[KS] The Prints Collection of George C. Foulk at The New York Public Library

Yoo Kwang-On almakoreana at gmail.com
Tue Nov 25 21:51:10 EST 2014

Hello All,

"A very interesting official report, based on information supplied by the
King, is to be found in the unpublished papers of Lieutenant George F. Foulk,
U.S. Naval Attache at Seoul, which are stored in the New York Public
Library." (p41n, Korea's Fight for Freedom, Frederick Arthur McKenzie, 1920)

Based on the above information, I was able to obtain the six print set of
George Foulk’s "Oversize Prints of Two Korean Ironclads and Korean Language
Document" from the New York Public Library in 2009.

Description and Inventory of "George Clayton Foulk, Papers"

Page 1 of the above PDF describes the collection of "George Clayton Foulk,
Papers" and page 2 lists the complete inventory of the collection while the
last entry reads "Oversize Prints of two Korean Ironclads and Korean
language document."

Six Prints of George C. Foulk Collection at the New York Public Library

1. *Ho Jo (호조, Travel Permit)*: Foulk called the Ho Jo a passport. This
particular Ho Jo was issued to an American medical missionary, Dr. William
B. Scranton, for travel to Wonsan in 1886.

2. *Turtle Ships (**龜船, 거북선)*:  This undated woodblock print shows two
ships side by side. The ship on the left was at 통영(Tong Yong, Naval
General Headquarters), Kyongsandg do. The ship on the right was located at
the Jolla Left Command(전라좌수영) at Yosu. The statement in between the ships
reads, "The turtle ships constructed by Yi Sun-sin were able to win the
battles during the Imjin War." " But ever since, the ships have been in a
state of disrepair," the unnamed writer laments. Unfortunately, Foulk had
to bypass Tong Yong, though this would have been of special interest to
him, in his capacity as a Naval Attache, due to the rudeness of the
Koreans. Curious Koreans even followed him to the latrines!

3. *Morse Code Chart for Korean, Japanese & English Alphabets*: At first I
did not know what this was until Dr. Gari Ledyard identified it as a Morse
Code chart. In the Korean alphabet, "ㄱ” has the same value as "力” in
Japanese and " L" in the English alphabet.  The corresponding character in
Morse code is ".  ㅡ ..", as Foulk shows. Please note that Foulk used Korean
Hanji (한지) paper for the chart. Foulk was a great admirer of Hanji and he
preferred to receive it when he exchanged gifts with the Koreans. When
Foulk was
in Korea from 1884-1887, the country did not yet have telegraph offices, so
he had to send and receive messages at one of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron
ships off Chemulpo.

4. *Ho Jo issued to "American Navy Lieutenant** Foulk **(복구 씨)" for travel
to southern Korea*: Unlike any other Ho Jos, Foulk's was signed by two
governors and mayors of two larger cities he had visited with. On the left
margin of the Ho Jo, the Governor of Jolla Do, Kim Sung-keun and Mayor of
Naju Pak Kyu-dong signed. Kim was the adopted Uncle of 서재필 (Dr. Phillip
Jason). He became a nemesis of many Koreans for accepting a viscount ship
from the Japanese upon their annexation of Korea in 1910.  Foulk's picture
of Kim Sung-keun, surrounded by dancing girls and musicians who entertained
Foulk at Jonju, can be found at the American Geographical Society Library
in Milwaukee, WI. Foulk despised Naju Mayor Pak Kyu-dong, calling him the
richest and most corrupt official in Korea at the time.

5 & 6. *Jo Hoe (조회) and Jo** Bok (조복)*: I am not certain of the function of
the above two papers but they appear to be the Korean Government's official
response and notice to the American Minister's (General Lucius Foote) request
for a Ho Jo for Foulk.


Yoo Kwang-On
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