Mr. Allen to Mr. Hay.

No. 671.]

Sir: I have the honor to hand you confirmation of my telegram of to-day regarding the attack of last evening upon an electric car belonging to the (American) Seoul Electric Company.

The attack was made by soldiers without any real provocation. Some allowance must be made, however, for the condition of affairs in this city. * * * The damage, moreover, was slight in this case as compared with previous ones. It would have been serious, however, had it not been for the presence of the American guard.

I send you inclosed the report made to me by Messrs. Collbran and Bostwick on the subject and a copy of my letter to the acting minister for foreign affairs.

I have, etc.,

Horace N. Allen.
[Inclosure 1.]

Telegram of February 18, 1904.

Last night a company of Korean soldiers attacked electric carriage, property of American citizens, damaging it and injuring operator. American seamen quieted the disturbances.

[Inclosure 2.]

Messrs. Collbran and Bostwick to Mr. Alleny.

Dear Sir: Herewith we beg to hand you a copy of our assistant manager’s report giving particulars of the incident that occurred last night, and which but for the presence of the American guard in Seoul might have had serious results, as the Pyeng Yang soldiers, to say the least, are not well controlled by their officers.

No provocation was given by the crew of the car and not the slightest justification existed for the brutal assault made upon them.

The injured conductor is now in the American hospital, where his wounds have been dressed; but we are in hopes he can resume duty in a few days.

When the alarm reached the main building by means of one of our Korean employees, who could not quite make himself understood, the officer in charge turned out with a squad of men and hurried to the scene of the trouble; but fortunately the trouble was all over and their services were not needed.

Mr. Morris reports that the conductor was cut with an unattached bayonet.

The damages to the car can be repaired for $25 or $30, and is too trifling a sum to file a claim for. We beg, however, to call your attention to the conduct of the Korean soldiers.

Yours, respectfuly,

Collbran and Bostwick.
[Page 452]

Mr. Morris to Mr. Bostwick.

Dear Sir: The following is a report of the trouble last night. Run No. 21, car No. 18, conductor Kim Yung Soon, motorman Chun Chang Un, turning in from South Gate at 8 p.m., arriving at Chong Mu switch at 8.16 p.m., found a cart in charge of soldiers loaded with bedding, guns, etc., stuck in the spring switch. The motorman asked them to hurry and get it out. In their hurry they broke the axle, which made them angry, and they took their revenge by catching the conductor and motorman and beating them. The motorman got away, but the conductor was cut badly in two places on the head. I took him to Doctor Ernsburger at East Gate. In one of the cuts the doctor put two stitches.

The car had three windows broken and the iron rod for hanging the headlight on, also the beading around the bottom of the windows was all torn off. The car would have been damaged much more if Hong Tuk Sung, office boy, and ticket agent Kim In Sung hadn’t run it back to Chong No when the soldiers ran after the motorman. After beating the conductor they took him to their quarters at Pai O Gai, and the officer in charge let him go, telling him he was not to blame in any way. The weapon used in beating the conductor was a bayonet detached from a gun.

Yours, very truly,

J. H. Morris,
Assistant Manager.
[Inclosure 3.]

Mr. Allen to Mr. Ye Cho Yong.

Your Excellency: I regret to have to inform your excellency that at about 8.30 p.m. yesterday a car of the Seoul Electric Company was attacked by Korean soldiers just west of the electric office building, the cause being that the soldiers seemed to be enraged because the motorman rang his bell for them to remove a cart from the track. The conductor of the car was injured by the soldiers and the car was damaged. Further injury was prevented by the approach of American marines from the Electric Company’s office building.

As it will be easy to ascertain the facts in this case, I trust to be soon informed regarding the steps your excellency’s Government proposes to take to punish these soldiers and prevent a recurrence of these disagreeable incidents.

I take this, etc.,

Horace N. Allen.