James Baker visited the Ottoman Balkans two times in the 1870s with the aim of purchasing a farm, and spent three years there. His account is not limited to meetings with state officials. He mostly traversed the region on horseback and visited many towns and stayed in khans or hosted by the villagers. As a result he got in touch with ordinary people, be it the porters of Istanbul or the villagers living nearby the remote mountain passes, and he had the chance to observe and depict them in a lively manner. He also provides valuable information about the state structure of the Ottoman Empire and its military power. He elaborates in great detail, from their history to traditions and economic activities, various peoples living in the Ottoman Balkans. Since his main purpose of travel was business, he presents useful hints on the possibilities of investment in the agricultural sector. He provides estimates about costs and revenues (depending on the type of agricultural activity) and information about the Ottoman taxation system and regulations for foreigners regarding real-estate ownership. It seems that he intended his to book to serve also as a guide to potential foreign investors.