Kordofan Invaded, ed. Endre Stiansen and Michael Kevane, 79–80 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1998); on `Abd al-Latif Pasha, the governor general, Richard Hill, Biographical Dictionary of the Sudan (London: Frank Cass, 1967).

(45.) DWQ, Mahkama Asyut, 1139–002121 no. 763, 30 Rajab 1266 (July 11, 1850); from the 1848 census, some twenty-five jallaba had come from Kordofan: Ta`dad nufus 1264, Vol. 1 ([old numbering] 4864), 384–385.

(46.) JP: CC, Letters, Hanna Mikha’il Abutiji to Khayr Daus (in Cairo), dated 8 Ramadan 1269 (June 16, 1853).

(47.) Hill, Biographical Dictionary of the Sudan: Muhammad (Pasha) Imam al-Khabir, Hamza (Pasha) Imam.

(48.) Qintar: equivalent to roughly 100 lbs.; ratl: equivalent to 1 lb., 2 oz.; 1 ratl = 1 lb., 2 oz.; on the terek, a currency that circulated in Kordofan and Darfur and was made of cloth pieces dyed blue in Asyut. It was brought by camel load to Kordofan in the late 1840s; John Petherick, Egypt, the Soudan and Central Africa with Explorations from Khartoum, on the White Nile, to the Regions of the Equator, being Sketches from Sixteen Years’ Travel (Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1861), 360; Gustave Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, Vol. 4: Wadai and Darfur, trans. Allan G. B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher (London: Hurst, 1971): toqiyya (Glossary); terek: 253–254, 388.

(49.) JP: DM, Khabir Muhammad Imam to Abd al-Massih Shinuda, n.d. (ca 1860); Khabir Ali Ibrahim to Ab[sic] Massih Shinuda, dated Rabi` al-Thani 1280 (September 1863).

(50.) See note 42. Transactions were also made in beads, paper, and certain kinds of peppers.

(51.) See Pascale Ghazaleh, Fortunes urbaines et strategies sociales: Genealogies patrimoniales au Caire 1780–1830 (Cairo: Institut Francais d;Archeologie Orientale, 2010), vol. 2, part 3; David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years (New York: Melville House, 2011), especially chaps. 11 and 12.

(52.) JP: DM, Khabir Muhammad Imam to Abd al-Massih Shinuda, dated 6 Jumada al-Awwal 1280 (October 19, 1863).

(53.) JP: DM, Kobbei Mahkama court case dated 11 Shawwal 1279 (April 1, 1863).

(54.) Postal service did not reach Khartoum until 1873: Richard Hill, Egypt in the Sudan, 1820–1881 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), 129.

(55.) On this episode in commercial history, Walz, “Asyut in the 1260s (1844-53),” n. 47.

(56.) Francis L. Hawks, Monuments of Egypt (New York: Putnam, 1850), part 2, 135.

(57.) William Fullerton Cumming, Notes of a Wanderer, in Search of Health, Through Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey Up the Danube, and Down the Rhine, 2 vols. (London: Saunders, 1839), 1: 279. He heard this from an informant in Asyut when he arrived in February 1837.

(58.) An American traveler tracks down the postmaster in Asyut to mail a letter to Cairo: Jerome Van Crowninshield Smith, A Pilgrimage to Egypt (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1852), 132; William C. Prime, Boat Life in Egypt and Nubia (New York: Harper, 1857), 176; the Cassavetis were convinced that their mail, giving instructions to their agent in Asyut, was being opened and read by hostile parties.

(59.) On them, Thomas Philipp, The Syrians in Egypt 1725–1975 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1985), 120, 129.

(60.) JP, CC, Letters, Ikhwan Ubayd to Shinuda and Khayr Daus, dated 15 Ramadan 1266 (July 25, 1850).

(61.) JP: CC, Letters, David Robino to Unknown, dated November 1, 1858. The author is grateful to Rosemary Eschel for information on this merchant.

