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The Independent: Saturday, July 11th, 1896

16th August 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 42 from Saturday, July 11th, 1896.  <<REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom>>  In this issue: The editor gives his opinion of the state of the Korean military and there are a lot of bulletins discussing foreign news.



The Korean army is a good deal in evidence these days and whatever may be said of the army as a whole, a good deal seems to be done by it in parts.  We hear every day of a victoryover the insurgents in some place or other.  They seem to fight fairly well and cannot be said to lack in bravery.  But this goes dead against all that has ever been said or written about Korean soldiers during these last years and there must be some reason for it.

So far as physique is concerned the Korean has a decided advantage over all eastern peoples with the exception of the northern Manchu soldiers who are stalwart, powerful fellows.  One of the marked characteristics of the Korean is his ability to walk long distances at a stretch.  He has a light, springy step that takes him along at four miles an hour all day long, and a hundred li, or thirty miles, is only a common day’s walk for a Koran travelling in the interior.  If need be he can raise the figure to forty or fifty miles a day and keep it up for days in succession.

From the earliest days of Koran history till the present time the crying need has been for proper leaders.  It is well known that in China and Korea military rank is not on an exact level with civil rank but is a step below, and so through all the centuries the best places in the army have been filled by men who were not bred to the profession of arms but who had enough influence to secure the best military positions in connection with other offices of a civil nature.  The consequence has been that until the present time the higher the military rank of a man the less in all probability has been his knowledge of military matters.  In other words no one would care to stake his career on military success if by any means he could achieve success as a civil officer.  Consequently the best things in the army have fallen into the mouths of civilians who were not at all skilled in the art of war or even in the managing of an army in time of peace so as to make it effective if a war should break out. Perhaps the latter is the more difficult of the two.

It is true in Korea as it is everywhere that soldiers are governed to a considerable extent by the opinion they have of their officers.  So when we put two and two together it is not difficult to see where the onus lies of the charge that the Korean army is not effective.  What the army could do if all drawn up together in battle array against an enemy of equal numbers we would not venture to say, but one thing is certain; the small companies of sildiers that go here and there fighting the insurgents are led by captains who have themselves perhaps known what a soldier’s life is and who are willing to go in front of their men into an engagement.  And we find them uniformly successful. The soldiers have confidence in the judgement and bravery, and follow unquestioningly.

The time must come when an army position will be as high an honor as a civil position.  Look at Germany, England, or France.  The military man is rather higher in general esteem than the civilian and there is a consequent emulation in the work of preparation for such positions, with the result that the best men come to the top and a well officered army is possible.  And in nine cases out of ten a well officered army is a good army.  See what Gordon did with the Chinese and what English officers are doing with Indians.

The military spirit, developed in the schools, is a good thing and in time the army will benefit from it, but first and foremost we must see the tiger put on an equality with the stork so that the army may offer a career which will satisfy the most amibitious youth of Korea.

Brief Notice

Col. Liebert of the Prussian service has accepted the Mission of organizing the Chinese army, and will leave for China next week. He will be accompanied by German drill instructors.

Dr. Prout’s cholera vaccine is said to be almost a certainty.

The British Navy Estimate for 1896-7 include a sum of 7,380,600 Pounds for new construction and provides for a strength of 93,750 officers and men.

Princess Chun, the mother of the Chinese Emperor died on the 18th June.

Dr Yerzin has experimented successfully at Canton with his injection serum of plague.  At the very first trial the patient was cured, the bubos went away and the fever went down.

Marquis Yamata left Marseilles on June 21st for home.

It is reported in Japan that Baron Nishi, the present Minister to St. Petersburg will succeed Count Mutsu in the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The noted French statesman M. Jules Simon died some time ago, and the Chamber of Deputies has voted ten thousand francstowards the cost of the funeral obsequies. The German Emperor sent a floral crown on the day of the funeral.

The French Senate passed the 1900 Exposition Bill.

Both Marquis Yamagata and Viceroy Li Hung Chang received a decoration from the Emperor of Russia.

The total amount of the Armenian Fund collected by the Independent is $210, and Mr. J McLeavy Broun, of the customs has kindly secured a London draft for 25 Pounds which will be sent to the American Representative in Constantinople to distribute the money among the suffering Christians of Armenia.

Policeman Yu Han Kiu came to the station in an intoxicated condition and abused the officer in charge. He was discharged immediately.

Two coolies were making repairs in one of the houses outside the little West gate, when the roof fell down and injured them severely.  They were taken to the Government hospital for treatment.

A child 3 years old while playing under the South Mountain, fell into a mud hole which was full of rain water. The child was drowned.

Lieut. Kim Kiu Sung captured twelve insurgents in Yang Keun including the one who was shot and the rest, eleven men, are now in prison.

Magistrate of Chi Re reports that a man named Cho Dong Sik, calling himself the commander-in-chief of the insurgents, threatened to invade Mu Ju district with 200 men.  The acting Governor of Tai Ku sent 60 soldiers to Mu Ju to give the invaders a fight.

The acting Governor of Song Do reports thta a band of insurgents came to Tiosan and carried away $2500 from the wealthy citizens of that district, and from there tehy went to Sin Ke district.

The Governor of Tai Ku reports that the insurgents do not attempt to fight with the Government troops, but they run away whenever tehy hear of the approachof the latter. They come together again as soon as the Government soldiers leave the place.  The Governor requests the War Office to let the troops remain in one place for some time so that it will be a permanent benefit to that locality.

The Korean Post Office received and delivered first and second class matter during the month of June to the extent of 15,408 pieces, an increase of 3,375 over the month proceeding.

Prof. Langley of the Smithsonian Instituition in Washington, has at last perfected his flying machine called “aerodrome.”  Two upward ascents of about half a mile were made at a speed of twenty miles an hour. The machine made in motion suggests a huge bird, soaring in large curves. When the steam gave out, the aerodrome sank gracefully and was picked up undamaged.

The Monroe Doctrine is a plank in the Republican platform with a very emphatic declaration that under no pretext will any increase of European dominion in America be permitted.  Hopes are also expressed of the eventual entire withdrawal of European rule from America.

The rebellion in Mashonaland is spreading, and the natives are massacring the whites in the outlying farms in the Salisbury and Mazoe districts.  All the outlying whites have been ordered into laager in Salisbury where there is a scarcity of men.  Troops from the Cape now at Mafeking have been ordered to Mashonaland.

It is really surprising to see how generous and public spirited these Koreans are. The contributions of the Independence Park are coming in constantly and the amount is nearly $1000. Among the many contributors Dr. H.N. Allen made a handsome donation to the Fund.

“How intense are the fires of love!” ejaculated the poet. “Yes,” answered the father of six marriageable daughters; “but they do take a lot of coal.”

Miss Summit– “Mr. Fiddlestick wanted to send you a birthday present, but I told him you had stopped having birthdays ten years ago. Was I right?”  Miss Palisade–”I believe so. I know it was two years after you stopped.”

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The Independent: Saturday, July 9, 1896

10th August 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 41 from Thursday, July 9nd, 1896.  <<REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom>> In this issue:   A resident of Pyeng Yang (Pyeongyang) sends in a report on the state of affairs there, the latest news on the coming railroad in Korea, and the governor of Namwon receives praise.



The railroad ball has evidently opened in Korea. The concession to Americans of a raodway between Seoul and Chelmupo and a definite agreement about the terms has wakened other investors to the railroad possibilities of Korea.  And now an agreement has been made with a French syndicate for the building of a railroad between Seoul and Wi Ju on precisely the same terms as those specified in the agreement with the American syndicate, with the exception that a longer time is gien for the commencement and finishing of the road.

The government grants the site for the entire road bed without any further concessions of land or other property.  The road is to be begun within three years and is to be completed within nine years.  At the end of 15 years the government will have the option of buying.

It will be noticed at a glance that this road will be different from the one between Seoul and Chemulpo in several striking particulars, but will be none the less valuable to Korea as a whole. The road from Seoul to Chemulpo will be the great artery by which all manner of goods from abroad will reach the capital.  It will not be a great distributor except insofar as the produce in the immediate vicinity is concerned, but this Seoul Wi Ju road will tap a very rich and populous part of Korea, running as it wiil through the heart of Whang Hai province. Pyeng Yang will mean more to it than Seoul will, for there it will touch a port, for of course Pyeng Yang will be opened to foreign trade.  Of course in time there will be more through-trade from Russia to Seoul but it can never compete in bulk with the ocean borne trade. It will then have Pyeng Yang as its powerful center and it will branch out its arms into Pyeng Yang and Whang Hai provinces, carrying the rich produce of these sections to the port for export and in turn distributing the products of western lands throughout the North.  It thus appears that while the Seoul Chemulpo road will do most of its business in transporting imports, the other will be a great avenue for exports as well, and in this sense will have a double advantage.  On the other hand a short road, easily kept in repair, between two such important points as Seoul and Chemulpo cannot but have the brighter prospect for immediate financial success. Its work is all ready for it the day it opens, but in the other case the traffic will have to be “worked up” and the more stubborn prejudices of the country people will have to be gradually overcome, and this takes time.  In many ways the French road will be just as much, if not more, beneficial to the Korean government as the other for it will do much to develop the resources of the country.  It will speedily open up the coal and lumber regions of the North and will make Pyeng Yang a rival of Chemulpo in the amount of imports and exports.

It will be of great mutual benefit for these two roads to arrange to run through cars from Chemulpo into Whang Hai province. This will give the French a valuable outlet southward and at the same time wold add to the trade of the American road.

