[KS] Korean Embassy arrived New York, The New York Times, Sept. 18, 1883

Kwang On Yoo lovehankook at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 23:29:42 EDT 2010


Hello Everyone,

King Kojong sent the first ever Korean Embassy to the United States to
reciprocate the opening of the U.S. Legation in Seoul.

The New York times reports on their arrival in New York City to present
their credentials to then President Arthur:


This is how they greeted the President:


The Korean Embassy was well served by Percival Lowell, of future Lowell
Observatory fame. Lowell was a well educated Harvard man with a very good
family connection. He took the Embassy to his hometown of Boston from New
York by boat.

He later returned to Japan with the Embassy. There he received an invitation
from the Korean Court to visit Korea. He stayed three months and kept
himself very busy while in Korea, as we will see. Based on the experience
and material gathered during his stay, he wrote the now famous book, *Choson:
The Land of Morning Calm. *But Lowell's work and actions while in
Korea did not escape the scrutiny of  U.S. Navy Ensign,* George Clayton
Foulk, who was acting Minister in Korea at the time. King Kojong on down
called him Pok Kongsa(복 공사),  Minister Foulk.

In a letter to his father dated March 13, 1886,** The American Man In Korea,
Foulk writes, "Ever so many thanks for the newspaper slips on Lowell's book
(Choson: The Land of the Morning Calm). They were interesting and
useful.Lowellwill hardly send me a copy of the book. I hear he is very
bitter against me,
but I forgive him and am glad his book is favorably received. I judge,
however, it throws but real light on Korea. If I write a book it will be a
sober exposition of facts, not flowery in any way. Lowell has done very well
considering the time he spent here. I notice several great mistakes, about
the King's divine origin (not so) and the status of women,which is not
complete. *The evils women's seclusion are abominable and obscenity and
filth exist which probably have no counterpart in the world. In other ways,
however, Koreans are better than Lowell makes them."*

In the same letter, Foulk writes, "Lowell ought to know something about the
women, as he lived with the fair creature he describes, and is said to have
a child here."

Understandably there are no records of the Korean woman or his child he
fathered with her, as they could not be made public at the time in Korea.

In the meantime, there was a very informative article on Pok Kongsa in the
Yunhap News, Seoul, June 15, 2010:

* Foulk was interpreting for the Korean Embassy in Japanes while they were
in the U. S. before he was appointed to the post of  the Naval Attache to

* *America's Man in Korea
The Private Letters of George C. Foulk, 1884-1887, page 150
Edited by Samuel Hawley(전 연세대 교수)
Lexington Books, 2008

Thank you.

Kwang-On Yoo
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