31 January


New York, Jany 31 1890

Dear Russell,

Thanks for yours of yesterday with Lodge's4 letter. I think it quite probable that Blaine acted more from interest in Amy than in me, & I am very glad to owe any thing to her. It would be a very good plan for her to write a line of acknowledgement to B. which she can do so gracefully & well.

Of course I wrote to express my own thanks ??? ???, & had previously after some hesitation sent a few words of sympathy on the occsion of Walker's5 death. I will see Lodge as soon as I go on. I intended to go almost immediately, but I am told the most contradictory things abt custom in such matters. I have recd no notice whatever from the Dept. & all I know is what I see in the papers. John Edward says I will receive no notice till after confirmation, & advises me not to go on. Sevellon Brown, ancient Chief Clerk says I shall receive one shortly but I am not expected to go on til confirmation; outsiders say come at ??? I do as much with the Senators here as there, if not more & my going just now is complicated by an infernal nuisance. I was told last night that my room had been taken from Tuesday next till June, & I must clear out. I can't positively complain, but it is not pleasant, & adds a good deal to what I have to do.

So don't address me any more to 39 West 17th. I will let you know as soon as I settle on anything. Probably the Everett House Union Square.

Thanks for your reminder about the map.

I thought I had told you that I had renewed my office in the ??? 55 Liberty St. I am anxious to use ????

Yrs A.H.

Judge Daly has written a letter for me to Senators Sherman6 & Edwards about the ???. The letter was drafted by Frank Street my particular friend. Sherman is Chairman of Comm on Foreign Rel.

10 February


New York, Febry 10 1890

My darling Amy,

Mr. Blaine desired me particularly to make his regards to you. Perhaps he wanted me to understand with what a bright particular eye he did regard you -- which is understood. He is somewhat broken. Mrs B. & the girls look as usual. Mr. B. didn't go to the Dept. & I lost a good deal of time waiting for him, but in spite of a good many attempts I did not see him till Saturday PM, having gone on Wednesday. Then Mon. Gettings was sick & I did not see her. & altogether I was annoyed.

???? the ???? was that my pay began on taking the oath on the 6th they give me till 7 then to get off on pay. If I stay longer, I lose my pay: or rather don't get any during such delay. Then they give me 65 days to get to my post on pay. If I stay longer, I lose my pay: or rather don't get any during such delay. Then they give me 65 days to get to my post on pay.

Adie7 wants me to go over all the old dispatches with China & from China & ??? having any relation to Corea: & every paper that deals with the ??? ??? of the first treaty. That will take some time & I must go back for it. B said also he shyould have some special instructions to give me. I have not yet seen the President. I called 4 times on Lodge but did not find him. Saw Mrs. L. twice. - which perhaps will do as well.

I shall go to Boston probably the last of this week or the first of next.

Show this to Max if she comes in. Haven't time to writer her today.

Dined at the Pa??? last night. Abt a dozen.

All the family were disposed to be pleasant -- & made an effort to be.

Love to Russell
Yrs AH

Just have a letter from Aug. dated in Kansas City.

30 May

Seoul, May 30 1890

Dear Amy,

I have before me yours of 6 Apr. By the same mail we recd one to your mother dated Apr 6. Normandie8 NY. This came as a veritable surprise as you anticipated wd be the case & your mother has been worrying over it ever since. "To think of Amy all alone in that big hotel in NY. How I wish she were here, ???." And so do I -- wish you were here.

You must come. The climate is delicious at this season, & they say better in the autumn. We have had only one rainy day since we arrived, then bright sunshine, & not hot. By next year I hope we shall get the Legation into habitable condition. Now it is a ramshackle collection of dilapidated Corean buildings - which do well enough now, but which give me an anticipatory chill & thrill as I think of what they must be with the thermometer at 5o below zero, as I am told it sometimes is. The walls are simply lattice work of wood -- with paper pasted over & the paper is old & ripped & dirty & hangs in lumps. I am writing Mr. Blain by this mail to give me a few thousand dollars -- & I hope I may get something. Max has had a detestible time from the start & here she is most efficient. She is busy at something from morning to night making curtains & dresses & planting celery & lettuce & all that. I suppose she will tell you herself.