We wish these enterprises all success and we believe that however unsettled the politics of Korea may seem from the outside, there are great times in store for her.  These great enterprises bring with them a steadying influence, a sort of commercial force center that must speedily bring to the front in Korean eyes the commorcial and industrial importance of Korea, politics as such will be less and less looked upon as a field of personal exploitation and intrigue and the distinctly productive elements in society will rise to their proper place. All succes to these railroad enterprises.

Brief Notice

Dr. J. H.  Wells writes an interesting letter to the Independent , giving the news of Pyeng Yang and its vicinity. He says that Mr WH Ragsdale who is at Puck Chin, about four days journey from Pyeng Yang in the gold mines, reports that a tiger has killed a woman, wounded two others and killed a dog in that village.

Over fifty Japanese are quietly pursuing their business in Pyeng Yang, and he thinks this has a stimulating influence upon the Korean merchants there teaching active and energetic business methods.  The country is prosperous and crops are successful this year. He went to see a coal mine near Pyeng Yang and found that there is a great demand for coal, but the mine is not worked with proper care and push.  His medical and surgical work has been very successful considering the lack of facilities in the way of buildings.  He sees over thirty patients a day.  There is no sign of cholera yet, but one suspicious case turned out to be cholera morbus.  The early rains flushing out the sewers and other filth from the city, to a large measure prevented the outbreak of cholera this year.  The foreigners in Pyeng Yang regretthe resignation of the Governor, as he has been very honest and faithful during his term of office there.  He further writes that “We hear with pleasure that this place is soon to be opened as a port.”  ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. I doubt not but that soon, following such a course, Korea would reap pecuniary rewards in customs, etc.  It will be wondered why it was not done before.  An immense country with great natural resources will be opened up, and the benefit of the step will be far reaching.”  He finsihes the letter by congratulating the Independent on its career and the course it has taken, and he says “Long may she wave.”

Dr. Jameson, Sir John Wilougbhy, Messrs White and Grey, and the Honorable Arther Coventry, have been committed for trial.  The rest of the prisoners were discharged. (Dr. Leander Starr Jameson led the failed raid that was meant to incite a revolution within the Boer Republic in South Africa that would allow British soldiers an excuse to invade and annex the territory–tom)

H.E. Li Hung Chang enaged two German officers to establish a military school on the German model.

The Powers have proposed to the Porte to appoint a Christian Governor in Crete.

The new Japanese Minister Mr. Hara arrived in Seoul last Monday.  He will present his credentials to His Majesty in a few days.

A band of insurgents entered Pyeng Yang district and murdered the Tax Collector of that place and another band looted Be Eun district and murdered the son of a petty officer connected with that magistracy.

Five citizens of Nam Won wrote a letter to the Independent, praising their Governor for the diligent manner in which he performs his duties. Fifteen districts under him have enjoyed peace and quiet, although the neighboring magistracies have been, and still are troubled by lawless looters, or “righteous army.”  They state that he goes about among the people and talks to them personally about the duties of pepple; hence the people understand the situation and are pursuing their avocations peacefully.

Hs Royal Highness, Prince Eui Wha has left Tokio (the neswpapers spelling, not mine—tom )and arrived in Kobe for the purpose of spending the heated term in the neighborhood of that port.

The mother of the Emperor of China, the widow of Prince Chun, is seriously sick and ther is little hope of her recovery.

H.E. Li Hung Chang again denies the secret treaty with Russia, but admits that arrangements have been made for Russia to have her railraod through Manchuria.

The Governor of Song Do, hearing of the arrival of insurgents in his district, left his office immediately and came up to Seoul.

The Fourth of July was celebrated in grand style by the USS Yorktown now in Chemulpo.  They invited the officers and crews of the war vessels in the harbor and the foreign residents in the port to the exercises.  They had a theatrical performance on board the vessel and boat races.  Other sports were indulged in on shore by the marines and blue jackets of the Yorktown.  They raised $600 for the celebration, and the whole event was a memorable one.  We congratulate Uncle Sam on the enthusiant and patriotic spirit which was manifested by his navy on the glorious Fourth on this far-away shore. Long live Uncle Sam’s Navy.

The projectors of the Independence Arch and park outside the West gate have organized themselves into a Society, and it will be known as the Independence Society. They will meet regularly every Saturday afternoon at the City Hall (Office of the Governor of Seoul), and will discuss and plan out the work.  The contributions come in continually and the treasurer has over $700.00  already. We hope the foreign residents will show their interest in the shape of handome pecuniary donations as this will encourage the worthy spirit of the Korean promoters. The Independent has contributed $30.00 towards the fund, and wishes that it could have been three thousand.

The last account of the total amount of contributions for the Armenian fund was $145.00 but since we have received fifty dollars from Americans in Wonsan. Ten dollars from Mr. S.A. Moffett and five dollars fro Dr. J.H. Wells of Pyeng Yang. The total amount is now $210.00. This was turned over to J. McLeavy Brown, Esq. of the Customs who has kindly consented to secure a London draft for us, and it will be forwarded to Constantinople. The letter of transmission will be written by Minister Sill to Minister Terrill.

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The Independent: Tuesday, July 7, 1896

1st August 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 40 from Tuesday, July 7nd, 1896.<<REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom>>  In this issue:  A report of the Fourth of July celebrations in Seoul, the rivalry between the Supreme Court and the Chief of Police continues and a child trafficking ring is exposed.



The weather seldom favors Yankee patriotism on the fourth of July as it did last Saturday. A clear sky, a gentle breeze and balmy air all helped to make it a perfect holiday.  An airy canopy, kindly lent for the occasion by the War Department, broke the force of the sun’s rays while numerous policemen kept back a surging crowd of Koreans who had never before beheld just such a concourse.  The exercises opened with a piano overture followed by prayer and a few remakrs by the Chariman.  After the singing of some of the national choruses the Declaration of Independence was read and then the speech-making commenced.  “The New South,” a subject pregnant with meaning and of lively interest to all true Americans, was the theme of the first speaker, who was given the arduous duty of doing justice to it in ten minutes.  In forceful language he told us that the New South was new agriculturally, educationally and above all industrially and showed by a novel but convincing argument that the possibility for this new and more glorious South was the abolition of slavery. It showed the South the real value of labor and made labor-saving machinery and methods imperative. It popularized education and saw the foundation of a thorough system of common schools. It compelled men to explore the mineral resources of the South and soon it was found that untold wealth was right at hand. Iron and coal lay side by side. This was the beginning of a commercial activity which is rapidly enriching the South.  They are beginning to manufacture their own cottonrather than send it all to the North or to England to be made up.  The speaker said that if fifty years ago there had been the same number of railroads connecting the North and South, the war would have been impossible, because there would have been the means of connecting the two sections and of giving them an intimate knowledge of each other that would have bread a fraternal spirit which would in turn have found some other solution of the difficulty besides the arbitrament of war.  Altogether it was a grand good speech and one that tended to make us all prouder of our land than ever before.

Next we had a speech on Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in the East, a stirring address, showing what Anglo-Saxon energy and devotion have done in bringing the truth to these peoples and emphasizing the fact that the missionary is here not only to preach to these people but still more to live before them, and that the range of his beneficent activity is as broad as the needs of mankind.  The forms of his service are manifold, but have beneath them all the Gospel of Christ which is the foundation and bulwark of Anglo-Saxon civilization. Then we listened to an oration by our Minister, in which the truth was forcibly enunciated that true patriotism is no narrow, self-centered sentiment, but a broad, generous influence which sees good in others as well as recognizing faults in one’s self and which is not puffed up, vaunteth not itself, doth not behave itself unseemly.  It was good, wholesome advice to all Americans especially to such as live in cosmopolitan places like Seoul.  The fact is one needs to get out of America and gets a bird’s eye view of her to learn her weak points as well as her strong ones. One of the things that this Fourth of July brings to be thankful for is the news that 30,000 more offices have been put under civil service regulations. This is applying medicine to the one sore spot in American politics, and we rejoice in it.

The celebration was attended by many of our friends of other nationalities who, we doubt not, rejoiced with us in the fact that the greatest experiment ever attempted in republican goverment is proving a success.

Brief Notice

WC Hillier, Esq, HBM Consul-General expects to spend the heated term in Chemulpo instead of going to Japan as it was reported.

The new Japanese Minister Hara was expected to arrive in Seoul yesterday from Chemulpo.

Mr Muhlensteth of the Royal Telegraph Office returned from his trip to Japan last Friday, and expects to commence his duty as Intructor and Manager of the office in a day or two.

The railroad contract between Seoul and Eui-Ju was signed by the Korean Government and the French Minister. The conditions of the contract are said to be similar to those of the Seoul-Chelmupo road.

The Governor of Song Do reports that 500 insurgents arrived at that place. The War Office dispatched one battalion to that place on Sunday last.

Four hundred insurgents entered Chul Won district on the 25th of June and carried away the Government revenue amounting to $126; $200 of a private individual; $152 from the hotel keeper; 3 oxen, 2 horses and 60 pairs of shoes. The people in that district were panic striken.

Eleven Japanese policemen went to Song Do last Saturday for the purpose of protecting their nationals in that place.

Son Suk Ku of Myo Dong drove out from his house a skick child of his servant fearing that the child had a contagious disease. The child died on the street. The police arrested Son for his cruel action.  This forcibly demonstrates the necessity of establishing a public hospital for the needy and homeless ones in Seoul.

There is a gang of men whose business is to entice the innocent female children of poor and ignorant classes and carry them away for immoral purposes.  The Independent received a number of letters from the parents of those unfortunate children complaining of the horrible business of these low and immoral characters.  We have no other power to stop it than bringing the matter before th public in hopes the authorities will take steps to prevent them from ruining these ignorant helpless creatures.

