The tranquillity of the borders
in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism
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In the geo-politics of empire from the 1770s to the 1830s, the northeast was undergoing a period of transition, in which a zone of indeterminacy became an edge, and a barrier became incorporated into a known region. Cherrapunji thus became a distinctive landmark, a node in the imperial network. At an intimate and personal level, the Khasi Hills were becoming a domesticated destination and end point as much as a staging post and site of transience. The regional subtleties of climate in India may not have been fully understood either by the London Missionary Society (LMS) or the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS). The Khasi Hills were something altogether different and unexpected. 'The tranquillity of the borders', asserted Francis Jenkins, 'can only be effectually and economically provided for, by maintaining our ascendancy in the Hills'.

Welsh missionaries and British imperialism

The Empire of Clouds in north-east India

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