Inhabitants of Penang, 1803


After Captain Norman MacAlister had served for over a decade as the Commander of the Artillery Upon Prince Of Wales Island, he published in 1803 a book lengthily titled Historical Memoir relative to Prince of Wales Island in the Straits of Malacca: and its Importance Political and Commercial (London: J.H. Hart of Warwik-Square, Newgate Street).

The 38-page typewritten volume was conceived more as a report to the East India Company and the British Government in London than as a public document. Certain sections that had apparently been planned originally were therefore excluded “for security reasons”, as we would put it today.

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