“I see there has been considerable discussion recently as to whether Shakespeare was a mason.”  “Well, I should think that we were justified by the reports that have come to us concerning him in believing that he often did the work of a mason.”  “How so?”  ” Why, all writers agree that he often went home with a brick in his hat.”  <I don’t understand this joke at all– confused tom>

On account of the quarrel between the Chief of Police and the ass’t Judge of the Supreme Court over their rank question the Supreme Court can not attend to the public business and the Court has been practically closed for two weeks.  It seems to us ludicrous that such a little insignificant matter as the rank question between two officials of the Government should block the routine business of the Supreme Court of the land.  We are told that there are over 30 cases accumlated in the Court and waiting for decisions, and several men are still in prison suffering the head and confinement on account of the quarrel.  We hope the higher tribune will see to the matter and let the machinery of the Government run smoothly.

The Governor of Eui Ju reports that a famrer named Kim Ye-Rem owed some money to his neighbor Kim Dal Ho.  The latter dunned him for the money and the farmer thought the best way to get out of the trouble was to kill himself. He committed suicide by hanging on a tree in back of his house. The two suns of the suicide considered the death of their father was due to his creditor, and they went to the creditor’s house, bound him with ropes and hung him on the same tree where their father met his self-inflicted death. The Governor had the culprits arrested and they will be punished according to the law of willful murder.

The King of Swaziland amuses himself by rifle practice, and the targets which he practises on are his servants. The other day he came down to his palace in Bremersdorp from the mountain and shot six servants with a Winchester repeater in cold blood, and says he was satisfied with his skill in using the weapon.

The Governor of Kong Ju reports that a thief named Kang Chun Sik dug open the grave of the mother of Song Kyeng In and cut off the head of the corpse. He put a notice on the grave saying that if Song Kyeng In wanted to recover the head of his mother he must bring $80 to a certain spot in the grove near by.  Song reported the case to the Governor and a squad of police was dispatched to the place named by the thief. The thief tried to run away when he saw the police approaching, but he was overtaken and put in jail.  The Governor requests the Dep’t to enlighten him under waht law he be charged and punished, as there is no precedent, and the law books do not mentions such cases. The Dep’t is considering the case at the present.

The Japanese population in Wonsan, at the end of April last was 1,298 including 802 males and 496 females living in 277 houses.

His Majesty, the Emperor of Germany, conferred the order of the Grand Cross of the Red Eagle on Viceroy Li Hung Chang. A similar honor was conferred upon Marshall Marquis Yamagata who arrived at Berlin about the same time as the Chinese Envoy.

Thourhg the efforts of M. Gerald, China has authorised French engineers to connect Lungchow with the Tongkin railway.

Queen Wilhelmina of Holland is reported to be betrothed to Prince Bernhard Henry of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in June. She is sixteen and the Prince is eighteen years old.

The Japanese Minister, Mr. Hara, has received the 3rd order of Merit and the middle cordon of the Rising Sun from the Emperor.

Several Democratic State conventions in the United States have declared in favor of a gold standard and a strong feeling is manifested in American business circles in the same direction.

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The Independent: Saturday, July 4, 1896

26th July 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 39 from Saturday, July 4nd, 1896.<< REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom >>



We could never tire of bringing to the notice of our readers, both native and foreign, the ways and means by which the Koreans can make the most of their opportunities, physcial as well as mental.  It has already been noted that korea ought to be an ideal place for the growth of fruit. Not fruit that perishes the day after it is picked but fruit that they could market throughout the East.  First and foremost is the apple. After all is said, the apple is the fruit par excellence. A good apple means more to an Englishman, an American, a German or a Frenchman than all the oranges, bananas and pineapples in the market.  It is the most healthful fruit there is and at the same time can be kept the longest.  The very words pippin, greening, northern spy, spitzenberg make the mouth water and carry us back to the hillsides and orchards of the home lands.

But the apple will not thrive in any climate and in any soil. The level plains of China with their heavy alluvial soil do not favor the apple.  The warm moist climate of Japan and the light winters do not offer congenial conditions. The hillsides of northern Korea, with a samnpping cold winter and plenty of snow, afford the ideal place for the culture of the apple. It is probable that the southern part of the peninsula is too warm for this fruit but from about the latitude of Seoul, right away north to the border, the apple should find a congenial home.  The few experiments that have been tried with these in Seoul seem to verify this opinion, for some splendid specimens have been grown and the flavor is equal to any we have tasted in the home land.

We are pleased to learn that a Korean company has been projected for the purpose of starting a first-class orchard in the vicinity of Seoul and in connection with it there should be a nursery from which Koreans can be supplied with trees.  One of the greatest mistakes, as it seems to us, which the Korean farmer makes is that he does not supplement his rice growing with some other from of work which would not take much time and yet would prove remunerative.  The planting of fruit trees on these bare hill sides would serve a double purpose.  Every one has noticed how the hills are being washed down into the valleys and thus the rich alluvial soil of the valleys is being covered up by sand. The planting of trees and vines on all these hill sides would help largely to withstand this process and the benefit would thus be a double one.

Besides the apple there are many other marketable fruits that grow vigorously here. See the Korean grapes, great lucious fellows, a bunch of them not infrequently weighing three and four pounds, and that withouth pruning or cultivation.  We have in the southern part of Korea an ideal grape country which would require only a little energy and capital to render highly remunerative.  Then the apricot, peach, plum and cherry all thrive here.  Korea is said to be rich in gold but the best gold is tht on the side of a good apple or peach and in the long run it will pay better, too.

Brief Notice

This is the glorious Fourth and we expect that all patriotic sons and daughters of America  will come out in full force and unite their hearts in celebrating the day.

The success of fruit growing depends largely upon successful combat with insects and fungi which are numerous in Korea.  We obtained the formula below from an American scientific bulletin and it is said to be the best ever tried in this line. The treatment given consisted in spraying the main part of the trees three times during hte season.  The first application was on April 2, before the trees had leaved out.  The Bordeaux mixture was used alone for this application. The second and third applications were made May 21 and June 23, respectively.  For use at these letter dates the Bordeaux mixture was prepared by the forty -gallon formula, that is, six pounds of sulphate of copper, four pounds of caustic lime, and forty gallons of water to which was added Paris green at the rate of one pound to each 200 gallons of mixture.  <<According to Wikipedia, Paris Green is the compound copper acetoarsenite which was used in Paris as a rat poison. It further states that around 1900, it was used in America in apple orchards but that the highly toxic mixture “burned the trees and grass around the trees.”–tom>>

Rev. Dr. Talmage stated in one of his recent sermons that he believes in dreams, which is the medium of divine messages. He gave a number of instances in support of the belief. However, he cautions people not to mistake a nightmare for a true dream.  <<Rev. Thomas De Witt Talmage was not located in Korea. He was a well-known Presbyterian minister who, at this time in his career, was based in Washington D.C.  His sermons wer published in over 3,000 journals and was estimated to have reached more than 25,000,000 readers–tom>>

The noted woman named Dyer of London who claimed to be a baby farmer has been on trial on a charge of murdering numerous infants entrusted to her care, and has been sentenced to death.  She was arrested at Reading with her son-in-law named Palmer, charged with having strangled to death a number of infants whose bodies were recovered from the Thames, weighted down with bricks. <<”A number of infants” is an understatement. It is believed that Mrs Ameila Dyer killed more than 400 children over a twenty-year period. News took a while to travel to Korea from England as Mrs Dyer was executed on June 10, 1896, nearly a month prior to this article appearing in the Independent–tom>>

Pupil, “Say Professor, do you believe in the theory that early rising tends to insanity?”  Prof: Yes, I think there is considerable truth in it.”  Pupil: But a  man to be insande must have a delusion of some sort. Now, what particular delusion have you ever known an early riser to be afflicted with?’  Prof:  “The delusion that he liked early rising.”

A few nights ago a police noticed a suspicious looking man with some money on his shoulder passing by the police station after midnight.  The man was questioned as to his name, business and where he lived, etc.  He replied that he was going to a hotel in Chong No to settle his indebtedness. The police followed him and saw him going into a house in Hio Kyeong Dari instead of the hotel in Chong No.  The police followed him into the house and questioned him how much money he had but he could not answer it.  This confirmed the suspicion of the police and they placed him under arrest.  Before he was taken to the station he escaped from the house by the help of the man living there. The police are making diligent search for him, but he has not yet been apprehended.  Yesterday fou rolls of Korean lace came to the station with the compliments of the runaway man, saying that if the police drop the matter four more rolls will be forth coming. The police arrested the man who brought the lace ard are trying to find out the place where the suspected thief is hidden.

Clean up the gutters, keep the streets free from garbage and prohibit deposition of filth in public places. Health of the nation is more important than wealth of the nation. If the Government intends to exercise economy we hope that some money will be spent on public hygiene.

Several Korean officials had a mass meeting in the new Foreign Office for the purpose of establishing a public park outside the West Gate.  The meeting was a great success in every particular.  Every body present was enthusiastic over the project and the contribution was entirely voluntary, and it amounted to $500 in one sitting.  It was a good beginning and if every official or private individual in the country possesses the same public spirit as these men there would not be any difficulty of raising several thousand dollars in a few days.  They all seem to be delighted with the idea of erecting an arch, as the mark of Korean independence, and the park will be known by the same name–Independence Park.  They elected officers to supervise the work and plan out the park. <<A list of names follows with their various titles relating to the park planning committee.  I don’t feel like typing them all— tom>>  The Executive Committee will investigate the grounds in a few days and a definite plan of laying out the grounds will be arranged.  Dr. Philip Jaisohn will act as advisor in the arrangements and general plans of the park.  It is hoped that some foreign residents will take interest in the matter and help and encourage the public spirit that has begun to move in the hearts of the more enlightened Koreans.  Of course financial aid is needed more than anything else. The foreigners will enjoy the privilege of the park probably more than the Koreans, and showin gtheir substantial help will be highly appreciated by the projectors.  Contributions will be published in the paper from time to time both in vernacular and English columns and the tresurer will keep a strict account of the receipts and expenditures. No money will be paid out unless the order is counter-signed by the members of the Executive Board.

