[KS] Hermit Country?

Henny Savenije webmaster at henny-savenije.pe.kr
Wed Aug 3 23:36:45 EDT 2005

Scott Burgeson  mentions" it was official policy to detain 
permanently foreign (mainly non-Chinese and non-Japanese) sailors who 
were shipwrecked on Korean shores so that they could not return to 
their native lands and disseminate information about Korea (and thus 
attract more unwanted visitors)".

It is true that Weltevree mentions that to the sailors, but in 
reality there is no proof of this. As Ledyard mentions, when 
Weltevree stranded the Koreans wanted to hand him over to the 
Japanese, which declined to accept him. They accepted however a group 
of Chinese in 1645 who were stranded near Jinju, They wanted to go to 
Japan and finally the Koreans sent them to Japan where a number of 
them were killed because they were Chinese missionaries, trying to 
sneak into Japan.

The Koreans knew Hamel and his crew were Christians and since the 
Koreans had no knowledge at that time between the difference of 
Protestantism and Catholicism, they assumed the Dutch would endure 
the same fate if they were sent to Japan.

Additionally the Japanese already once declined to accept a 
Westerner, so there were enough excuses for the Koreans not to sent 
these castaways back to ?? Yes, exactly, back to where.

Before that we know that there have been encounters with probably 
Arabs which were encouraged to stay, many Chinese who were encouraged 
to stay. The lifeguard of which Weltevree and Hamel's people were a 
part off, consisted of people who probably went to Korea voluntarily. 
Hamel and nobody else says anything about that. Additionally the fact 
that the king employed a foreign legion to protect his life, shows 
that the king didn't trust his own people but he did trust these 
foreigners to protect his life.
When William Robert Broughton  (1762-1821)

 came to Korea almost 130 years (1797) later, the Koreans did their 
best to persuade them to leave the country as soon as possible and 
seemed relieved once they did. (can be found on my website)

Broughton published his log book in 1804.

Also Basil Hall's  (

1788-1844) account published in HJ Clifford. Publisher: London, J. 
Murray, 1818 tells the same story This story can also be found on the 

Henny (Lee Hae Kang)
http://www.henny-savenije.pe.kr Portal to all my sites
http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr (in English) Feel free 
to discover Korea with Hendrick Hamel (1653-1666)
http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr/indexk2.htm In Korean
http://www.hendrick-hamel.henny-savenije.pe.kr/Dutch In Dutch
http://www.vos.henny-savenije.pe.kr Frits Vos Article about Witsen 
and Eibokken and his first Korean-Dutch dictionary
http://www.cartography.henny-savenije.pe.kr (in English) Korea 
through Western Cartographic eyes
http://www.hwasong.henny-savenije.pe.kr Hwasong the fortress in Suwon
http://www.oldKorea.henny-savenije.pe.kr Old Korea in pictures
http://www.british.henny-savenije.pe.kr A British encounter in Pusan (1797)
http://www.genealogy.henny-savenije.pe.kr/index.htm Genealogy
http://www.henny-savenije.pe.kr/bboard Bulletin board for Korean studies

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