(62.) John Madox, Excursions in the Holy Land, Egypt, Nubia, Syria. &c Including a Visit to the Unfrequented District of the Haouran, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1834), 31; Benjamin Dorr, Notes of Travel in Egypt, the Holy Land, Turkey, and Greece (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1856), 77.

(63.) JP: Account Books, Cairo Yaumiyya 1259 (Daily Account Book 1843-44), page 17: “slaves sold by Captain Tumaysh in Bani Suwayf” for 2,373 piasters.

(64.) “The passage of steamers on this part of the Nile is now common”: Bayle St. John, Village Life in Egypt: With Sketches of the Said, 2 vols. (London: Chapman and Hall, 1852), vol. 1, 94–95; In 1852, a steamship service was begun between Cairo and Aswan: Andrew Humphreys, On the Nile in the Golden Age of Travel (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2016), 84. Thomas Cook was granted a concession to run steamboats from Cairo to Aswan in 1870: F. Robert Hunter, “Tourism and Empire: The Thomas Cook & Son Enterprise on the Nile, 1868–1914,” Middle Eastern Studies 40, no. 5 (2004): 31.

(65.) JP: CC: Letters, Bulus Ghubriyal to `Abd al-Massih Shinuda and Maqar Dimyan, dated 27 Ramadan 1280 (March 6, 1864)

(66.) Lionel Wiener, l’Egypte et les Chemins de fer (Brussels: Imprimatur de roi, 1932), 64–74;

(67.) JP: CC: Telegraphs: From `Abd al-Massih Shinuda, Cairo, to Jubran Daus, Asyut, dated 3 Rajab 1279 (December 25, 1862); from Bulus Ghubriyal, Cairo, to Khawaja Dimyan, Asyut, dated 10 Shawwal 1280 (March 19, 1864)

(68.) See also Terence Walz, “Redeemed Lives in the Trans-Saharan Migration of the Nineteenth Century,” in Bridges Across the Sahara, ed. Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, the section “Kuku wad Adam (ca. 1860–?): How a Slave Won Freedom after Becoming a Merchant’s Factotum,” 87–90.

(69.) Walz, “Sudanese, Habasha, Takarna and Barabira,” in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery, 51, and n. 27; the French consul wrote concerning 16,000 piasters invested by Jacob Baer al-Faransawi with two Nubians, Abdallah Muhammad al-Jabiri and his brother, who were Barabira, in an IOU dated 7 Rabi` al-Thani 1275 (November 14, 1858): JP: French Matters, Consulate de France au Caire to Abd al-Massih Shinuda, Wakil Qunsuliya Dawlat Faransa bi-Suyut, dated 25 Shawwal 1278 (April 15, 1863)

(70.) David Landes, Bankers and Pashas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958), 151–157; Hill, Egypt in the Sudan, 122; one copy of the contract dated 26 Dhul-Hijja 1278 (June 26, 1862) is found in PRO, FO841/29, File 1, Letter 9, received January 18, 1868, a court case brought by Debono after the company was liquidated.

(71.) O’Fahey, Darfur Sultanate, chap. 12.

(72.) The remains of the old commerce are recalled by Henri Deherain in “Le commerce de Siout avec le Darfour avant le soulevement Mahdiste,” in his Etudes sur l’Afrique (Paris, 1904), 65–72.

(73.) R. S. O’Fahey with J. O. Hunwick and D. Lange, “Two Glosses concerning Bilad al-Sudan on a Manuscript of al-Nuwayri’s Nihayat al-arab,” Bulletin of Information, Fontes Historiae Africanae 5 (1979): 52–87.

(74.) R. S. O’Fahey, The Darfur Sultanate (London: Hurst, 2008).