Mr and Mrs Sill will give a recpetion this evening at the US Legation in honor of the day of American Independence. The reception will begin at 8 o’clock.

The Japanese Mail Steamship Company, Yusen Kaisha, will establish a regular line of mail steamers between Yokohama and Tacoma, beginning from the middle of July.

This afternoon at 3 o’clock the American citizens will celebrate their National Holiday in front of the Pai Chai School. The Committee extends a cordial invitation to all American and European friends to be present at the exercises.

The new battleship Oregon made 16.791 knots on her trial trip. She will be one of the swiftest ships of the world in her class. Hurrah for Uncle Sam’s Navy!

Lately, the British cruiser Spartan has been cruising about Port Hamilton. <<Port Hamilton refers to the Geomundo island group off Yeosu in the southern part of Korea. The British had a naval base there from 1885-1887. The British Navy would continue to visit the islands until abou 1910 and maintained a graveyard their for sailors. There are ten British graves there, the last dated 1903.–tom>>

It is reported that the Royal Household Dept. has ordered to repair or recontstruct the building of the Mulberry Palace. His Majesty intends to occupy the new palace as soon as it can be put in order.

The steamer Genkai was delayed on account of the sever storm that raged in Japan sea. However, she arrived safely in Fusan, and will be in port almost any day.

The tidal wave and earthquake played havoc in the Northern and Eastern parts of Japan. The total number of killed were 27,373 and 5278  houses were demolished. We extend our sympathy and sorrow for thos unfortunate families.

The Magistrate of Ye Ju reports that the insurgents in that district have been quieted and peace reigns. He suggests to the War Office the establishment of district militia which will have a wholesome influence upon the people. The Department granted permission to organize a battalion of militia in Ye Ju.

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The Independent: July 2, 1896

18th July 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 38 from Tuesday, July 2nd, 1896. << REMINDER:  The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect  my own . –tom> In this issue: A park is being planned in Seoul, insurgents overthrow Chulwon, a tidal wive strikes Japan, and the Independent gets in trouble with the Seoul police!



We note in our vernacular columns of this issue that an attempt is to be made at a public park for Seoul. A mass meeting is called of Korean officials at the hall of the Privy Council to discuss ways and means for carrying out the project.  The spot proposed for the park, while not an ideal one, seems to us to be a thoroughly good one both for its tipography and its situation.  There is no doubt that there is room between Mo-Hwa-Kwan and the Peking Pass for a very beautiful park and one that will be the most accessible for the largest number of people. As we look at the site today it looks stony and bare and cheerless enough; but imagine the stream confined between neat stone walls and spanned at intervals by bridges, a line of willows along either side with a fine drive beneath them where either carriages or bicycles could be used; then with the land on either side of the stream back to the hills, and perhaps part way up their sides, smoothed off, palnted here and there with decidious trees and shrubs, with walks or drives winding in and out, we should have something very like a park. The principal object of interest would of course be the arch which is to take the place of the one pulled down in 1894.  Then there must be a band which the Korean army ought to be able to furnish one of these days. If there were even one good drive in the vicinity of Seoul we should soon see carriages come in and there would be one form of recreation added to the small list from which the foreigners at present have to select.

It will be a splendid object lesson to the Koreans. To see a piece of ground set aside for purely aesthetic purposes, simply to be made beautiful and to be enjoyed as beautiful, would give them a new sensation.  It would be an oasis indeed in the bald utilitarianism of their lives.

The Japanese take to parks as ducks take to water. It is probable that this grew out of their constant attendance at the Buddhist temples which are found in every village and in connection with which there is always more or less landscape gardening, at least a shady place to sit and rest beneath wide-spreading trees.  But the Koreans have not had this in their lives and to it can be tarced in part the difference between the Japanese and Korean temperment. To be sure Korea does not lend itself so readily to the uses of landscape gardening as does Japan, but we hail as a good sign the attempt about to be made and we trust that even if the beginning is small it will be made.

Foreigners have reason to congratulate themselves that it is to be so near the foreign quarter. A real bit of civilized nature is something that has been long desired here and it will be highly appreciated.

Brief Notices

Capt. Cho Kwan Huen reports from Kang Neung that his troops have encountered a band of insurgents in Yang Yang district and defeated them. The insurgents lost 25 and two were taken prisoner. The insurgents are all gathered in Chun Chon district and they number over 3000.  They had cut off communication between his troops and Seoul. He sent messengers at three different times but they were killed by the insurgents.  He asked for reinforcements and the War Office dispatched another company with ample supply of ammunition.

The Ass’t Judge of the Supreme Court of Seoul wrote an official letter to the Chief of Police, but it ws rejected on the ground that the Ass’t Judge’s rank is not so high as the Chief of Police and he (the Chief) would not communicate with an inferior official even on public business.  The expounder of law was very much offended at the guardian of the peace and a retaliatory measure was inaugurated.  He would not receive the law cases that came from the Police Dep’t to the Supreme Court. We do not care how much these two dignitaries quarrel over their ranks and prerogatives, but we feel sorry for the public business which suffers greatly in the meantime.

Mr. Alexander Kenmure returned from his trip to Pyeng Yang a few days ago, and he left Seoul yesterday for Chefoo

Gov. Wm. McKinley was nominated as Republican Candidate for President of the United States.

A tidal wave in the North of Japan killed 30,000 people.

The students of the Royal English School invited the students of Pai Chai School last Tuesday to a picnic under the South Hill.  The students of both schools marched together in their uniforms and made a very pretty procession. After arriving at the place they made stirring speaches and sang patriotic songs which were composed by each school for the occasion.  Mr. Yang representing Pai Chai and Mr. Kwon of the Royal English School both distinguished themselves by able and partiotic address which they made to the scholars.  The hosts of the day provided beautiful drinkables and eatables for the guests, and they wre all in foreign style.  There was an exhibition of military drill by the English School boys under the direction of the English Seargent. Both the hosts and the guests enjoyed themselves immensely and a feeling of sympathy and fraternity sprang up between the two institutions.  The Pai Chai boys returned to their school grounds late in the afternoon and they seemed to be in high spirits.  They serenaded their teachers Mr Bunker and Mr Appenzeller with  songs and cheers.  They wound up the day by waving their national flang and shouty “long live the King” both in Korean and English.

The new Chief of Police took exception to the Independent’s printing an article about the change of the names of titles in the Police Department without getting permission from His Majesty and Cabinet.  He ordered the police not to admit the reporters to the Police Department.  It seems then that the Independent is not entitled to the secrets of the Department but the public documents only that are enacted by the Authorities can be had access to by the reporter. Through the medium of the press the people will know what has been done by the Goverment and it will be of mutual benefit.  The New Chief need not worry over the reporters.  We would not print anything that would cast any reflection on him as long as he does not do anything discreditable.  We advise him not to shun newspaper reporters, but conduct himself in such a way that he would rather like to have the reporters get the news and make his fair and patriotic deeds known throughout the world.

The Governor of Chung Ju reports that the band of insurgents in Che Chun and Chi Pyeng have been dispersed by the Chung Ju troops.

A mass meeting will be called by the Korean Officials at the Office of the Privy Council this afternoon for the purpose of making a public park in Mo-Wha-Kwan, outside the West gate. The park will be called 독깁 공원디 or Independent Park, in which an arch will be erected to commemberatethe Independence of Korea.  The park will be fixed up by private contributions from the citizens.  We consider this as the sign of a progressive spirit that instills into the brains of Korean Officials.  We hope the movement will meet great success as this is the first evidence of growth of public spirit in Korea.

Ex-Governor of Hai Ju, Yi Yeun Chang has been sentenced to banishment for to years in Kun San.

The Magistrate of Po Chun reports that 300 insurgents entered Chul Won district on the 27th of June and the magistrate and his subordinate officials have run away. The insurgents compel the people to offer their grain, money and clothing to the Chief of the band. If anyone resists the order he is beaten until they get what they want. The Magistrate of Yng Pyeong sent over his men to Chul Won and cut off communication between this band and another larger crowd in Yung Pyeng district by removing the ferry boats at the river. Immediate relief is required and the War Office will no doubt dispatch troops to the scene right away.

The Japanese Minister Mr Hara left Kobe last Tuesday and will arrive here in a  few days.

WC Hiller Esq. HBM Consul-General, intends to go to Japan for a vacation.  He expects to leave here within a week or so.

Next Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock the American residents of Seoulwill celebrate thier National Holiday (the Fourth of July), in front of the Pai Chai School, Chong Dong. There will be a number of good speakers, and music.  The Committee on Invitation, through the Independent, extends a cordial invitation to all Americans and Europeans friends to be present at the exercises.– JB Busteed, MD, Chairman of Committee on Invitation.

“I don’t like his dong, ” he said, speaking of his rival. “Why, his dog once saved his life!” she exclaimed in surprise. “That is the reason I don’t like the dog,” he answered bitterly.

“This bicycle fever is a monomania isn’t it, Doctor?” “In some cases it seems to be.” “And monomania is closely allied to insanity, is it not?” “It is.” “Well then, would you call a bicycle crank a victim of a temporary insanity, recurrent insanity, or what?” “I think it would be more appropriate to call him a victim of circular insanity, don’t you?”

The total amount of the Armenian Fund recieved by the Independent is $145. This sum will be sent to US Minister Terrill in Constantinople through Minister Sill, after obtaining a London draft for the equivalent in sterling.

