Seen in Jeonju

The Independent, May 9th, 1896

15th February 2012



There lies in the treasury a sum of $15,000 appropriated for the purpose of street improvement in Seoul. There is no more necessary work to be done than this. The condition of some of the main thoroughfares of this city is a disgrace to the government and any attempt to block the progress of reform in this particular is little short of criminal. Attention should first be paid to those streets loading to the city gates for these are the main arteries of trade and travel. The main street of the city from the West gate to the East gate is in fairly good condition as is also the South gate street.  The next is importance are the streets leading from the South gate and the little West gate which form a junction in what is called “furniture street,” terminating in the main street between Chong No and the palace boulevard. This is probably the most neglected street in the city, in spite of the fact that it is one of the most used thoroughfares. In wet weather it is simply a running stream of mud and filth through which the chair-men flounder. <Chair-men refers to the people who carried the seated nobles and officials when they went out in public–tom> The road has been encroached upon by houses on either side until the original sewers are entirely lost and the street itself becomes a channel of a filthy stream, dangerous alike to health and decency.  Korean officials coming to the foreign quarter to call on legations or consulates must pass through this street as likewise must the foreign representatives in going to the Foreign Office or elsewhere.  Even at considerable cost, the government must exercise the right of eminent domain and buy up at a fixed market price the houses that have encroached upon the street, pull them down and open up the sewers on either side. There is dirt enough piled up on the sides to fill in the center and make proper street, and all that would be required is the labor of the coolies.  The sale of the houses which are pulled down would largely cover this if the work is honestly carried out. This work would benefit not only the officials and foreigners but also the crowds of wood merchants and other country men who are continually using the street.  Other parts of the city also demand attention, notably the street leading to the so called “Deadman’s Gate” or the little East gate.  It would be well also to widen the street between the so called Mulberry Palace and the West gate. Outside the city two roads require attention, namely from the South gate to the river and from the West gate through the Peking pass.  This latter should be made thoroughly and permanenty passable for carts or other vehicles for it is the main route to the North. 

Brief Notices

In a recent lecture before the students of Columbia, New York, Dr. M.I. Pupin showed some remarkable effects of the New Roentgen rays. A glass tube was used, shaped like the letter T, from which the air was exhausted. At two-places, the base and left arm of the tube, a platinum wire entered and terminated in a disk. When a current of electricity of high tension was applied there was a distinct luminsity in the tube between the two disks. If the luminosity was diminished the rays from the disk in the left arm of the tube instead of following the electricity to the disk in the base of the tube passed across to the right arm and showed the peculiar blue tint known as finorescence. Dr. Pupin showed the photograph of a hand perforated with shot. A light shadow indicatd the flesh, a darker shadow was made by the bones and black marks showed where the shot lodged. Another result was shown in a photograph of a diamond ring. The setting came out balck and clear, but the stone was so light a shadow as to be scarcely perceptible. A ring holding an imitation diamond was also photographed by the rays. Though the stone was so like a real diamond the difference in the photograph was very decided. It was distinctly black like the setting of the ring.

The Magistrate of Chi Pyung reports that insurgents number 1200 are robbing and looting in that district and similar reports are received from two other districts in the eastern provinces.

The Governor of Chun Chun reports that two policemen were sent to a village on an official errand but were caught and killed by the rebels.

Col. Pak Nak Won reports that the insurgents are getting worse in Chun Eui, Mok Chun, Jin Chun and An Sung districtsand he has dispatched fifty soldiers to those places.

Kang Sang Nam and Yi Chung Sun of Ky Yang who were implicated in the murder of three Japanese have been tried and sentenced as follows. Kang Sang Nam receives 100 blows and is imprisoned for life with labor and Yi Chung Sun receives 70 blows and imprisoned for a year and a half with hard labor.

The prisoners who were implicated in the affairs of Oct. 8th and Nov. 28th have been tried and sentenced to be banished to several islands. They are still in prison awaiting the dispatch of a steamer to Chulla and Kyung Sang Provinces. One of them, Wu Nak Sun has already been sent to Pak Yung island off Whang Hai province.

The Chaplain of the Russian man-of-war Admiral Nakhimoff, Father Abel, and two Lieuts. T.P. Shamsheff and W.K. Neoupolkoeiff made a short visit to Seoul on Monday, and returned to the port yesterday. Lieut. A.K. Nebolsine who had charge of the guards at the legation has been replaced by Lieut. S.L. Hmeleff.

We notice in several of the China and Japan papers the statement that “The public trials of Koreans charged with complicacy in the coup d’etat of October last and the disturbance of November 28 was concluded on the 15th of April, but  the court reserved judgement, it being understood that the judges could not agree. The impartiality of the court was afterwards impunged and the King has ordered a new trial.”  This is something new to us.  So far as we can learn there was no disagreement between the judges and His Majesty has never ordered a new trial.

We would remind our readers again of the baseball game this afternoon at the Hun Yun An at 2 o’clock.

Prince Min Yung Ik who has been staying for some years in Hong Kong has sent for his wife to join him. <The nephew of the murdered Queen Min, Yung Ik (more frequently written Yong Ik) was among the first Korean ambassadors to Europe and the USA. He survived being shot in an assassination attempt where his life was saved by Dr. Allen. After the murder of his aunt, he fled to China where he earned a degree of fame as a painter before his death in 1913–tom>

The French papers do not consider the meeting between the Emperor William and King Humbert as possessing any political importance <the two monarchs were the rulers of Germany and Italy–tom>

The Russian warship, Navarin, a first-class ironclad of 9476 tons and two first-class gun boats have been ordered to sail for the Pacific. Russia evidently intends to be prepared for all emergencies in the Orient. <This ship took part in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion. It returned to the Pacific after a stint in the Baltic Sea but was sunk at the Battle of Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War–tom>

The Naval Training School in Kang Wha has been abandoned, and Prof. Caldwell who had been in charge of the school resigned and went home by the Higo Maru on Thursday.

The new Finance Minister, Sim Sang Heun, has not yet come to Seoul from his country home and the Vice Minister Yi Chai Chung has sent in his resignation.

The Russian Vice Consul M. Rospopoff sailed for Japan on Monday.

The steamer Shimagawa will leave Chemulpo at noon today for Japan via Fusan; and the Tayashima will leave Chemulpo for Japan at 4 o’clock this afternoon.

The wife of Kim Tai Young gave birth to girl triplets a few days ago. The mother and one of the triplets have died since and th remaining two infants were bought to the English Mission Hospital in Chong Dong and cared for by the Sisters in Charge.

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