to Mr. Bayard.
Seôul, Corea, June 3, 1886. (Received July 27.)
Sir: In dispatch No. 175, dated May 25, 1885, I have already reported that there were residing in Seoul a number of Americans sent, here by mission boards of the United States. The foremost of these Americans are Drs. H. N. Allen and H. G. Heron, who conduct the Government hospital in Seoul. A school of chemistry and medicine having been opened by these gentlemen at the hospital, Mr. H. G. Underwood was installed in it as a teacher. Representing the American Presbyterian Board, these three gentlemen have, with the grateful assent of the Corean Government, opened an orphan’s home and industrial school in the city, which bids fair to be a great success.
Dr. William B. Scranton and family, and Mrs. M. F. Scranton, with Mr. H. G. Appenzeller, represent the Methodist Mission in Seôul. Dr. Scranton has opened a private hospital. Mr. Appenzeller is about to open a school, and Mrs. Scranton is erecting a building in which to establish a school for girls and women.
These Americans reside in the vicinity of the legation, in native houses, which they have, with much painstaking effort and under great disadvantages of isolation from general foreign assistance, remodeled to form comfortable neat homes of pleasing appearance, and so altered the locality as to make it the wonder and admiration of the Corean people.
The work of these missionaries cannot, to my mind, be too highly commended. They have done much to introduce a spirit of order and [Page 223] neatness among the Coreans. The hospital, conducted by Drs. Allen and Heron, treated some 11,000 patients during the past year, and the institution is looked on with pride by the Government, which gives it all possible support. In the school attached to it a dozen young gentlemen are enthusiastically studying professions, and rewards for faithful work are promised them by the Government. Drs. Allen and Heron are widely known, and looked upon with universal respect and gratitude. These gentlemen, for their mission board, and associated with Mr. Underwood, who made the distribution, furnished during the year past some 12,000 meals to poor people. The report of the hospital work for the year having been presented the Government, His Majesty evinced his high appreciation of it by giving a decoration to Dr. Allen and honorary promotion to all the Corean officials attached to the hospital.
Dr. Scranton has treated privately many hundreds of patients. The ladies and Mr. Appenzeller have rendered needed assistance in many ways to the people. The members of the Methodist Mission have no connection with the Government, and the advance of their work has not been so rapid in consequence. It may be predicted, however, from the ability and discretion shown by them, that their work will advance rapidly in the future and assume wide proportions.
Upon the coming of these missionaries to Corea I cautioned them individually against indiscreet impulsiveness in propagating doctrines. They expressed themselves as content to work in Corea in giving medical and educational assistance. With much tact and practical reason they have labored so as to secure the respect and kindly regard of the whole Corean people.
There are no other missionaries in Seôul, nor other settled foreign residents outside of the legations. The spectacle presented by this little group of highly-esteemed Americans, with their good work and bright homes in the midst of this dense, far-off people, so recently born into the knowledge of the outer world of nations, is pleasing in the extreme, is creditable to the people of America, and alike creditable to Corea, as well as a token of the most practical form that Corea is susceptible to progress and improvement, and worthy of the assistance she may receive, and needs, from the Western nations that have recognized her as a sister.
I have, &c.,
Ensign U. S. Navy, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.