The committees on the celebration of the Fourth of July will meet tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock to report the progress that has been made by the different committees.  The meeting will take place at the Seoul Union Building. All committees are requested to be present.

Latest Telegrams

A deputation from the Associated Chambers of Commerce has aksed for the support of the British Gov’t in making trade routes to China y building or by guaranteeing the construction of railways. Lord Salisbury stated in reply that the Gov’t was unable to assist in any railway scheme outside of British territory; but that if a powerful solvent company was founded the Gov’t would do its utmost in carrying a railway to the edge of the British territory, and that done, it would no doubt be able to penetrate foreign territory whenever it should be considered necessary.

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The Independent, Tuesday June 30th, 1896

11th July 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 37 from Saturday, June 30th, 1896.  <<REMINDER:  The opinions expressed in The Independent DO NOT represent my views and are merely presented here for historical context.–tom>> In this issue:  The editor worries that cholera is on its way again due to unsanitary conditions, the police of Seoul are rejecting their western style clothes in favor of their traditional looks, the poplation of Seoul was counted, and an incident of stupidity on the part of a thief. 



It is not improbable that the cholera may visit the city of Seoul again this summer.  To be sure the severe epidemic of chlera in 1886 was not followed by another in 1887, but of course, the inherent probability was greater than if there had been none the preceding year. A few sporadic cases have made their appearance which, though not cholera proper perhaps, show marked similarity to that dreaded disease. If anything is to be done to fight it this year, a beginning must be made immediately, if indeed it is not already too late.

It is such a simple thing to say, “keep the sewers open and clean, prevent the accumulation of garbage, look out for contamination of wells, make people drink boiled water and stop their washing vegetables in the gutters,” but the carrying out of these simple directions means a revolution in Korean methods of life and in their time-honored customs. If my father washed his cabbage in this ditch, it is good enough for me to wash mine in.

The Koreans have a proverb which says; “In trying to take a short cut across lots he fell in with thieves,” which means that the man who goes around by the old time-honored road will  do better than the one who tries some new-fangled method.  There is a ponderous inertia in these Eastern people, and a stolid indifference to the channels through which disease is contracted, however much they dread the disease itself.  It amounts almost to fatalism.  A few object lessons on Korean well water through a compound microscope would open their eyes.

It is of no avail to talk about what might be under different circumstances, but we must ask the question, what can now be done, taking all obstacles into consideration, to prevent the coming of cholera or check its spread if it does come.

In the first place a sum of money must be appropriated, commensurate with the work to be done. It must be put in the hands of some man who will dispense it judiciously and honestly. The government should set all the city convicts at work cleaning up the streets.  The police should watch the wells and see that refuse is not allowed to lie around them. If possible it would be an excellent plan to have each of the main wells put in charge of a competent man and have him see to it that only proper vessels are used in drawing the water; of better still, a man should be stationed at each well, whose business it should be to draw water for all comers, but money must be forthcoming to pay them. This would take a comparatively small sum and wuld be one of the very best preventatives, for there is probably nothing that tends to spread disease more than this prmiscuous use of wells, each person using his own utensils for drawing the water.  Besides this, the bringing into the city of green fruit such as apricots, melons, peaches and the like should be prohibited. It would entail some hardship on the people but better that tan a summer like last.

We look for something to tbe done immediately by those in authority and upon them will the balme fall if the epidemic comes and finds the city wholly unprepared.

Brief Notice

The June number of the Korean Repository appeared Wednesday.  It gives us its usual varied contents, interesting to all kinds and conditions of people, all the way from philological discussions to town gossip.  Rev. GH Jones gives us a clear and concise exposition of the status of women in Korea, which shows clearly that the ‘new woman’ form of inebriety has not yet reached Korea. Dr. Edkins gives another talk on affinities of the Korean language, a sort of philological tight rope walk in which few can follow him. Mr Hulbert talks about the origin of the alphabet, adducing some evidence in support of its Thibetan origin. Mr. Appenzeller gives an interesting account of a visit to Pyeng Yang and the battle-field and Dr. Wells tells us of some of his medical impressions.  The editorial, literary and miscellaneous departments are filled with timely and interesting material. On the whole our monthly contemporary is sustaining its customary high level.

The new Chief of Police does not wear his official uniform, and still wears his top-knot. His subordiantes are gradually following the example of their Chief and there are a number of new top-knots being raised among the Police force.  If the Chief does not change his mind, we will soon see every police officer regaining his top-knot  and probably the unifrom will be shelved.  Even now, we notice the army and police officers are not proud of their uniforms and helmets, as is the case with the officers of other countries. It is largely due to the discouragements they meet from their superiors.

The Governor of Tong Nai and Tai Ku reports that the Government troops routed the insurgents in Kyeng Ju district.

The Magistrate of Po Chun reports that 300 insurgents entered the town of Kai Pyeng on the 23rd.

The Governor of Tai Ku reports that the Tai Ku troops encountered a band of insurgents a few days ago and firing bgan on both sides, but the insurgents were on the higher ground so the Tai Ku troops made a retreat. The insurgents followed them down to the lower ground where the Tai Ku troops turned and made a sudden assault upon them and routed them completely.

The Governor of Kong Ju reports that two leaders of the insurgents in Chen Chun and Mok Chun districts have been caught be the Seoul troops and were beheaded on the 22nd.

According to the latest census taken by the Police Department, the population of Seoul and the immediate vicinity (the river towns are excepted) is 179,702 and the number of houses 37,737.  The population inside of the wall 117,915, and the number of houses is 22,974.  This does not include foreign residents.

A thief wrote a letter to Yi Sun So of Kat-Chun-Kol saying that he needed 10,000 cash and must get it from somebody. He asks Yi to place the sum under the stone bridge across the street at 2 o’clock in the morning when he wil come and get it. He further states that if Yi should not obey the order, Yi’s house will be burned the next night, and if Yi should tell this to anyone he will kill Yi in a few days.  Yi placed the money in the place named and gave the letter to the police. At 2 o’clock next morning the police were watching for the thief near the bridge, and as he came up punctually they captured him at that hour. He was very much surprised when told that he was under arrest.

Mr. Hara, the new Japanese Minister is a native of Iwata Prefecture. In 1876, he entered the Law School which was then attached to the Judicial Department, but did not complete his studies. He took to journalism, but later joined the Foreign Department and was sent to Tientsin as Consul. Subsequently he became Director of the Commercial Bureau in the Foreign Department, which appointment he held until he succeeded Baron Hayashi as Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, when the latter gentleman was appointed Minister to Peking.

The Russians at Peking are buying large lots of Chinese books for the use of their countrymen who may wish to learn the Chinese language and literature. It is said Chinese Schools will be established in various parts of Rusia, and that some Chinese teachers have actually been engaged.

Last Friday, the Seoul Chamber of Commerce had a mass meeting and discussed the feasibility of encouraging Commerce, and other topics relating to the improvement of general traffic.  The Ministers of Finance, and Commerce and other prominent officials were present and took part in the discussion. It is commendable on the part of these high officials to meet together with the businessmen of the city and explain the importance of commercial aggrandisement for the country’s good.  March on, everybody!

The Capitalists of Seoul are perfecting the scheme of a banking organization in the city. They expect to secure $200,000 of capital by shares. They will issue 400 shares at $50 each and so far they have recieved already enough subscribers to cover more than half the capital.  They will open the bank in one of the brick houses in the business block belonging to the Seoul Improvement Company, Chong Dong.  The institution will be managed by a cometent foreigner whose business sagacity and intergity is beyond question.  We will keep the public informed of the details fo the laudable enterprise.

A well-dressed woman, about 70 years old, while walking along on the street near Chong No, lost consciousness suddenly and fell on the curb stone.  The police carried her to the station where she recovered her senses and asked the police to take her to her home in Chung Pai, outside the South Gate. She was taken there in a chair.

Major Jang Ki Ryem, while marching with his battalion to Won Ju, met a band of insurgents who occupieda village in Won Ju and routed them.  After the fight, some of the Seoul soldiers entered the houses of the citizens and took away some articles.  The Major immediately siezed the culprits and shot them on the spot. The War Office commended his action and the people in that disctrict praised the Major’s exemplary discipline among his troops.

The Governor of Seoul issued an order saying that after repairs of the streets in Seoul, whoever throws garbage or any other filthy substance on the street will be punished severely. We are in hearty sympathy with you, Mr. Governor.

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The Independent, Saturday, June 27th

4th July 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 36 from Saturday, June 27th, 1896.  <<REMINDER:  The opinions expressed in The Independent DO NOT represent my views and are merely presented here for historical context.–tom>> In this issue:  The editor continues his campaign against the Minister of Education, a 10 year old boy nearly sets off an international incident, and Miss Doty takes a vacation.




