Fraser, James Baillie
FRASER, JAMES BAILLIE (1783-1856), Scottish diplomatist, traveller, and author, was born at Reelick or Relig in the county of Inverness, in June 1783. He was the eldest of the four sons of Edward S. Fraser of Reelick, all of whom found their way to the East, and gave proof of their ability. When Reza Koolee Murza and Nejeff Koole6 Murza, the exiled Persian princes, visited England, he was appointed to be their mehmindar, and on their return he accompanied them as far as Constantinople. He was afterwards sent to 'Persia on a diplomatic mission by Lord Glenelg, and effected a most remarkable journey on horseback through Asia Minor to Teheran. His health, however, was impaired by the fatigue and exposure; and lie consequently retired to his estate in Scotland. In 1823 he married a daughter of Lord Woodhouselee, and sister of Patrick Fraser Tytler. He died at Reelick in January 1856. Fraser is said to have displayed great skill in water-colours, and several of his drawings have . been engraved; and the astronomical observations which he took during some of his journeys did considerable service to the cartograpV of Asia. The works by which he attained his literary reputation were accounts of his travels and fictitious tales illustrative of Eastern life. In both he employed a vigorous and impassioned style, which was on the whole wonderfully effective in spite of minor faults in taste and flaws in structure. Some of his tales have not yet altogether lost their popularity.
In 1S20 there appeared a Journal of a Tour through part of the Snowy Range of the Himala Mountains; in 1825, a Narrative of a Journey into Khorasan in the years 1821 and 1822, including an Account of the Countries to the North-East of Persia; and in 1S26, Travels and Adventures in the Persian Provinces on the Southern Banks of the Caspian Sea. The first part of The Ku:If:abash, a Tale of Khorasan, was published in 1828, and the second part or continuation in 1830, under the title of the Persian Adventurer. These were followed in 1833 by The Khan's Tale, of which the scene is laid in Khorasan. In 1834 appeared a History of Persia (in the Edinburgh Cabinet Library), and in 1838 a Narrative of the Residence of the Persian Princes in London, 1835-6, and A Winter Journey (Tatar) from Constantinople to Teheran, with Travels through various parts of Persia. Next came Travels in Koordistan and Mesopotamia, 1840; The Highland Smugglers, 1842; Alice Neemroo, 1842; The Dark Falcon, a Tale of the Attruek, 1844 ; Mesopotamia and Assyria (Edinburgh Cab. Lib.), 1847 ; Military Memoirs of Lieut.-Col. Skinner, 1851.