Rangoon, a seaport and the capital of British Burmah, in Pegu, on the left bank of the E. branch of the Irrawaddy, known as the Rangoon, about 26 m. from the sea, in lat. 16° 46' N., lon. 96° 17' E.; pop. in 1871, 96,952. The houses of the town are somewhat unequally distributed, in narrow but clean and well paved streets, over a space about a mile long, parallel to the river, and extending three quarters of a mile inland. There are several Buddhist pagodas, one Baptist, two Episcopal, and two Roman Catholic churches, and a number of schools. It is the centre of the American Baptist missions in Burmah, connected with which are a theological seminary, college, and printing office. The harbor is capable of receiving vessels of 1,200 tons, and the tide rises 18 to 25 and even 30 ft. Ship building is an important industry. The principal export is rice; next in the order of values come timber, raw cotton, and petroleum. The East Indian trade of Rangoon is mostly with Calcutta, but also extends to Madras ports and the Straits Settlements. There are five lighthouses on the Burmese coast to guide vessels to the port. The town is fortified and garrisoned.
It has two markets, a recorder's court, and an English newspaper. - Rangoon was founded by the Burmese conqueror of Pegu in 1755. In 1852 it fell into the hands of the British, who have since retained it. In 1853 and 1855 it was greatly devastated by fire.