to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Séoul, June 29, 1883. (Received August 10.)
Sir: On the 2d of the present month I left the U. S. S. Monocacy, with the intention of taking up a residence in Séoul. Although frequently assured that it would be impolitic, if not impracticable, to reside with my wife at the capital, I determined to disregard personal considerations, deeming this the proper course to establish intimate relations with Government officials, and the one most likely to inspire confidence in the people.
During a previous visit I had endeavored to find some spot which might be rendered habitable, and fixed upon the house or houses which I now occupy. The place to western eyes would hardly be considered very comfortable, and although of the better class is sadly out of repair. It is situated upon ground slightly elevated.* * * The buildings are of wood, resting upon stone foundations, underneath which are flues for heating, in the Corean fashion; the roof is made of tiles and the walls and windows of paper. The only terms upon which I could secure this or any other place was by purchase.
My family consists of Mrs. Foote, Mr. Charles S. Scudder, private secretary, Mr. P. L. Jouy, an employé of the Smithsonian Institution, Mr. Saito and Mr. In-Chi-Sa, interpreters.
Mr. Saito is a native of Japan, who will return to his home after the 1st of August. Mr. In-Chi-Sa is a young Corean who is studying English under my instruction. He will, with the consent of his Government, be permanently attached to this legation as interpreter.
The extremes of heat and cold are evidently very great here, and the only fuel to be obtained is the boughs of pine trees. In the way of food, beef, rice, eggs, chickens, and a few inferior fruits and vegetables can be procured; all else must be brought from abroad.
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I have, &c.,