The people seem disposed to be friendly. We have ???d out a few times & it all looks pleasant. I had my audience of the King on the 26th. He is bright and intelligent & has a kindly amiable expression of face. He seemed to be much pleased to talk with us & kept us certainly 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. He received us sitting but rose & remained standing through the interview. We were separated from him only bu the width of a small table. He is a small man with a pale clear complexion, very bright eyes, rather too near together, quite animated & was astonished in everything that was said to him. But you would like to know all this par le même! & I wish I had the time & patience to write it all out. I wrote John a long letter from Chemulpo,9 & suppose I ought to continue de même, but I have so many to write that I am afraid you will have to pick up a letter here & there & reconstruct your table by your self.[???]

Bref, we stayed 2 days with Mr. Johston at C. who treated us most hospitably, & then started one fine morning at 8 in Chinese chairs, 8 bearers each for Seoul: escorted by Y. Hiun Yang & his retinu, Vice Prest. of the F.O. who had come down to receive me & welcome us to Corea.

We arrvd at the Legation on S. abt 4 1/2 & there found Mr. Dinsmore 10 who conducted us around the place & made himself generally affable. We stopped an hour at the 1/2 way house for lunch: had an omelette & some sandwiches we had brought with us, but the rest of the trip was easy & interesting. We were done up when we arrvd.

Most of the people we have met are pleasant: & we like the outlook this far better than we had expected. Mr. D. is still here, but leaves in a couple of days. We like him. His departure has been deferred by our not getting an audience. This delay has been caused chiefly by the illness of the Queen Dowager, who is ill & was expected to die every hour, but is recovering. When the appt. was finally made, D & I went to the Foreign Off to accompany the Prest. to the Palace. We left the Lg. at 1. -- Found the Pres. had not had his breakfast & we did not leave the F.O. till 2 1/4, thou the appt. was for 2. I suppose that was the hour named for us. We left our chairs at the gate, a very hot day, & walked up the central path, the central gates being opened to let us in -- then presy. going by s??? and out through two large square imposing courts & so into the rear of the grounds, fully 1/4 of a mile to a small pavillion, where we met some officials and waited abt an hour till H.M. was ready to receive us. Then we went accompanied by the Prest. of the F.O. & one of the Vice P. , & the Prest. of the Home O. to the far corner. We approached by the center. ??? ??? ???? by the side & prostrated themselves & knocked heads on the floor. We bowed 3 times at intervals & finally brought up by a little table behind which was his Majesty -- clad in scarlet robes with a big gold colored plaque in his hand [???] -- embroidered I suppose.

After D. got through his "recall" I was presented and after asking HM if I might wear my glasses (not permitted ordinarily in royal presence) & beign generously accorded permission -- I made my little speech -- which had been sent in to him the day before. After that finished, a translation of it in Chinese was read by the interpreter who stood on my left. With head bent down & baited breath I then handed the King the letter I had from the Prest. to him -- a translation of this in Chinese was then read in a high chanting voice by the Vice P. of the F.O.

Then the K. made some short & appropriate remarks & the "conversation became general" -- that is, the King made some speech through the interpreter to D & myself & we retired. All in very low tone, the Koreans having withdrawn to the side of the room.

After this was over we were conducted to the presence of the Crown Prince a boy of about 17 who prompted by some official standing by made some ??? ??? to ??? in r???d.

Then they gave us an elaborate dinner in foreign style.

We got back to legation about 6. -- pretty tired & hot. Lotsw of warm beer & champagne. I had to go to a dinner at the Chinese Embassy afterwards where there was a great deal of wine drunk & which nearly finished me up. Best to Russell

Yrs evr A.H.

I appreciate all you say abt your uncle Albert. I have always regretted looking at my father in his coffin. I arrvd. ?. ???. after his death & I can never forget the ?????? [check original]

28 July

The following appears to be a draft from A.H. to some unnamed official. It is written in pencil with many corrections.

No. --

U.S. Legation
Seoul Corea July 28 1890


I have I have the honor to inform you that on the 26th last, Dr. J. B. Heron [??], a naturalized American citizen and member of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions died at this place, of dysentary, after an illness of 20 days -- leaving a wife & two children.

Copy of the Certificate of the attending physician Dr. W.B. Scranton is enclosed.  

