to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
the United States,
Séoul, May 25, 1883.
(Received July 16.)
Sir: After the exchange of ratifications, I called
upon the minister of foreign relations and asked him at what time His
Majesty would be pleased to receive me. He replied that he would learn the
pleasure of His Majesty and inform me. I then placed in his hands a copy of
the letter of His Excellency the President of the United States to the King,
as also a copy of the remarks which I proposed to make upon the occasion of
my presentation. On the following morning I was notified that His Majesty
would grant me an audience at 12 m. At the appointed hour I was conducted to
the palace and formally presented, when I placed in the hands of the King
the letter of His Excellency the President, my letter of credence, and
delivered the customary address, a copy of which I herewith inclose.
His Majesty replied in fitting terms, and I transmit a translation of the
The presence of the King was pleasing, and his manner most gracious, and I am
informed that he manifests special interest in the treaty made with the
United States, and that he has awaited its ratification with much
I have, &c.,
[Inclosure 1 in No. 7.]
Address of Mr. Foote to the King of
Having been deputed by His Excellency the President of the United States
to proceed on a mission to Chosun, I have arrived at the capital of your
Kingdom, bearing with me the treaty lately concluded between Your
Majesty’s Government and the Government of the United States. This
treaty has been solemnly ratified, and the exchange of ratifications has
taken place. I have also been intrusted with a letter from His
Excellency the President of the United States, which I am delegated to
deliver into the hands of Your Majesty. It is desirous that all
intercourse between Your Majesty’s Government and the Government of the
United States shall be of the most frank and friendly character, and to
that end, reposing confidence in me, by and with the advice of the
Senate, His Excellency the President has appointed me as the
representative of his Government to reside near to the person of Your
Majesty. I am instructed to assure Your Majesty that in negotiating this
treaty the Government of the United States has been actuated only by the
highest motives, confident that the comfort and happiness of your people
will be enhanced thereby.
In this progressive age there is a moral power more potent than standing
armies, and the weakness of a nation is sometimes its strength. By thus
departing from your past traditions you indicate your belief that
national prosperity and perpetuity are not secured by seclusion. Radical
as the change is, it can only result in material benefit to the ancient
Kingdom of Chosun. Time has proven that the highest civilization is only
attained by a free intercourse between friendly nations. It is thus that
knowledge is disseminated and the productions and inventions of
different countries become universal. Believing, as he does, that
equitable treaty regulations tend to insure national integrity and to
augment the well-being of mankind, His Excellency the President of the
United States bids me welcome Your Majesty’s Government among the
brotherhood of nations.
It only remains for me to place in Your Majesty’s hands the letter of His
Excellency and my letter of credence.
[Inclosure 2 in No.
Reply of the King to Mr.
Mr. Minister: I am pleased to receive the
gracious letter from His Excellency the President of the United States.
I trust that he is in good health. I am glad that he has sent you as the
representative of his Government, so far across the sea, to reside at my
court. I rejoice that the friendship of the two countries is now firmly
cemented, and I am certain that the friendly relations will always