<p>The Assam Company obtained a monopoly over India’s early tea industry when it purchased the East India Company’s experimental tea lands and nurseries in 1840. During that year it hired several hundred experienced Chinese tea growers and makers to help establish its fledgling plantations. The first European planters were young men already based in Calcutta. Later in the decade the company began to recruit in Britain, and this pencil sketch portrays the arrival of a novice planter at Calcutta, soon to embark upon the ten week journey to Upper Assam. His first job would be to supervise the cutting down and clearing of the jungle in areas where indigenous tea plants flourished. These would produce a significant crop in the next year. Over time these small tea clearings would be expanded to create tea barries and then the first tea gardens.</p> <p>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FRCMS%20365%2F5%2F18'>here</a> </p>
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