to Mr. Bayard
Seoul, Corea , November 1, 1886. (Received December 16.)
Sir: After some delay, largely the outcome of the political disturbance of August last, the principal one of the schools of the Corean Government, for which three teachers have been furnished from the United States, was successfully established about a month ago. Thirty-five young gentlemen, most of whom are the sons of noblemen, were selected as pupils, and have taken up their quarters in dormitories at the school. The teachers report, after a month’s experience, admirable progress of the pupils, and the generally satisfactory condition of the school. One of the teachers may soon be transferred to the charge of a class of pupils established in the hospital under Dr. H. N. Allen. I am trying to effect the establishment of a third school in the building formerly assigned to me by the Corean Government as my residence upon my arrival with the Corean embassy in 1884. The schools are looked on with general favor by Coreans; they are economically and quietly conducted. * * *
The steamer purchased in June last by the Corean Government from the American Trading Company of Yokohama is regularly plying under the Corean ensign, engaged in bringing tribute rice to Chemulpho from the southern ports at a great saving of expense to the Government. A second steamer has just been purchased by a Corean company and will be employed also in carrying tribute rice. This purchase was from Mr. Edward Tuke, an American merchant of Nagasaki, Japan.
The Government has shown commendable energy in erecting the buildings for the powder-making machinery purchased from the American Trading Company of Yokohama. The powder-mills should be ready for making powder during the present month.
The Government farm is receiving the support of the Government as heretofore, but its improvement has received a great check through the sudden death of Mr. Chöe-Kyong Sok, who founded the farm upon his return from the United States, where he had gone in 1883 as attaché of the Corean embassy.
His Majesty is warmly supporting an officer who has undertaken to improve the roads between Seoul and Chemulpho with the idea of establishing wagon transportation over them.
A company of Coreans proposes to advance capital to construct a telegraph line from Seoul to Fusan to connect with the Japanese submarine cable.* * * The Government has again decorated Dr. H. N. Allen, of the Royal Hospital, and is now fitting up a commodious and excellent establishment to serve as a new hospital under his charge. Dr. Ellers, a lady physician, procured through Dr. Allen, is in regular Attendance upon the Queen, and is very commendably spoken of for her tact and good work.[Page 253]
I have already reported the purchase by the Corean Government of six Gatling guns from an American firm. There being no one else to do it, I set up one of those guns and exercised the ten Corean soldiers stationed at the legation as guard in the use of it. The ten soldiers were later transferred to the palace, where there is now a fairly efficient battery of Gatlings of six pieces manned by sixty men.
There can be no question as to the desire for and capability of improvement on the part of Corea. * * *
I am, etc.,
Ensign, U. S. Navy,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.