In a paragraph in our last issue we referred to a memorial which the students of the Royal English School presented to the Minister of Education.  As the subject matter of the memorial is one of considerable importance to all friends of progress and lovers of freedom as well as to the students themselves, we published an unmun translation, and now give a translation in English. <Unmun is the original word for ’hangul’ or Korean writing–tom> From this it will be seen that the memorial is couched in most respectful terms, and the attitude of the students is one of loyal obedience to His Majesty’s Government.  We feel sure our readers after perusing it will sympathize with the students whose action so far we most cordially approve.  It is too soon to anticipate what the Minister’s reply will be, but he is known to be well versed in classical lore, and as an ardent disciple of Confucius who said, ‘The sages conduct is affection and benevolence in operation” and again “The perfect man is not governed by private affection or interest, but regards only the public good or right reason” we have hopes His Excellency will reconsider his instruction and allow the students to wear their uniform. We most sincerely hope the Minister will take the precepts of Confucius to heart and by actin in the spirit of the Great Sages give all Government students the great advantage of his support and the encouragement they so richly deserve and desire.  We imagine the minister has issued the instruction from a notion that the premptery stopping of all progress in matters of Education will allay the discontent and trouble of the brigands and insurgents in the country. That idea is entirely wrong. The Minister as a loyal servant of His Majesty, ought not to countenance or in any way truckle to these bands of insurgents whose only aim is trouble, rapine and plunder.  The remedy is not to be found in abolishing foreign shaped uniforms, discontinuing drill and physical exercise, objecting to the use of mixed script, or enforcing the wearing of manguns and top knots. <Manguns–probably better romanized as Manggeons–are headbands made of horsehair. The topknots have been an issue since the murder of the Queen and the house arrest of the King and Crown Prince. During that period, the Japanese and their Korean allies passed many false edicts in the King’s name. The most infamous of these was the cutting off of the traditional topknots. To do so was seen as a sign of emasculation by traditional Koreans and was one of the many events that initially set off the insurgency- tom> The obvious imperative duty of the government is the stern suppression of disorder together with the enforcement of a just system of taxation. Disturbances will cease as soon as the government show their earnestness in this matter.  And we fondly imagine that this is what Mencins and Confucius would advocate could they revisit the earth.  We are scarcely able to believe that the Minister seriously intends to compel the students to throw aside their uniforms. Such action will not moderate the troubles in the country, rather it will afford encouragement to the disorderly bands of insurgents. The Minister’s action will be construed by them as an ignoble yielding. They will imagine they have friends in their lawless demonstrations.  If the students are compelled to disgard their uniform by the enforcement of any Departmental  order it will be a direct violation of His Majesty’s gracious edict published broadcast throughout the Kingdom only for months ago, and which still remains in force.

If the Minister thinks the wearing of a Korean uniform, cut after the foreign style, so objectionable to the interest of law and order that he feels bound to condemn it, the only course open to him is to petition His Majesty to cancel the edict granting His subjects to right to dress as they please and wear their hair as they like.  We maintain that until the edict is cancelled the students of any and every Korean School have a perfect right to choose and wear their own uniform.  Any attempt to force them to do otherwise is certain to bring His Majesty’s Government and His Majesty’s Edict into contempt.  We await with much interest the reply of the Minister to the Memorial.  <Apparently, the English translation of the Memorial was published on a separate paper and inserted into the newspaper.. I have been unable to locate a copy of it– tom>

Brief Notice

Miss Doty started yesterday for America for a vacation. She has been in Korea for over six years working earnestly for her Master, and has accomplished a great deal of good among the natives, especially the girls who need more Christian education than any other class in the land. We wish her bonne voyage and hope that she will return to her chosen field of labor with renewed strength and vigor.

The Pai Chai School will close today for the summer vacation. The English, French, and Russian Schools will also close in a few days.

Steamer schedule:  Higo due on the 28th and will for for  Japan on the 29th.

Those who have subscribed to the Armenian Fund are requested to remit the money to the Independent before the 1st of July. The money will be sent to the US Minister in Constantinople through our Minister in this city.  Also, the Committee on Celebration of the Fourth of July requests to send the contributions to either of the following persons, Mrs DA Bunker, HG Appenzeller or Philip Jaisohn.

A Korean boy, ten years old, while playing in front of a Japanese butcher shop outside the west gate saw that a piece of wall paper was detached from the wall and hanging loose.  The boy mischievously pulled off the paper for fun. The Japanese butcher siezed the boy and tried to take him to the Japanese police, and charges him with stealing the front gate and the boards on the wall.  A Korean police interfered and took him to the Police Station for examination.  Two Japanese policemen came to the station and demanded possession of the urchin saying that he had stolen several peices of boards and the front gate. The Korean Police did not yeild to the demand but retained the boy in the station.  We do not attempt to criticise the merits of the case but one thing leads us to believe that the boy is innocent, namely that he can not lift either the front gate or the boards on the wall, and we don’t see how the boy could have stolen them. Supposing the boy has committed robbery why should he be punished by the Japanese police? He is Korean and amenable to the law of Korea and not to any other.

A Chinaman was cutting trees in the South Hill and was arrested by the police.  He has been turned over to the English Consul under whose jurisdiction the Chinses are now living in Korea.

We earnestly hope the authorities will take proper steps to look into the sanitary matters of the city. Two more suspected cases of cholera have been reported, and the prompt and energetic measures of prevention of the dreadful epidemic are absolutely necessary.  Before doing anything else clean out the gutters so that the filth can flow out; prevent the accumulation or deposition of garbage on the street corners; stop the washing of green vegetables in the waters of the gutters; and last but not least the children must not run about in the hot sun without clothes. We beg the Chiefs of the Police and the Sanitary Departments to take some vigorous action in regard to these few matters right now, and let the top knot and yangban question rest for a while.  The people would not die off like flies even if the police should go about without top knots  or if some lower class people should receive respectful treatment from yangbans. <Yangbans were the noble class known for their pride. Today it is an insult to call someone a yangban–tom>

It is reported the former Chinese Consul Tong has arrived in Chemulpo on some oficial business, the nature of which is not known. He intends to come to Seoul immediately to see Mr Walter C Hillier, HBM’s Consul General, but there was a fight between a Japanese and a Chinaman in Chemulpo and the latter was killed. He is looking after that matter just at the present, hence the delay in coming to the capital.  If some more disturbances like this occur before he goes back to China we are afraid Mr Tong may lose some of his yellow jackets, as did his Excellency Li Hung Chang, during the late war.  <Yellow clothes were forbidden in China as it was the color worn solely be the Royal Family. To recieve a yellow jacket from the Emporer was the highest honor–tom>

There was a rumor that the Governor of Seoul was arrested on some charge or other but the rumor was found to be groundless. 

The new Japanese Minister to Korea, Mr Hara is expected to leave Japan before the end of this month.

Japanese Consul Mr Uchida has been relieved at Seoul, and Mr Kato has been appointed in his place.

Yi Kiu Chin, a chusa in the Home Department was sent to Kyeng Sang Province on official business last Winter. He robbed toe people on false pretense. His actions were reported to the Department of Justice by the Governor of Tong Nai. The Department ordered his arrest and he will be tried when he is brought back to Seoul.

Letter to the Editor

Sir– In looking over the order of the Minister of Education to the Government Schools in the matter of prohibiting the students wearing European dress, I find that if the students do not obey the order the Department will punish the teacher second in command. It seems to me very odd why the Minister intends to punish the second teacher.  All the schools are under the supervision of the Head Master’s directions in school affairs. Supposing the wearing of European dress was not suitable to his Confucian taste and it is intended to punish any one who disobeys his order, he might say like a man that he will punish the Head Master. He knows the Head Master is too much for him hence he threatens the second man.  This is simply an act of a child who dare not challenge a big boy but threatens some one whom he thinks he can scare.  But I want him to understand that the second teachers are not very much scared.  They are loyal citizens of His Majesty our Sovereign, and they will obey his edict first and Mr. Sin’s afterwards. They know that they are in the right and will stay right to the bitter end. We believe that no court in the land will punish a man because he has obeyed the edict of his King and the instructions of his superior officer. Yours sincerely, Ye Myeng Won

The Armenian Fund so far received at the Office of the Independent:  The Independent-$10.00, Col FJH Nienstead- $5.00, Mr HB Hullber- $10.00, Mr Eugene Bell– $10.00, Mr DL Gifford- $10.00, E.S.- $5.00, Mr HG Appenzeller- $10.00, Miss Anna P. Jacobson- $10.00, Miss Dr. Whiting- $5.00, Miss LC Rothweiler- $10.00, Mr WB Harrison-$5.00, Cash– $10.00, The Baptist Mission- $10.00, Miss Gardelin– $5.00, Miss Josephine O. Paine- $10.00, X- $10.00.

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The Independent: June 25th, 1896

27th June 2012

Continuing my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week I bring you vol. 1, Issue No. 35 from Thursday, June 25th, 1896.  In this issue, the students of the Royal English School challenge the decrees of the Minister of Education, the town of Ri Chun burns to the ground, and the Ladies Lawn Tennis Club will no longer serve tea! <<Reminder:  Opinions expressed in The Independent DO NOT represent my views and are merely presented here for historical purposes–tom>>



“The way of a fish in the sea, the way of a bird in the air, the way of a snake on a rock and the way of a man with a maid” are all hard to understand but we also find some difficulty in foretelling what a government official will do when charged with malfeasance and indirection.  The position of the chusa, or clerk, is sometimes spoken of as being secure we would call attention to the danger of his position. It is something like that of a man employed to carry the can of nitro-glycerine from place to place in the mine and handle it. He gets paid for little work but if anything goes wrong you have to hunt over several counties before you can get his ensemble.  So with the under official. If anything goes wrong in the office and someone up at Seoul takes it into his head to make trouble, the first business of hte chief is to decide which one of his clerks shall have the honor of shouldering the responsibity.  But now another unforeseen feature crops out.  It is becoming the fashion when anything goes wrong in the country, to say “Oh, His Majesty ordered this an I am not concerned with it.”  This is one of the, to us, unforeseen consequences of His Majesty’s peronal control of matters political.  So long as he was largely led by the opinion of three or four men immediately near his person it was difficult to do this, for the statement would reflect upon the above-mentioned favorites and bring swift punishment but now that His Majesty has more direct and personal control of matters, officials do not scruple to lay the blame of mistakes upon him. On the other hand when things move on successfully and the work amounts to something there is no mention of a higher source but the official in question reaps, so far as possible, the whole praise and benefit of the transaction. In other words, while landscape gardening is not much affected in Korea, they all “hedge.”  Reap the benefit if things go well and lay the blame on someone else if things go wrong is a common motto in Korea.