(75.) Jay Spaulding, The Heroic Age in Sinnar (East Lansing: African Studies Center, University of Michigan, 1985); David N. Edwards, “Post Medieval Sudan and Islam (1500–1900),” in The Nubian Past (London: Routledge, 2004), chap. 9; Intisar Elzein, “Ottoman Archaeology of the Middle Nile Valley in the Sudan,” in Frontiers of the Ottoman World, ed. A. C. S. Peacock (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 371–373; V. L. Menage, “The Ottomans and Nubia in the Sixteenth Century,” Annales Islamologiques 24 (1988): 137–153; Terence Walz, Trade between Egypt and Bilad as-Sudan, 1700–1820 (Cairo: Institut Francais d’Archeologie Orientale du Caire, 1978).

(76.) Nicolas Michel, “Les artisans dans la ville: Ateliers de tissage et tisserands d’Asyut a la fin du XVIIIe siecle, d’apres les registers du tribunal du qadi,” in Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600-1900: Essays in Honor of Andre Raymond, ed. Nelly Hanna and Raouf Abbas (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005), 51–97; Zeinab Aboul-Magd, Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt (Berkeley, CA: University of Californai Press, 2013), chaps. 1–2; Layla `Abd al-Laif Ahmad, Al-Sa`id fi `Ahd Shaykh al-`Arab Humam (Cairo: Hay’a al-Misriyya al-`Amma lil-Kitab, 1987).

(77.) Khaled Fahmy, “The Era of Muhammad Ali Pasha, 1805–1848,” in The Cambridge History of Egypt, vol. 2, ed. M. W. Daly, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 139–179; Kenneth M. Cuno, “Egypt to c. 1919,” in The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance, ed. Francis Robinson, 79–106. Vol. 5 of The New Cambridge History of Islam (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Roger Owen, The Middle East in the World Economy 1800-1914 (London: Methuen, 1981); Richard Hill, Egypt in the Sudan, 1820–1881 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959).

(78.) On the slave trade, see Walz and Cuno, eds., Race and Slavery; Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Slavery in the Sudan: History, Documents, and Commentary (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); and Ehud R. Toledano, As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007).

(79.) Terence Walz, “The Private Papers of the al-Jawhari Merchant Family of Asyut, 1832–1866,” in Annales Islamologique (forthcoming); Terence Walz, “Asyut in the 1260s (1844–53),” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 15 (1979): 113–126; `Ali Mubarak, al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyya, al-Jadida li-Misr al-Qahira, 2d. ed., 20 vols. (Cairo, Matba’a Dar al-Kutub w’al-Watha’iq al-Misriyya, 1969–2005), vol. 12, 258–274; Adel F. Sadek, “Christianity in Asyut in Modern History,” in Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt: al-Minya and Asyut, ed. Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2015), 99–112; Nicholas Hopkins and Reem Saad, eds., Upper Egypt: Identity and Change (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2004).

(80.) Kenneth M. Cuno and Michael Reimer, “The Census Registers of Nineteenth-Century Egypt: A New Source for Social Historians,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 24, no. 2 (1997); Ghislaine Alleaume and Philippe Fargues, “La naissance d’une statistique d’Etat: le rencensement de 1846 en Egypte,” Histoire et mesure 13, no. 1–2 (1998): 147–193; Ghislaine Alleaume and Philippe Fargues, “Voisinage et frontier: resider au Caire en 1846,” in Urbanite arabe: Hommage a Bernard Lepetit, ed. J. Dakhlia, 77–112 (Paris: Actes Sud, 1998).

(81.) Mohamed Saleh, “The Reluctant Transformation: State Industrialization, Religion, and Human Capital in Nineteenth-Century Egypt,” The Journal of Economic History 75, no. 1 (March 2015): 65–94; Mohamed Saleh, “A Pre-Colonial Population Brought to Light: Digitization of the Nineteenth Century Egyptian Censuses,” Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 46, no. 1 (2013): 5–18.

(82.) See Walz, in Walz and Cuno, Race and Slavery.