Seen in Jeonju

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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