On the other hand on principle of oriental government is to make the chief of a department responsible for every thing that goes wrong.  If a general is beaten in war he loses his head though he be quite innocent of blame. The Viceroy Li lost his peacock feather because of events that transpired hundreds of miles away and which he could not have prevented by any foresight.  This principle is the cause of the marvellous resourcefulness of the Korean when making excuses.

We hope to see the time when every official in Korea shall be clearly instructed as to the exact amount of responsibility that he carries and the exact limits of his prerogatives, and then be held strictly up to the mark, neither more nor less.

***  It is also a matter of concern that the officials in the country consult their own convenience in publishing to the people the edicts of His Majesty.  These are often suppressed and the people do not learn the fact that the King is personally interested in them. It is not so much the contents of the edicts as the fact that they evince an interest in the common people on the part of His Majesty which would go far toward quieting the country.

Brief Notice

t56-2The students of the Russian an French Schools were called by His Majesty on Tuesday afternoon at 4 o’clock and he saw them perform several interesting gymnastic exercises and drill.  The boys marched into the Russian Legation headed by a drum corps and went through th exercises very creditably and received hearty praise from His Majesty and His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince. His Majesty gave each student two fans, and the boys responded with three cheers for His Majesty.  They adjourned to the buildings below and had their dinner. After the meal they had some fireworks in the tennis court behind the Legation in honor of the schools. Mrs Weaber distributed some prizes to the students who passed the best examinations in their studies. The Russian teacher Mr Birukoff, French teacher Mr Martel, Lieut. Hmeleff, Prince Dondukoff Korsakoff, Dr Voloschinow, and the Russian Minister had an audience with His Majesty.  He expressed his gratification at the success of these schools.  The boys went home in the most happy and contented frame of mind.

The students of the Royal English School sent a letter to the Minister of Education to the effect that they do not consider the action of the Minister in regard to the uniform question as a loyal obedience to His Majesty’s Edict.  His Majesty graciously allowed his subjects to wear whatever clothes they deem convenient, and the students considered the European dress most suited to them hence they have been wearing it and with approval of His Majesty and the former Minister of Education.  They state that the Minister has no right whatever to infringe upon the liberty which His Majesty has granted to them.  The letter was signed by 98 students and 3 Korean teachers. They all marched to the Department in their uniforms and delivered the letter to the secretary of the Department as the Minister was not in.  The Minister has not yet replied.

The Governor of Ham Heung, Kim Yu Sung has been re-establishing all the old customs in his Office. He now has six private Secretaries, over a hundred servants, two dozen dancing girls or Kisaengs, and other unnecessary officials for his gratification.  Of course this was all abolished by the Government some years ago hence there is no money allowed for luxury. He levied more taxes on the people to defray the expenses, and the people in that province make bitter complaints.  He sent six of his lieutenants, who claim to be disciples of Confucius, to Seoul to lay claim before the Home Department the imaginary great deeds of the Governor. The scheme is to have the Governor remian in the office longer.

Kim So Sung of Chemulpo who has been drinking hard and has been out of employment for some days became despondent lately and last Saturday night he committed suicide by hanging in his own room.

After Friday next June 26th tea will not be served at the Ladies Lawn Tennis Club until Fall by order of the Recreation Committee.

M. Lefevre of the French Legation has received from his Gov’t leave of absence. He intends to go back to France in a few weeks.

The Governor of Chung Ju reports that the insurgents of Ri Chun, Juk San and Kwang Ju districts joined their forces and had a fight with the Japanese telegraph liners in Ri Chun. The former were routed but during the fight a fire broke out  and burned the whole town and only a few kans of the Magistrates Office were saved. 

The wife of Chung Chong Won was intoxicated a few days ago and her husband scolded her for the unwomanly act. The woman took a large dose of opium and killed herself that night.

The Governor of Nam Won reports to the Department of Justice that a man name So Chun Sam was murdered by Kim Suk Cho.  The wife of So avenged her husband by killing the murderer with a stone mortar.

The base ball game on Tuesday afternoon between the Seoul Athletic Club and the Base Ball club of the USS Yorktonwn was played in HunYunAn.  The game was well played on both sides and at times it was quite exciting.  The score was 16 to 22 in favor of the marines (what follows is a list of players and how many runs they scored.. I am not typing it as all 9 players on each team scored at least 1 run in this well-played game…tom)

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The Independent: Saturday, June 20, 1896

20th June 2012

Continuing the weekly project of retyping Korea’s first English-language newspaper, this week’s issue is Vol.1, No. 33 from Saturday, June 20, 1896. In this issue: The rather random origin of the Korean word for police ‘kyeongchal’  still in use today, there is a brawl at the market,  the editor celebrates the plans to erect the Independence Arch outside the west gate of Seoul, and a report of various bits of news from the city of Kunsan which includes the birth of a 4-legged chicken… <And just a reminder, the articles were published in 1896. The views expressed within do no reflect the views of this website or anyone associated with it. They are merely here to provide historical perspective>



The croakers may croak and the pessimists may growl and the independence of Korea may be treated as a joke by those who can see nothing but the fact that His Majesty is still enjoying the hospitality of the Russian legation but they all argue from their fears and not from either present facts or future probablities. Today we rejoice in the fact that the King has decided to erect upon the ruins of the arch outside the West Gate, a new one to be entitled Independence Arch, 독립문.    We do not know as its inscription will be written in onmun (hangul or Korean letters as most things at this time were still written in Chinese–tom) but we wish it might. For centuries the arch stood there as a constant insult to the autonomy of Korea, an autonomy which China always hastened to assert when called upon to stand responsible for any trouble in the peninsula but which she always denied when it was safe to do so.  She denied it once too many times and now her “suzerainty” (a tributary state allowed some self-government–tom) is where the old arch is, namely op-so (Romanized Korean for 없서’ which mean ‘is not/have not’– tom).  And now the arch is to be raised on the same spot to stand forever as a negation of Manchu dominance, to show that Korea is once and for all cut off from the blighting influence of Chinese patronage; cut off, we hope, also from the system of fraud, corruption and trickery which today makes that most populous empire the laughing stock of the world. This arch means independence not from China alone but from Japan from Russia and from all European powers.  Not that she could stand against them in the brunt of war but that she is so situated that the interests of peace, of humanity, of progress demand for her and will secure to her the enjoyment of an intergal position among the powers of the East.  War might rage around her–may pour  over her but she would again emerge intact if only by the law of the equilibrium of forces.  All sucess to the Independence Arch and may future generations point to it and to the sovereign at whose hand it was reared with feelings similar to which Englishmen, Americans, Frenchmen or others point to those events which mark the glorious achievements of their progenitors.

There was an ancient prophecy that if the dynasty should outlive its 500th year it would be perpetual. The coincidence is interesting. Almost exactly at the expiration of the semi-millenium the events transpired which delivered Korea from a condition which promised a speedy dissolution and she took a new lease of life, began another five hundred year period which we trust will not be interupted.

Korea is a small State but I would say of her as Pere Hyacinthe said of Judea:  “The little States! They are constituted by the hand of God an I trust in Him, that He will not suffer them to be removed.  He has placed them between the great states as the negation to universal empire– a pacific obstacle to the shocks of their power and the plots of their ambition.”

Brief Notice

A soldier wanted to buy a fish from a huckster outside the West gate yesterday, but he thought the price was too high.  He tried to buy it at the price which he considered was proper, but the huckster did not think the same way.  A fight ensued and the soldier beat the fisherman o the policeman in that neighborhood hastened to the scene and tried to stop the fight but the soldier was too much for tbe guardian of the peace, hence he went under the mighty fist of the warrior. Four more policemen arrived just at this time to rescue their unfortunate comrade but they shared the same fate.  In a few minutes there were six victims prostrate before the soldier, half unconscious. The report of the complete defeat on the part of the police was delivered to their station and a squad of them marched to the scene.  Some more up-cuts and side blows were exchanged between the combatants and at last the soldier was handcuffed and brought to the Police Officer in the station.  The soldier was comparatively meek after he was brought to the station, but when the police officer tried to examine him, he became again furious an pounced upon the officer with such marvelous alertness the officer had to seek asylum behind the screen.  However the policemen overpowered the breaker of law and turned him over to the War Office.  He is now in military prison awaiting trial. 

Thursday noon one of the Independent staff, on his way to tiffin in front of the Office, noticed an old man sitting in the middle of the street in front of the German Consulate with an axe and a roll of manuscript in front of him. It was raining furiously and the old man did not have even a pretense of cover on his head.  He was soaked through and was shivering like a man taking a cold bath on a January morning.  The scribe asked him the cause of his self-inflicted punishment, he answered in mono-syllabc “Sangso” (a memorial to the Throne). It was evident that he wanted to memoralize the Throne on some pet scheme of his and he could not enter the street leading to the Russian Legation on account of the sentries at that point, so he concluded to sit right there with the document before him in hopes His Majesty might hear of his pressence there and call him into the Legation.  The meaning of carrying the axe was learned afterwards. If he did not tell His Majesty proper things His Majesty could kill him with that axe.  He was shivering and his teeth chattered so badly he could not articulate properly.  He was politely invited by the scribe to come into the Newspaper Office and get warmed, which he doggedly declined.  However, the scribe had his own way and pulled him into a room in the Independent building and gave him some hot food and dry clothes. He stayed there all day and went away in the evening. The contents of the document are still a mystery as he persistantly declined to reveal them.

In connection with the new Independence Arch, a fine carriage road is to be built reaching from the West gate out through the Peking pass which will then be in reality what it is now only in name– a pass.  It is a thing  upon which the government is to be congratulated that this so-called pass, on the main thoroughfare of the country and within sight of the city walls, which has for centuries been an epitome of Koren unprogressiveness, is now to be made thoroughly passable for carts and vehicles of every kind.

