The translation of a letter from Lakshmibai to Dalhousie written in Persian, dated 3rd December 1853, concerning the annexation of Jhansi. The first in a series which continued into 1856.

Translation of a Kureeta [Persian letter] from Her Highness the Lakshme Bai the widow of Gungadhur Rao the late Maharajah of Jhansi to the address of the Marquis of Dalhousie the Most Noble the Governor General of India, 3rd December 1853.

After Compliments-

The services rendered by the Sheo Rao Bhao, the father of my late husband, to the Britsh government before its authority in this part of the Country was established are recorded with other State Documents and have been amply rewarded by the unceasing flow of benefits which his family have derived from the acknowledged favour and protection of such a mighty power.

The concluding article of the Treaty with my late husband sighned by Colonel Sleeman in 1842 guarantees to the Jhansi Government the continued existence of all the benefits claimable by virtue of a former treaty made by Ramchand Rao in 1817 and not specifically cancelled by the terms of the new agreement then made.

The treaty was declaredly made in consideration of the very respectable character borne by the late Subhadar Sheo Rao Bhow and his uniform and faithful attachment to the British Government and in deference to his wish expressed before his death that the principality of Jhansi might be confirmed in perpetuity to his grandson Ramchand Rao.

As the means of effecting this and with the view to confirming the fidelity and attachment to the Government of Jhansi the second article acknowledges and constitutes Rao Ramachand his heirs and successors hereditary rulers of the territory enjoyed by the late Sheo Rao Bhow thereby meaning that any party who be adopted as his son to perform the funeral rites over his body, necessary to ensure beatitude in a future world, would be acknowledged by the British Government as his successor and one through whom the name and interests of the family might be preserved.

The Hindu Shastras inculcate the doctrine that the libation offered to the manes of adeceased parent are as efficacious when performed by an adopted as by a real son and the custom of adoption is accordingly found prevalent in every part of Hindustan. My husband therefore, upon the morning of the 19th November last, sent for Dewan Nara Sing, Rao Appa, Lalla Lahori Mull, and Lalla Futteh Chund the Ministers and myself and told us to consult with the Shastra and elect a duly qualified child from his own 'Gote' clan to succeed him as ruler of Jhansi, as he found himself getting worse and the medicines doing him no good.

Ramchand Baba was in consequence summoned, when at his recommendation out of several children of the Gote it was agreed that Anund Rao, a boy of five years of age the son of Bashdeva, was the best qualified for the purpose. My husband then ordered the Shastri to perform the rites of adoption. The next morning Benaik Rao Pandit performed the Saukalpa when Bashdeva the father of Anund Rao having poured water on my husband's hands with the usual ceremonies the boy was named Damodar Rao Gungadhur when the ceremony was completed.

The Ministers by order of the Raja wrote to Major Ellis who was encamped at Sayer, 6 Cos from Jhansi, and wrote to Major Martin, the officer commanding the station, requestng their attendance at the Palace with the view of bearing witness to what had been done. These two Gentlemen came to the Palace at 10 A.M. the next morning, the 20th November, when my husband delivered a letter to Major Ellis requesting him to obtain the sanction of Government to the adoption which was read over in their presence, when Major Ellis promised that he would make known his wishes to your Lordship.

The next day, Monday the 21st November, my husband expired; the funeral rites required to be performed by a son have all been discharged by Anund Rao styled Damodhur Rao Gungadhur.

My late husband before his death made the boy over to the protection and favour of the British Government - and as the adoption made by Parakshata (the late Rajah of Datia), that of Bala Rao (the last Chief of Jalour) and that of Tej Singh (the last Raja of Urcha) have all been sanctioned by your Lordship - the more strongly as the term 'dawana' (perpetuity) made use of in the Treatyof the Jhansi State is not mentioned in theirs.