Two days before his death, while he was in a very critical state, two other members of the same Board of Missions called upon me & informing me that no place had been set apart in Seoul for a Foreign cemeteray, asked what was to be done in the event of Dr. Heron's death. I was greatly surprised at this intelligence as a cemetary is generally one of the first things taken care of in a new settlement, it seems that in the only previous occasion when it became necessary to use one, the board had him conveyed to Chemulpo for burial.

I at once addressed a note to the Prest. of the Foreign Office on the subject, a copy enclosed, and to avoid the loss of time necessary for its translation, I took it myself to the Foreign Office accompanied by Dr. Allen 11 & the interpreter.

At first His Excellency was disposed to question our rights ???? confronted with the Eng Treaty & the ????d nation clause he withdrew opposition & promised to concern himself actively with the matter, but said it would be difficult in view of Corean prejudice to find a suitable place, near enough to the city to be acceptable. I pointed out the necessity of losing no time, & he assured me he appreciated the urgency of the case & that I should hear from him without delay.

I should say that I believe his opposition arose in the first place from the misapprehension of the return of our r????. A Corean of rank provides ??? his ??? a site varying in ??? from a quarter of an acre to a several acres, & His Ex. was appalled at the prospect of being called on to furnish land gratuitously for the interest for the various members of the various Foreign nationalities, and when our real purpose was made clear to him, his tune immediately changed.

On the 25th Dr Heron was rather better, & my interpreter was informed from the Foreign Office that one of the secretaries had him submit with ???? & choose a suitable plot.

On the morning of the 26th Dr H died, & no place haed been assigned. I sent the secretary to the F.O. & shortly after he accompanied by a Corean official & by one of the Missionary Board went to look at a plot that had been designated. It proved to be utterly unsuitable, -- far away on the other side of the river, & it was decided to use temporarily a small of ground owned by Dr. Heron, at no great distance, while waiting for a suitable selection. I say temporarily because burying within the walls of the city is not only strictly prohibited by law, but is regarded with strong prejudice by the natives. There is a building [???] ??? occupied by two Coreans.

The body lay in the house the grounds of which adjoin this Legation & access to the plot in question could be had through this Legation, through the Customs Compound adjoining, & the English Consulate & finally for a short distance through a Corean street.

Owing to the heat of the weather it was imperitive that the internment shd be speedy & the hour of the funeral was fixed at 5 1/2 for yesterday, Sunday, the 27th instant: The grave had been dug & all the preparations made, when about 3 oclk I had a visit from Mr Unerwood & Mr Moffatt, missionaries charged with the care of the ceremonies, to say that the two Coreans living on the plot had received an intimation (presumably from the For. Office, though the wd not say so) that if the burial took place there, their h??? & the h??? of all Coreans connected with it would be taken off. -- the people [???] ??? & the Foreign ??? ??? and asked what they should do.

I replied that, though the stories were very possibly fictitious ???? ????, we could not have any contention over a burial, & all I could do would be to apply for protection to the Foregn Office. There was hardly time to make an application for that as the President was very likely at the Palace & the alternative seemed to be either to induce Mrs. Heron to consent to a temporary internment in her own compound which was an ??? on Corean custom) or to take the body to Chemulpo. I should say that up to this time Mrs. H had strenuously objected to the use of the grounds of her own house, but in view of this contingency she gave her consent; & the funeral ceremonies took place at the appointed hour.

The state of my health prevented me from being present, but my family & the Secretary were; & on his return the latter told me that after all the burial did not take place. No Corean could be found to dig the grave.

I sent for the interpreter but he crossed my messenger, & appeared at the Legation early in the evening - it being Sunday. He said he had been sent for by the President, who wishes him to tell me that he had found at last a good plot for the cemeteray within a reasonable distance, & he would be glad to have me examine it at once. He added that the stories about trouble if the burial had been carried out in the plot near the English Consulate as originally intended were perfectly true, & he would have lost his own head!

Dr. Allen & Mr. Underwood visited the secluded spot this morning & found it entirely acceptable. It is about 4 miles distqant from the Legation, on this side of the river, & comprises about 10000 ???, & is an elevated plateau sloping down on the sides, & naturally marked. It will be easy, if it be desired later to add to its simensions.

