[KS] " The Story of the Awakening and the Destruction of a Nation", Korea, 1866-1907

Kwang On Yoo lovehankook at gmail.com
Fri Sep 17 22:54:58 EDT 2010

Hello Everyone,

I would like to let you know that Frederick Arthur McKenzie's first book on
Korea, "The Tragedy of Korea", originally published in 1908, is
now available on Amazon.com as a reprinted edition, in addition to his
second book, "Korea's Fight for Freedom", first published in 1920.

As the second book has been readily available for a quite some time, I will
just touch upon "The Tragedy of Korea". In this first book, McKenzie
introduces it as "the story of the awakening and the destruction of a

His narrative starts with a 1866 incident involving  American schooner
General Sherman and ends with his daring 1907 journey to the "Righteous Army
(의병,義兵), covering 40 years of Korea's struggle as a party in political
conflict with  an "aroused China, an ambitious Japan" and expansionist
Russia, culminating in The Eulsa Protectorate Treaty (을사보호조약,乙巳保護条約) of 1905
and the subsequent uprising of the Righteous Army. A copy of the complete
treaty is included in the Appendices of the book.

The Appendix also contains various treaties Chosun signed with foreign
powers and other Korean treaties signed between 1876-1897. Also included is
the trial record of Miura Goro (三浦梧樓), the then Japanese Minister to Chosun
who concocted the plan to murder Queen Min in 1895, known as
(乙未事變 <http://hanja.naver.com/word?q=%E4%B9%99%E6%9C%AA%E4%BA%8B%E8%AE%8A>).

McKenzie's final sentences in the book were prophetic. He said "The future
of Japan, the future of the East, and, to some extent, the future of the
world, lies in the answer to the question whether the militarists or the
party of peaceful expansion gain the upper hand in the immediate future. If
the one, then we shall have harsher rule in Korea, steadily increasing
aggression in Manchuria, growing interference with China, and in the end, *a
Titanic conflict, the end of which none can see."*

He did not live long enough (1869-1931) to witness his prophesy realized.

  The only fault I found with this reprinted edition is that it is missing 6
of 27 illustrations and the Petition from the Koreans of Hawaii (page 311).

The Last Battle of  the Tortoise Ship(거북선,
I found this entry fascinating. When General Sherman was grounded in the
Daedong River, *"An ancient armored float was brought into play, the
tortoise boat, a scow mounted with cannon and protected by a covering of
sheet iron and bull hide. The front part of the armour lifted when the shot
was fired and closed immediately afterward. Even the tortoise boat failed to
injure the foreign ship."

I hope you will find this book valuable too.

Thank You,

Kwang-On Yoo
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