Thursday, March 7, 2013

His Highness Said Pasha, The Viceroy of Egypt and Koenig Bey, Private Secretary

Illustrated London News, June 28, 1862 
Out of the eighty-three children of Mohainmed Ali, four only survived their father, and Said is incontestably the most remarkable of them. Brought up under the eye of his mother, a Circassian by birth, and whose only child he was, Said evinced at an early stage a decided predilection for scientific pursuits, and particularly for astronomy, to which he gave all his time. At thirteen years of age, he embraced the naval career, and it was at that time that an officer of the French Royal Navy, Houssard, commenced the education of the Prince, and passed successively through all the grades of the service until he reached the dignity of Said Pasha is the fourth son of Mohammed Ali, the great admiral of the entire Egyptian fleet. Said while admiral of the fleet then lived very privately at Kabarri, near Alexandria, dividing his time between his naval occupations and astronomy, his favourite science, when about this time his nephew, Abbas Pasha, died (1854).
By this event, Said was called to the throne by virtue of the firrnan of 1841 which confers the government of Egypt on the members of Mohammed Ali’s family. Said assumed the reins of the government on the 17th of July, 1854. A short time afterwards, Said went to Constantinople to receive at the hands of the Sultan his investiture as Viceroy.
One of his first acts was the abolition of slavery; then he suppressed trade monopoly; the capitation taxes; re-organised the army, which he reduced to about 20,000 men; regulated the taxes, commenced and achieved various works of public utility, and warmly supported the Isthmus of Suez project. Q At the commencement of the Crimean War, Said Pasha, as a loyal vassal of the Sultan, dispatched to the scene of the conflict an army of 10,000 men, who fought bravely by the side of the Turkish and allied troops.
His energy and activity during his short reign of eight years have enabled him to accomplish colossal reforms, reforms inspired by his intelligent appreciation of European ideas. Indeed, all the establishments originated by himself and by his father are certainly superior to any others in Turkey or in the Orient. Said Pasha has but recently created an Egyptian Museum at Cairo, and placed it under the direction of M. A. Mariette.


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