Seen in Jeonju

The Independent: Saturday, April 25th 1896

5th January 2012

The Independent, Vol 1, No 9


Brief Notice

The interpreter of the Police Headquarters of the Japanese Consulate named Yun Tai Heung, donned Japanese clothes and entered the house of a Korean policeman, Yi Kyung Sul, knowing that Yi was on duty at the time. He insulted Yi’s wife and made a disturbance generally. The neighbors heard the noise and informed Yi, who hurried home and arrested Yun on the charge of house-breaking. Yun tried to pass himself off at the police station as a Japanese but his identity was soon estanblished. He was put in prison awaiting triall. Last Monday some Japanese policemen went to the Police Headquarters and demanded his release but the authorities refused to comply on the ground that the the prisoner was a Korean and amenable to Korean law.

The Steamer Higo arrived from Japan yesterday and will leave for Neuchang and Chefoo this morning. <In an earlier edition, I had assumed that Chefoo was a variation of Cheju (Jeju) Island. However, further research has revealed that Chefoo was the former name of the Chinese city of Yantai>

The Roman Church will ordain two Korean priests on Sunday next which will be the first time Korea will have regularly ordained Catholic priests among the natives. <This is not accurate. The first Korean priest was ordained in 1845.  His name was Kim (Andrew) Taeg0n. However, he was not active as a priest for long as he was captured and beheaded in 1846 at the age of 25.>

There will be a baseball match game between the US marines and the American residents of Seoul this afternoon at 2:30. The lovers of the American sport are cordially invited to be present at the game. The party will meet at the Independent Building at 2 o’clock and go to the grounds outside of the W.gate Mo Ha Kwan. Ladies are specially requested to be present.

Captain Yi Cho Heun has returned from Song Do after suppressing the disturbances in the West and Captain Yi Kyung Che went to Kyung Sang province after quieting the disturbances in Chul La province.

Rev. D.L. Gifford and Dr. C.C. Vinton returned Tuesday from an evangelistic tour in the Su Won district having cut short their trip because of the illness of the former.

The Koreans as well as Japanese residents of Chemulpo are rejoicing in the prostpect of a railroad between Seoul and that place. They realize that it gives an impetus to trade and enables the farmer to market his good more quickly and cheaply.

The telegraph line between Seoul and Fusan has be re-established by the Japanese.

Chief Engineer C.J. McConnel and Asst. Engineer J.C. Leonard of the USS Charleston are making a short visit in Seoul.

Mr. Wilkinson of Chemulpo is in town.

The Nagasaki Rising Sun says “Korea is getting on. At least that appears to be the case, for a tri-weekly newspaper, the Independent, has appeared.”

Mrs. H.N. Allen invited a few friends to an informal dinner Thursday evening in honor of Dr. Allen’s birth day. Those present besides the host and hostess were Mr. and Mrs. Bunker, Dr. Jaisohn, Lieut. Neumann US.N., Mr Wilkinson, H.B.M Consul at Chemulpo, Masters Harry and Maurice Allen.

A few days ago a policemang got drunk and made a disturbance in a private house. The Independent made a note of it and the Police Department discharged him promptly.

The share holders of the Seoul Union will hold their regular semi-annual meeting this afternoon at 4 o’clock. <This refers to the Seoul Union Church which exists to this day. Their website has a sub-heading which states “Serving the expatriate community since 1886“>


Editor of the Independence, Dear Sir:    In you issue of the 16th inst. “A Resident” calls attention to the “serious inconvenience to a large part of the foreign community” the French Legation has occasioned by placing the fence–barbed wire at that– on the city wall “far beyond the original limits.” I know the time when there was no fence there. Then the Legation erected one on the edge and later moved it in on the wall so far that it is now impossible for two people to walk side by side. I well remember when the fence was moved the last time. Not only were foreigners highly indignant but Koreans as well, who did not scruple to call it–well let me be polite and say–”encroachment.”  If the dividing line between the city wall and the French Legation is exactly where the barbed wire fence now is we confess our ignorance and surprise. If not, then, we demand the removal back to its original limits wherever that may be. Unless this is done why may not the Methodist Mission, taking this precedent, claim the same right and move their walls to within several feet of the stone wall or parapet?  Believe me, yours truly, Another Resident.

Editorial (continued from last issue)

Let us next inquire as to the relation opf the cost of rice to the rate of wages in Korea. A measure of rice today is worth fourteen cents silver, and will last one person two days. The average monthly wage in Korea is difficult to estimate but it cannot be far from five dollars for the great mass of the people. It appears then that $2.10 out of $5.00 goes fro rice alone, or over two fifths. That sum will buy forty pounds of American flour laid down in Seoul. This would give one and a third pounds a day, or two and two thirds pounds for each Korean measure of flour, which is about what it would weigh, so we see that so far as quantity is concerned a Korean could live on Amerian wheat flour as cheaply as Korean rice. This become still more evident when we consider that a measure of rice when ground into flour will not fill the measure. As to the nutriment to be gotten from the two grains there is probably little difference. It should be noted that indigestion is the most common of Korean complaints and it probably arises from the rfact that rice if bolted rapidly is not readily digested unless it be cooked more than Koreans are acccustomed to cook it. It should be thoroughly masticated, but no one can watch a Korean eat rice and then aver that he maticates it all. If, then, a Korean could live on American wheat flour as cheaply as on his native rice, he should be able to live on his native wheat for half this sum at most. Notice again that he would have a more wholesome food than the bolted flour for he would have what we call graham flourwhich is confessedly more wholesome than the pure wheat flour.

We learn form a man who has traveled widely in Korea that in many places in Ham Kyung province in the north, wheat is raised instead of rice and that one man will easily raise thirty, forty or fifty bag, and that these farmers are thorougly well-to-do compared with the rice farmers.

It is a curious fact too that the provinces of Chulla and Kyung Sang are called the garden of Korea because of the great quantities of rice raised there and yet in truth they are the most poverty-striken provinces in the land. Other causes are doubtless at work but we do not believe that the raising of rice will produce as much or as good food as wheat, nor as much revenue for the government.

Where do we find the strongest, bravest, most manly Koreans? It is in the north where they eat millet, potatoes and wheat. How is it in China? The best physiques are found in the north where one out of five an afford to eat rice.

One more consideration. Korea will never have good cart roads so long as they have to pass through rice growing districts. Japan may be cited as an argument to the contrary but even there one does not have to go far from the main lines of road before he finds himself in the mud. Rice fields are an enemy of drainage. It is a continual fight to keep the water from flowing away, and without good drainage good raods are impossible except at fabulous expense. We are not so rash as to think that any such revolution could be accomplished in this generation nor perhaps in the next but the time will certainly come sooner or later when nature will have to be wooed less arduously than she is when rice is the suit.

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