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The north-east was an important node in shaping ideologies of colonial science. Scientific explorations between Sylhet, the Khasi Hills and Assam constructed knowledge of the economic potential of natural resources, which in their turn helped to build power and feed the British Empire in India and beyond. The surveys of the Khasi Hills that informed road engineering or military movements also elicited a range of narratives in which ideals of science, race and empire. The Indian north-east that was constructed through this period was a novel place; part of what Matthew Edney has called the 'geographical rhetoric of British India'. According to Nathaniel Wallich, John Gibson would have been glad to send his harvest of orchids 'forests and all if he could'. The vast majority of the plants in the Linnean Society's East India Herbarium catalogued as having come from Sylhet, Pandua, Cachar and Khasi Hills were sourced in Cherrapunji.

Welsh missionaries and British imperialism

The Empire of Clouds in north-east India


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