A policeman found the body of a dead man in Pul-Keun Ko-Kai on Wednesday night.  There was a stab wound in the body and a knife was found beside the body, stained with blood. The knife evidently belonged to the dead man as he had the sheath fastened on his clothes.  The police are making a thorough investigation of the true cause, but so far everything indicates suicide.

There was a fire in the old granary inside the little West gate caused by rain getting into the store room where a large quantity of quick lime was stored and fire was the result.  There was no damage of any consequence except that one fireman was hurt.

The Governor of An Dong reports that a band of insurgents entered An Dong district from Sang Ju.  The Seoul troops routed them and obtained twelve Remington rifles. He further reports that Lieut. Nam Heui Dok killed ten insurgents in An Dong, and shot two leaders.  Next day he had a sharp encounter  with two thousand insurgents and killed 35 and captured 10. On the third day he had another fight and killed 50 insurgents.  There was no casuality among the Seoul troops. Lieut Wo Nam Kiu had a fight with the insurgnents of Ye Chun and killed 42 and captured 20.  Captain Kim Kin Heun met a band of insurgents in Ye An and dispersed them. Lieut. Kim Sa Sang went to Ye Chun and Pung Ki districts and drove away the insurgents and pacified the people.  He obtained several hundred bags of rice and a large number of guns from the insurgents and gave the rice to the people of that district.

The Chief of Police and Police Officers are called in Korean Kyeng Mu Sa and Keng Mu Kwan. The new Chief of Police, Yi Chong Keun objects to the word Kyeng Mu because one of his ancestors’ names was Kyeng Mu.  Now in the Police Department they call th Chief Kyeng Chal Sa and the subordinate officers Kyeng Chal Kwan.

The Governor of Chun Chon prohibits the use of the Korean calendar in place of the Chinese; also he forbade the policemen or police officers wearing uniform by saying it is an act of kai wha and he does not approve of anything progressive. He further objects to the use of the Korean unmun by the people in that province. He requested that the insurgents be not punished by the Seoul troops after their capture. Here is another disciple of Mr. Sin Ki Sun and the second champion of the insurgents.

A letter from Mr. WM Jenkins of Kun San says,  a Korean tried to drown his son in the river, but was prevented by an American. Two loads of passengers went by sail boat to Chemulpo owing to the non-arrival of the steamer. Dr. AD Drew set the bones of a Korean’s leg. The man was a sailor, and getting drunk, fell and shattered both bones just above the ankle.  He came to Dr. Drew after three days but with care there is a good chance for his recovery.  He also states that a four legged chicken was hatched there.

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The Independent: Thursday, June 18th, 1896

15th June 2012


Continuing the weekly project of retyping Korea’s first English-language newspaper, this week’s issue is Vol.1, No. 32 from Thursday, June 18, 1896. In this issue: The Minister of Education tries to humilate the students of French for not knowing Chinese, other Ministers make failed efforts to resign and the shamans succeed in getting the Chief of Police fired and ending their persecution but the new Chief of Police earns the scorn of the editor for using coarse language to his subordinates.   <<Reminder:  All opinions expressed in the newspaper are the views of the editors of The Independent. They do not reflect the opinions of this website and are reproduced here for the sole purpose of providing historical context. >>


The cause of Korea’s weakness at the time of the great Japanese Invasion three hundred years ago was that when a really capable man appeared, the rest, through jealousy, caused him to be either killed or banished or stripped of office.  We fear that history is repeating itself for no sooner do we see a strong, firm, manly man in the position of Chief of Police, a place where those qualities are eminently necessary, than he is pounced upon by a lot of harpies who malign him and, by arts that he would scorn to use, encompass his downfall.

Of all desparate and indefensible practices this of working on the superstitious fears of the ignorant common people is the height and crown.  It is par with the custom of selling ones own flesh an blood for hire and the people who carry on this mudang trade are notoriously corrupt. If anything could make Korea rotton at the core these creatures will.  We expect bad habits and corrupt practices among higher classes. They go hand in hand with Confucianism the world over, but these creatures passing in and out before the common people and playing on their superstitious natures, meanwhile ply other and less excusable trades so that the whole mass of the people is contaminated by their very breath.

In Japan such elements are segregated from the masses an put by themselves in a separate quarter so that he who would associate with them must go where they are but these mudangs, plying their trade under to the cover of a holy office, as they claim, are the epitome of corruption.

And now they claim that they have made the pictures of ancient kings their idols.  This in itself should bring down upon them swift punishment.

In the days of Sun Jo Tae Wang a picture of one of the Korean Kings was stolen by a Japanese and taken to Japan but after a while it was brought back and handed over to the Governor of Chulla Province. What did he do with it? He burned it immediately because it had been desecrated by being carried to Japan.  If so what shall be said of the pictures of Kings which have been hung in the halls of harlots and been the objects of their reverence? We beg of the authorities that they will mak th comparison an see how free of guilt are these officials who have tried to clean these augean stables and how worthy of punishment are those who have hindered them in the necessary but thankless task.

Brief Notice

The law of the Supreme Court is that no suits of any kind are received by the said court until the case has been decided by the common court.  The former Magistrate of Sin Chun, Kim Sang Heun who is the brother-in-law of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Yi Heui Ik, ignored the law and sued the Government for his alleged back pay, through the Supreme Court. The judge received the complaint even though the case did not come through the Common Court.  If the Supreme Court of the land disregards the laws of the Nation on account of family considerations it will be a hard matter to make the people obey them.  We do not attempt to criticise the merits of the nature of the complaint but he must take the same steps of legal procedure as any other individual, even though he has a brother-in-law on the bench of the Supreme Court.

Yi Pyeng Eui of Chemulpo who raised money on false pretenses from the coolies of that port was tried and convicted. He received 60 blows and two years imprisonment with hard labor.

A live male infant was wrapped in sheets and thrown on the street near Hyo Dong.  The police in that neighborhood picked it up and took it to his house.

We notice in the street small children go about naked. The hot rays of the sun produce a bad effect on the skin, and the sight is certainly disgusting.  We hope the police department will forbid it right away.

Major Yi Cho Heun volunteered to go down to the Southern provinces and crush out the insurgents.  He was offered a mixed battalion of three companies but he refused to take a mixture.  He guarantees that he can finish them with 40 well-trained soldiers. He left Seoul on Tuesday with 40 men. We admire his loyalty as well as his bravery.  He shall have all the good wishes from us and we hope to see him come back triumphant, and take laurels which he will undoubtedly deserve.

The murderers of Ex-Finance Minister O Yun Chung have been sentenced to five years banishment.

The new Chief of Police Yi Chong Keun uses a low form of language to his sub-ordinate officers when they are not of yangban <noble> class. This custom was abolished in 1894 but the new Chief institutes the obnoxious custom again. Go slow Mr. Yi Chong Keun.

The Minister of the Home Department, Pak Chong Yang sent in his resignation, but His Majesty did not accept it. Minister Pak has been allowed a vacation to recuperate his health. In the meantime the Vice Minister Sin Suk Heui has been appointed Acting Minister.

The Minister of Finance Sim Sang Hun sent in his resignation, but His Majesty did not accept it.

Kim Sang Dok was appointed Governor of Hong Ju, but he declined to serve and sent in his resignation. He has been arrested for the crime (?) of declining the honor and sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labor. We do not pretend to know the intricacies of the law of this country, but it seems to us very odd to imprison a man for three years with hard labor for declining an office.

At the meeting of the Municiple Council in Chemulpo on the 10th, the matter of the selection of a Chief of Police, in the place of Mr. Ragsdale, resigned, was left open for the present. It was decided to forbid sampan (rickshaw)  men from running up into the streets for passengers. Other matters such as the grading of new streets was attended to. Chemulpo presents the unusual spectacle of an eastern settlement being out of debt with a good bank account to its credit.  Mr. F. Krien, the German Consul, went down from Seoul to attend the meeting as did Dr. Allen, US Vice Counsel General. Dr. Allen made the trip up over rough roads on his bicycle in three hours.

The Russians are laying out a supply station on Rose Island Chemulpo.

Diabutsu Hotel is being renovated before being opened to foreign customers.

The Minister of Education, Shin Ki Sun possesses one quality of statesmanship in common with statemen of America and Europe and that is he does not mind the newspaper criticisms. We venture to say that he is the most thick-headed man in the Government.

Four hundred soldiers of Kang Wha garrison now at Chai Chon district have been notified by the Minister of War that the troops are to be dismissed except two hundred men and four officers. These officers and men have been fighting insurgents for the last five months and hearing the above order have now refused to fight not knowing as to  who is to be dismissed or retained. It seems to us to be an unwise move on the part of the War Office to send down such an order while these men are in the disturbed districts. This will necessitate sending down new troops thus incurring unnecessary expense and consuming more time.

The Armenian Fund so far has received the Office of the Independent: $10.00 from the Independent, $5.00 from Col. FJH Niensted, $10.00 from HB Hulbert, $10.00 from Mr. Eugene Bell.

To the Editor of the Independent.  Dear Sir– the cringing and servile action of the Minister of Education (or the champion of the insurgents) have been already aired in your columns to the satisfaction of law-abiding citizens of Korea, hence I would not take much of your space to give my view of this man. But I would like to call your attention to the fact that Mr. Sin came to the Russian and French School a few days ago, and ordered the students to recite old Chinese classics to him in place of Russian and French text books which they have been studying. Does the Minister think that the Chinese classics are taught in these schools or is he playing the fool to amuse the world? Any information on the subject will be appreciated.  Yours sincerely, Choi Kak.     ———— Ask us something easy, Mr. Choi.

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