As Mr. Underwood, representing the Presbyterian Board, was very much pleased with the plan; we did not think it wise to look further, & the internment of Dr Heron was sinally completed there quietly this afternoon. The question of the Foreign Cemetary at Seoul seems to be presumably settled.

I have ????

9 August

U.S. Legation
le 9 août

Enfin! Chère soeur, je puis me vanter d'avoir reçu une lettre, mais une vrai lettre qui a dû tu couter un effort, d'après ce que tu nous dis de ta santé et de tes faiblesses. J'éspere bien que tu te porte déjà mieux car il y a bien deux mois que ta lettre est écrit. Nous aussi n'avons que maladie et tristesse autour de nous et par ces chaleurs atroces c'est décourageant. Beaucoup de monde est parti, le petit restant est ou malade ou garde malade aux autres et nous avons eu la mort à gauche et à droit, chez le Dr Heron (?) qui est mort lui-même il y a deux semaines laissant une femme et deux petites filles sans le sou . Et avant hier la plus petite fille de M et Mme Hillier12 est morte. Une gentille petite enfant de deux ans que le père idolâtrait. Papa n'est pas bien non plus. Il a le diarrhée depuis plusieurs semaines et bien qu'il écrit et sort pas mal il est très faible et n'a presque pas d'appétit. Maman se tormente d'une chose et d'une autre; la chaleur, les moustiques qui s'ais-je. Mais autrement elle va assez bien. Nous faisons quelques ouvrages dans le compound juste devant la maison mais nous n'allons pas trop entreprende avant de recevoir la permission du Dept. Permission que nous attendons avec impatience car il y a beaucoup à faire à la maison pour la rendre confortable ou même habitable pour l'hiver.

Pense donc le Sampson marié! Je me demande quelle espèce de femme a voulu de lui. Moi non plus je n'ai pas de nouvelles des West 13 depuis cette lettre que j'ai reçu après mon arrivé ici; mais cela prend si longemps pour les lettres à aller et revenir que je ne puis guère m'en étonner car nous sommes loin, mais loin! Tu ne peut guère te figurer ce que c'est.

J'ai bien peur que Mme Doer n'attende longtemps avant de lire mon livre. Je ne me sens pas inspiré par ces chaleurs et puis je n'ai encore rien vu! Je ne sais rien des habitudes etc. de ce drôle de pays - car il est drôle il n'y à pas à dire.

L'idée de ta "petite soeur" aux diners diplomatiques te fais rire! que disais-tu d'elle posant la pierre fondamentale de la Légation Impériale de toutes les Russies! Cérémonie qui va avoir lieu la semaine prochaine? Je me fais veille, va! C'est que j'ai beaucoup vu et vécu depuis trois mois mais je crois maintenant qu'il va y avoir une période assez monotone maintenant avec les distractions saines et douces de la vie domestique, variées d'un peu de tennis, d'exercise à cheval et de photographie quand la tempèrature sera un peu plus modérée.

Je n'essaye pas de décrire la maison plus que je ne l'ai déja fais. Ce serait inutile et un de ces jours j'éspere finir des photographies qui diront plus que vingt pages de description. En attendant tu peux t'imaginer tout ce que tu voudras de différent de ce qui est chez nous sans être pour cela sans conforts et de charmes. Ce qui me plais le plus dans ce genre de vie est le laisser aller et la nonchalance. on a des quantité de domestiques pour tout et les choses se font tout mal que bien mais on ferme les yeux et puis on gronde. Mais quand on gronde c'est ferme et cela a son effet. Tout est ouvert on entre par les fenêtres autant que par les portes; nous avons de prunes délicieuses en ce moment et de l'ice cream quand l'envie nous prend. Il est fait de condensed milk et à la maison mais il n'en est pas moins très bon. Ceci il faut garder pour toi car comme les missionaires nous ne voulons pas trop dorer nos déscriptions car il y a vraiment beaucoup de désagreémments pour égaliser le tout. Ce qui me manque le plus par exemple - sont les cabinets. Je n'ai jamais aimé les pots de chambres et ici je n'ai pas autre chose! Mais on a s'habitue á tout. Le lait aussi - impossible d'en avoir du bon. Mes légumes poussent assez bien et nous avons des tomates superbes en ce moment - pauvre Papa qui ne peut pas manger ni légumes ni fruit.

