Seen in Jeonju

The Independent: Thursday, April 30, 1896

19th January 2012


Brief Notice:

Last Saturday afternoon a game of baseball was played in Mo Wha Kwan between the American residents and the U.S. Marines. The score was 20 to 21 in favor of the latter. The game was full of excitement and everybody did his part excellently. There were a number of lady spectators from the city and several Koreans watched the game with a great deal of curiosity. The marines wish to thank the ladies through The Independent for the excellent luncheon which they enjoyed after the game.

Heredity of crime is illustrated in the case of one Whang No who was arrested a few days ago on the charge of robbery. His father, brother and cousin were punished for the same years ago.

The governor of Seoul is taking steps to clear out the Peking Pass which was blocked by a landslide the other day. <reported in the April 21 edition–tom> The estimated cost will be $200. As this is the great thoroughfare between Seoul and the north it is a wonder that this has not been seen to before but “better late than never.”

The magistrates of Po Chun reports to the governor of Seoul, on the 27th, that a company of Seoul soldiers went to Ka Pyung from Chul Won and dispersed the insurgents in that district, killing twelve of them. The insurgents in that neighborhood heard of the defeat of the Ka Pyung contingent and all dispersed.

The governor of Tai Ku reports to the governor of Seoul that the Seoul soldiers entered the stronghold of the insurgents at Chin Ju and dispersed them on the 25th.

The Royal Messenger, Yi Do Chai, reports that the insurgents in Kang Won Province have been dispersed excepting one small band in the district of Kang Neung.

Twenty eight Chusas <low level government clerks–tom> in the Finance Department were dismissed by the late Minister, Yun Yong  Son, without cause, and his personal friends were appointed in their places. The adviser of the Department, Mr. Brown, says that these new chusas are incompetent to perform their official duties and that he does not propose to pay their salaries. Hurrah for Mr. Brown!

Mr. and Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Webb and Dr. Wells have started for Pyeng Yang where they propose to reside permanently.

The popular Russian Vice-consul M. Rospopoff has been transferred to Tokyo. M. Rospopoff has made many warm friends during his residence in Seoul and it is a matter of regret that he is going to leave us. M. Kehrberg has been made Secretary and Interpreter and M. Polianovsky has become the attache to the Russian Legation.

M. Collin de Plancy, the new French Charge d’Affairs had an audience with His Majesty at 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

The Magistrate at Po Chun reports to the governor of Seoul that 300 of the dispersed rebels came together again atKa Pyung and plundered and raised a general disturbance. Some of them were seen also at Yang Ku, In Che, An Sung and Chuk San districts.

The U.S. Marines challenge the American residents to another game of baseball next Saturday afternoon. We take pleasure in inviting all the gentlemen who took part in the last game to be on the grounds at Hun Yun An inside the East gate at two o’clock sharp. The ladies are cordially invited to be present and lend encouragements to the Knights of the bat and ball.


The Kobe Chronicle says that “Observers of the course of events would scarcely be surprised if before another six months had elapsed an offensie and defensie alliance should be concluded between Russia and Japan.”

The North China Herald gives a short summary of the official report on matters connected with the Events of October 8th, 1895, and the death of Her Majesty the late Queen, as it appeared in the March Number of the Korean Repository. <The Korean Repository was the first English-language magazine published in Korea. It was written primarily by missionaries and started publication in March, 1896–tom>

The New York Maritime Register says: It is noticeable in all the statements about the competition in manufactures between Japan and the United States that there is in them nothing definite or tangible. There is a long list of goods mentioned and a great bluster over the evils that are to come. But there is given no proof that such goods are really manufactured in Japan nor that there is any bona fide importation or sales of goods. Indeed this cry of Japanese competition is mainly wind….. But there is every chance of success for American manufactures in the East. Instead of fearing competition the American manufacturers and exporters should push their trade, for they have every prospect of success.

The Korean Repository for April appeared yesterday. It contains a valuable memoir of the late Father Coste whose connection with the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism after its reverses in 1866 and with the publication of the French Dictionary make this memoir valuabe from a historical standpoint. It also has a good word for The Independent which it believes will prove a value to the Korean people. It also contains interesting articles on Korean holidays and customs.


One thing that takes a prominent place in the minds of those who wish well for Korea and are interested in her physical as well as moral well-being is the matter of a water supply for the city of Seoul. It is of more value than railroads for instead of saving money it saves life. A full supply of clean fresh water is a sine qua non <Latin for ‘an essential item’–tom> of health. You can estimate the grade of civilization of any people by the amount of water they use. Paris heads the list with seven gallons a day for each individual. It is probable that a quart a day would suffice for the average Korean while a pint would be oceans for the ordinary Chinaman. The Japanese are said to be great lovers of water and so they are, but this is somewhat modified by the fact that so many of them are contented to take it second hand.

That a good water supply for Seoul is a prime necessity the cholera reports will show. The public wells here in vogue are centers of contamination and are responsible for very much of the mortality in times of pestilence.

In approaching the subject of a water supply for seoul two or three things must be kept in mind  or we get beyond the realm of practical; first, that it must be on such a scale that the people can pay for it and will be willing to pay for it. We can roughly estimate the size of Seoul at 40,000  houses. It is said that on average five hundred cash a month is paid per house for the bringing of water. Supposing we add a half on account of the superior advantages to be enjoyed and reckon that each house will pay 750 cash or 30 cents a month. It will then amount to $3.60 a year per house. The whole would then yield a revenue of $144,000 a year. If the work should cost a million dollars we would here have enough to pay interest in the investment at 7 percent and have $74,000 left for running expenses and repairs.

There are two ways by which Seoul could be supplied with water; one by bringing it a long distance through pipes from some point up the Han River, and the other by building a reservoir in some such place as the valley outside the northwest gate where the powder mill was. Either of these methods would require expert surveys to prove their feasibility. The former would probably secure a steadier supply but at a very high cost while the other probably could be accomplished  for half the money but at risk of an occasional shortage of water in specially dry seasons, because fed by a comparatively small stream. However, it will be necessary to consult the paying capabilities of the people and choice must be made of that method which, while promising to be fairly successful, will come within the means of the metropolis.

(All opinions expressed belong to the long-dead editor of The Independent and do not reflect my own–tom)

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