Scott, James George

   (1851-1935)
   A prominent writer and British colonial civil servant. Born in Scotland, the son of a minister, he began his career as a journalist in Malaya, was a schoolteacher at Saint John's College in Rangoon (Yangon), and also worked as a correspondent for the Rangoon Gazette, writing under the name Shway Yoe ("Golden Honest"). His most famous book, The Burman: His Life and Notions, was published in 1882 and introduced British audiences to a hitherto unknown land. After Upper Burma was occupied during the Third Anglo-Burmese War, Scott, having passed the bar examinations, returned to Burma and served on the Burma Commission, retiring in 1910. He was almost entirely involved in the Shan States, becoming Superintendent for the Northern Shan States in 1891 and Superintendent for the Southern Shan States from 1902 to 1910. Scott established Taunggyi as the administrative center for the Shan States (it is now the state capital). He served briefly as chargé d'affaires in Bangkok in the mid-1890s.
   Every inch an imperialist and a product of his times, Scott had remarkable courage and the ability to communicate effectively with local leaders, including the Shan (Tai) princes, or sawbwas. He is said to have introduced soccer (football) to Burma; it is now the country's favorite game. His encyclopedic knowledge of Burma and especially the Shan States is reflected in his five-volume Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States (1901) and Burma: A Handbook of Practical Information (1906, 1921). Although a century old, these classics are still consulted and quoted by Burma watchers and travelers today, including his comments on the remote and little-known Was.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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