The Russian acquisitions in Central Asia were directed to the Jaxartes in the first stage of their operations, and to the Oxus in the second. With the fall of Tashkend in 1865 the Russians com pleted tile first part of their programme, and with the annexation of Khiva in 1873, the second. With the consummation of these conquests, and the subsequent absorption of Khokand, Western Tnrkestan was converted into a Russian province.
Eastern Turkestan, sometimes called Kashgaria, is a name for which there is no authority. European writers have called it I.ittle 13okhara, a term quite unknown to the inhabitants or the neighbourhood. The Chim.se, call it the province of the Nan-loo, or province of the Southern Road, lying along the south of the Tian Shan range. The neighbouring Muhaminadans call it Alti shahr or Jeti-shahar, Turki-Petsian words for the six cities and the seven cities, so designated according to the number of towns which it included at the Hine of speaking. It lies nearly due north of Kashmir. It is a gently undulatin.g plain, about 250 miles across from N. to S. near its western extremity, where cultivation is the more abundant ; open and gradually widening, out to the east, where the great rainless desert of Gobi extends, and froin whence long arms of sand and shingle stretch back into the cultivated region up to •the very walls of the cities and villages. Shut in on the S. by the mighty chain which forms the true backbone of Asia, various portions of which are known as the Konen Lun, Kara-korum, Mustagh or Ice Mountain, Tagh- dung -bash or Head of the Mountains. On the west it has the extremely elevated plateau of Pamir, and on its north is the range known in Turki and Chinese as the Tengiri or Tian Shan range, both terms mean ing heavenly, from the northern slopes of which the rivers of Siberia rise. The people, numbering about 1,500,000, are robust, industrious, frugal, of peaceful dispositions, and with strong desires to trade. The rainfall, even at the skirts of the hills, is limited to a few showers in the winter and spring, and the cultivation, which is limited to the artificial irrirgation of the base of mountains and the banks of rivers, is carried on frorn the melting of the glaciers and the winter snows. The rivers ultimately unite in one, which dis appears in a marsh far removed in the desert of Gobi. Wheat, barley, and Indian corn are pro
duced ; fruits are abundant, and of these the grapes are celebrated. Gold is found in the east of the Konen Lun range. Jade, copper, lead, and sulphur are found in the Kara-korum and on the spurs of Pamir, and coal in the eastern parts of the Tian Shan mountains.
Eastern Turkestan was subject to China from the beginning of the Christian era to the time of Chengiz Khan ; and after the middle of the 18th century, the Chinese regained possession of it. Eastern Turkestan is eminently Muhammadan, and its rulers had always been Muhammadan from the time of Tagbalaq Timur, who was, we are told, the first Muhammadan sovereign of Kashgar of tbe lineage of Chengiz. Buddhism indeed was found still prevalent in the cities of Turfan arid Kamil at the time of the embassy of Shah Rukh in 1419, and probably did not become extinct much before the end of the century. But, in the western states, Muhammadanism seems to have been universal from an earlier date, and maintained with fanatical zeal. Saintly teachers and workers of miracles, claiming descent from Mahon:Led, and known as Kliwaja or Khojah, acquired great influence ; and the sectaries attached to the chiefs of these divided the people into rival factions, whose mutual hostility eventually led to the sub jugation of the whole country. For, late in the seventeenth century, Khojah Appak, the leader of one of those parties called the White Mountain (having been expelled from Kashgar by Ismail Khan, the chief of that state, who was a zealous supporter of the opposite party or Black Moun tain), sought the aid of Galdan Khan, sovereign of the Eleuth or Kaltnuk race of Dzungaria. Taking the occasion so afforded, that chief in 1678 invaded the states south of the Tian Shan, carried off the khan of Kashgar and his family, and established the Khojah of the White Moun tain over the country, in authority subordinate to his own. Great discord for many years succeeded, sometimes one, soinetimes another being upper 'most, but some supreniacy always continuing to be exercised by the khans of Dzungaria. In 1757, however, the latter country was conquered by the Chinese, who in the following year, making a tool of the White party, which was then in opposi tion, succeeded in bringing the states of Turkestan also under their rule.