En somme tu fera mieux de déménager ici ou tu pourras porter tes chemisses de nuit tout le temps. Même moi ne m'habile que vers cinq heures du soir et cela aussi légèrement que possible -- une toute petite chemise, un pantalon, jupon, cache corset & une robe en grass cloth toute à fait unie des bas et des chausseures. A peu près une fois par semaine pour une grande occasion je mets un corset. Par exemple ce soir nous dinons chez les Darney (???) et comme il y aura probablement du monde après je ferai frais de toilette. Si tu pouvais voir comme je suis jolie! Car avec ces chaleurs il est impossible de me friser les cheveux je les laisse au naturel ce qui est d'un effet! d'une simplicité sévère toute à fait charmante et avec cela je les porte en natte pendante la plus part du temps.

La température a changé aujourdh'hui et il fait presque froid!

82 1/2 degrés dans ma chambre à midi. Voila trois semaines au moins que je n'ai eu moins que cela a dix heures du soir, généralement 86 - 7 - 8 - ou même 90. Chez les français ou c'est un peu plus bas et renfermé ils l'ont eu jusqu'à 104 à Pékin 110 sept heures au soir dans un coin de véranda où le soleil n'arrive jamais! C'est ce que M. Von Brandt ecrit. On se prépare pour l'autre monde! Tout ces chères gens m'embrouille avec toi - sans m'avoir vu bien entendu -d'apres quelques uns j'aurai presque 32 ans.

Tel est la vie. Enfin - assez pour aujourd'hui. Amitiés a tout le monde, baisers pour toi et les mioches. Ils doivent être bien gentils ensembles.

à toi


Le 12 août

Je ne fais qu'ajouter quelques mots avant d'envoyer ma lettre bienqu'il n'y ait pas grand chose d'importance. Papa est très faible et son état reste a peu près le même ce qui est décourageant.

Le temps est un peu plus frais depuis deux jours il faut espérer que ce changement lui fera du bien.

Notre secrétaire est assez aimable en somme et je l'aime bien. Dr Allen qui a traduit ces petits cartes Koréens.

Mille baisers


U.S. Legation
Seoul, Korea
9 August 1890

Finally! Dear sister, I can brag of having received a letter, but a real letter which must have cost you an effort, given what you tell us of your helath and frailty. I truely hope that you are already doing better as it is already two months since your letter was written. We, too, have only sickness and sadness around us from the atrocious heat. It is discouraging. Many have left; the few are either sick or taking care of others and we have had death to the left and right, at Dr. Heron's who died himself two weeks ago leaving a wife and two small daughters without a cent. And yesterday the youngest daugter of Mr. and Mrs. Hillier died, a gentle infant of two years whom the father idolized. Papa is also not good. He has had diarrhea for several weeks and even though he writes and goes out well enough he is very feeble and he has practically no appetite. Mama is tormented by one thing or another; the heat, the mosquitos, and who know what. But otherwise she is doing well enough. We are building several things in the compound just in front of the house, but we have not undertaken much before receiving permission from the Department of Permission which we await with impatience because there is much to do to the house to render it comfortable or even habitable for the winter.

Think, then, of Sampson married! I wonder what species of woman wanted him!

Me, too, I have no news of the Wests since this letter that I received after my arrival here; but it takes so long for letters to go and return that it scarcely astonishes me because we are far, but far! You could hardly imagine just how far it is.

I am afraid that Mme Doer is waiting a long time before reading my book. I do not feel inspired by this heat and then I have not yet seen anything! I know nothing of the habits etc. of this peculiar country - it goes without saying that it is peculiar.

The idea of your "little sister" at diplomatic dinners makes you laugh! What would you say of her putting the foundation stone of the Imperial Legation of all the Russias! a ceremony which will take place next week? I am making myself grow up! All because I have seen and lived so much during the past three months but I believe now that we will now have a period calm enough with sane and sweet distractions of domestic life, enhanced by a little tennis, horseback riding, and photography when the temperature becmes a little more moderate.

