In January 1840 the Assam Company was formed to take over the early tea garden of the East India Company, and this, the premier company, is still in existence, having produced up to 1907 no less than 117,000,000 lb of tea and paid in dividends X1,360,000 or 730 per cent.
The sal, Shorea robusta, a very durable wood, is most abundant along the skirts of the Himalaya from Assam to the Punjab, and is found in central India, to which the teak also extends.
In the north-east of Assam and in the north of Upper Burma the Ficus elastica, a species of india-rubber tree, is found.
The Ahoms retained the form of government in Assam peculiar to the Shan tribes, which may be briefly described as an organized system of personal service in lieu of taxation.
Their religion was pagan, being quite distinct from Buddhism; but in Assam they gradually became Hinduized, and their kings finally adopted Hindu names and titles.
AHOM, or Aham, a tribe of Shan descent inhabiting the Assam valley, and, prior to the invasion of the Burmese at the commencement of the 19th century, the dominant race in that country.
In Assam there is a small spiny hare (Caprolagus hispidus), with the habits of a rabbit; and an allied species (Nesolagus nitscheri) inhabits Sumatra, and a third (Pentalagus furnessi) the Liu-kiu Islands.
It happened, accordingly, that the Burmese, carrying their arms into Assam and Manipur, penetrated to the British border near Sylhet, odthe north-east frontier of Bengal, beyond which were the possessions of the chiefs of Cachar, under the protection of the British government.
It stretches from Cape Negrais on the south to the Naaf estuary, which divides it from the Chittagong division of Eastern Bengal and Assam on the north, and includes the districts of Sandoway, Kyaukpyu, Akyab and northern Arakan, an area of some 18,540 sq.
In 1832 that portion of the province denominated Upper Assam was formed into an independent native state, and conferred upon Purandhar Singh, the ex-rajah of the country; but the administration of this chief proved unsatisfactory, and in 1838 his principality was reunited with the British dominions.