search close
Mon, July 4, 2022 | 06:18
Gardens galore at the US legation to Seoul
In the 1890s, the American legation was rather dismal when compared to its peers. The British and Russian representatives were housed in large new buildings, modern and imposing, while the American representative was forced to make do in the original Korean buildings that were already on the land when it was purchased the previous decade. The American compound's buildings wer...
Odors give way to fragrance in 19th century
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the descriptions of Seoul were filled with complaints of streets packed with oxen, ponies and people all trying to avoid falling into the open sewers or stepping in the excrement of man and beast, and the fetid stench that seemed to hang in the smoke-filled air. While there may have been some truth to these descriptions, there were a...
Answering the call of Heaven
In the spring of 1899, the Korean population was growing increasingly restless. Rain had not fallen for some time and the potential for a devastating drought followed by a famine was on everyone's mind.
Rebels at the Gate
In the summer of 1894, the community of Westerners residing in Seoul were greatly alarmed - not of the on-going Sino-Japanese War but because of the growing insurrection and unrest spreading throughout the southern part of the peninsula which threatened to spread to Seoul and endanger their lives.
Grave Crimes: Shaking the bones
In the summer of 1883, the American legation in Seoul was haunted, according to Rose Foote, the ambassador's wife, by “a most fascinating history and was invested with the flavor of romance. There were proud, surviving interests in the gruesome tales of its valiant decapitated Mins, who even now in unquestionable shape, periodically stalked about the premises.” These tales we...
Walking in the Footsteps of the Past: Miryang in 1884
In the fall of 1884, George C. Foulk, an American naval ensign assigned to the American legation in Seoul, undertook an extensive tour through the southern part of the Korean peninsula. His observations - carefully recorded in minute detail in his travel journals and letters home - provide some of the best and earliest English descriptions of the regions outside of Seoul.
History of oranges in Korea may be bit too tangy for locals
In 1877, a Japanese merchant in Fusan (now part of Busan) reported Koreans greatly valued oranges and used them in their medicine as well as for special treats. With Koreans, he declared, “orange peel and ginseng take the place of tea with us [Japanese] and coffee amongst foreigners.”
Profits amid a famine
The Japanese enclave of Fusan (now part of Busan) in the spring of 1877 was a vibrant and bustling commercial center. The 700 to 800 Japanese men there (there were only about 30 women) were mainly employed in one of the 200 Japanese firms represented at the port. Trade was good - in fact, in the beginning, it was fantastic and many of the companies reported huge profits.
Walking in the Footsteps of the Past: Mount Gyeryong - “Chicken Dragon Mountain”
While traveling to Nonsan in the autumn of 1884, Foulk jotted down in his journal that the hills had ended and he was provided with a view of “Keryong san” (Mount Gyeryong). It is a shame he did not translate the name into English - Chicken Dragon Mountain - as his parents might have found it more interesting. Perhaps Foulk was unaware of its translation and how it came by it...
Walking in the footsteps of the Past: Foulk's 1884 trek around Nonsan
In the fall of 1884, George C. Foulk, an American naval ensign assigned to the American legation in Seoul, undertook an extensive tour through the southern part of the Korean peninsula. His observations - carefully recorded in minute detail in his travel journals and letters home - provide some of the best and earliest English descriptions of the regions outside of Seoul. Of ...
 1 
Copyright