Ibrahim Pasha, an Egyptian viceroy, the son, or according to some the adopted son, of Mehemet Ali, born at Kavala, a village of Rou-melia, in 1789, died in Cairo, Nov. 9, 1848. His youth, from his 16th year, was spent in command of the troops in Upper Egypt, and in fighting the wild tribes of that region. In 1812 he reduced by famine the fortress of Ibrim in Nubia, the refuge of the last remnants of the Mamelukes. In September, 1816, he invaded Arabia at the head of the third army sent to reduce the Wahabees, and displayed equal skill, courage, perseverance, and cruelty in organizing his heterogeneous forces, and creating victory out of defeat. After taking many strongholds, he laid siege to the Wahabee capital, which he compelled to surrender. He returned to Cairo in 1819, and, under the guidance of a French officer, created an army disciplined and equipped after the European fashion. In August, 1824, he set sail with a formidable fleet and 17,000 troops for Greece, to aid in suppressing the insurrection there. His army gained many successes, and devastated the Peloponnesus with great cruelty.
The European powers intervened, and his fleet was destroyed at Navarino, Oct. 20, 1827, by the combined squadrons of Russia, France, and England; and in 1828 he was recalled to Egypt by the peremptory order of Mehemet Ali. There again he busied himself in organizing an army, and in creating, with the aid of French engineers, a fleet superior to that which he had lost at Navarino. Both were ready in 1831, when the disobedience of the pasha of Acre furnished Mehemet Ali the desired opportunity of invading Syria. Ibrahim, to whom the expedition was intrusted, lost 5,000 men by cholera before he could leave Egypt. On Nov. 29 he laid siege to Acre, having terrified into surrender Gaza, Jaffa, and Kaiffa. A Turkish army came to the relief of Acre, and was surprised and routed by Ibrahim near Tripoli, and on May 27, 1832, he carried Acre by storm. He pushed on immediately for Aleppo. Damascus opened its gates to him. The Turks were again defeated at Homs, and afterward at Hamah, and finally the fall of Aleppo left him master of Syria. Pursuing the Turks, he overtook and routed them at Adana. Meanwhile his fleet had driven that of the Turks to seek refuge beneath the forts of Constantinople. Having obtained another brilliant victory at Ulu Kislak, he marched to Konieh, where on Dec. 20 he found himself confronting 60,000 Turks commanded by Reshid Pasha. Though the Egyptians were not half as numerous, they routed the Turks completely, and the grand vizier himself was taken prisoner with immense booty.
His father's commands obliged him to wait for reenforcements, instead of marching on Constantinople. This delay enabled the sultan to invoke the aid of the czar; and on Feb. 20, 1833, a Russian fleet cast anchor in the Bosporus. The western powers interfered, and a peace was concluded, leaving to Mehemet Ali the government of Syria and the pashalic of Adana. Ibrahim governed these provinces with firmness, repressed disorders, and encouraged agriculture, industry, and commerce. The resentment of the sultan led in 1839 to a renewal of hostilities, which resulted in another crushing defeat by Ibrahim of the Turkish forces, at Nizib, on June 24. Here again, obedient to his father's order, and in compliance with the request of the French government, he stopped short in his course of victory. A treaty concluded July 15, 1840, between the Porte and the western powers (without the knowledge of France), stipulated that Mehemet Ali should either consent to limit his authority to Palestine, or be compelled to do so by the united forces of England and Austria. An insurrection broke out among the mountain tribes of the Lebanon and spread rapidly on every side.
Beyrout, after a bombardment of nine days, was evacuated by the Egyptian garrison, Sidon yielded without resistance, St. Jean d'Acre surrendered after three hours' fire; the whole coast of Syria was in possession of the English, and Commodore Napier, anchoring in the bay of Alexandria, sent an ultimatum which Mehemet Ali accepted. Ibrahim, who had fallen back to Damascus, and found his position extremely difficult, was now commanded to evacuate Syria. This retreat, conducted with consummate ability, but with great losses, closed his military career. Thereafter he devoted his whole time to the culture of his immense estates on the plain of Heliopolis, until he was placed in charge of the government on the retirement of his father in 1844. His own infirmities, however, compelled him to seek a more temperate climate and the medical skill of western Europe. Returning to Egypt, he began several reforms suggested by what he had observed during his travels; but a violent attack of dysentery again forced him to a change of climate, and he spent the winter of 1847-'8 in Italy. He went to Constantinople in July, 1848, where he was confirmed in his rank of viceroy.