I am not going to try to describe the house more than I already have. It would be useless and one of these days I hope to finish some photographs which will say more than twenty pages of description. While waiting you can imagine all that you wish of how different our house is without for all that being without comfort and charm. What I like the most in this style of life is the laissez faire and nonchalance. There are many servants to do everything and things go as badly as well but you close your eyes and then scold. But when one scolds it is firmly and that has an effect. Everything is open, one enters by the windows as often as by doors; we have delicious prune at this moment and ice cream when we wish. It is made out of condensed milk here at the house, but it is no less very good. You should keep this to yourself since like the missionaries we do not want to gild too much our descriptions because there are truly many disagreable things to balance things. For example, the thing I miss the most are the toilets. I have never liked chamber pots and here there is nothing else. But one gets used to everything. Milk also, it is impossible to find any good. My vegetables grow well enough and we currently have superb tomatos -- poor Papa can eat neither vegetables nor fruit.

In short you will do well to move here where you will be able to wear nightgowns all the time. Even I don't dress until around five o'clock and then as lightly as possible, a tiny shirt, pants, skirt, cache corset & a dress of grass cloth together with stockings and shoes. About once a week for a grand occasion I wear a corset. For example this evening we dine at the Darneys and since there will probably be many people there afterwards I will freshen up. If you could see how pretty I am! Since in this heat it is impossible to curl my hair, I leave it natural, which has quite an effect! A severe simplicity completely charming and with that I wear my hair in a braid most of the time.

The temperature changed today and it is almost cold!

82 1/2 degrees in my bedroom at noon. It is at least three weeks with temperatures no less than that at 10PM, generally 86 - 7 -8 or even 90. At the French residence where the elevation is lower and the area more closed it reached 104 and in Peking at seven in the evening in a corner of the veranda where the sun never arrives! That is what Mr. Von Brandt writes. One prepares for another world! All these dear people confuse me with you -- granted without having seen me - according to some of them I will be nearly 32.

Such is life. At last -- enough for today. Love to everyone, kisses for you and the little ones. They must be very nice together.

A toi


7-19 November

Seoul, Nov. 7 1890

Dear Amy,

I have just come back from the Palace where I have been to offer my congratulations ont the 40th birthday of the Queen & while waiting form my interpreter who is never on hand when wanted, I will devote a half hour to my darling daughter. We were very much surprised on the 4th to receive a summons to the Palace the next day at 1 PM. The King is just come out of strict mourning for his ????? mother, the Queen Dowager, & during this time, 5 months, has recd no foreigners.

As we knew the Queen's birthday was today, we had not expected that he would show himself before, but it turned out otherwise & a little after on the first flight of diplomats were assembled in the waiting room attached to the Pavillion where the King receives foreigners. On hand later the Consuls Hillier (Eng) & Krein (German), arr. with Genl LeGendre & Vice Prest. of the Home Office.14 

About 1/2 an hour afterwards the King signified that he was ready for us & I, Kondo, Japanese, Waeber, Russian, both chargé d'affairs & ???? French "Commepaire" -- ??? by a score of high Corean officials proceeded to the presence. It is etiquette to remove the hat as one enters the court yard of the pavillion bow at the foot of the steps & at the door & again when finally in the presence. I told you what he was like at the time of my first audience. This time recd us [??] in the same way except that in the place of scarlet clothes he wore drab the color of mourning as did all the attendants. The Coreans knelt at the threshold & knocked their foreheads on the floor.

As doyen of the corps I have to do all the talking & speechifying: & try not to disgrace myself in the eyes of my collegues, who are old hands at it. The King is a small man, with a very amiable courtly expression of countenance, & I have no doubt is a "very good fellow"! He looks bright & intelligent. He is always very friendly. He said his mourning had prevented him from seeing us for a long time but it gave him great pleasure to welcome us again & ct. -- I replied expressing our thanks - our pleasure at seeing him again in good health & ??? & ???. My interpreter stands at my left & translates. Each of us had his interpreter with him.

After a few questions ??? we took leave & were ushered into the presence of the Crown Prince, who like his father stood behind a small table lanked by two eunuchs, one on each side, who looked like old women. Same ceremonies here, but shorter.

Today it was pretty much the same thing, except that as my interpreter is scared to death in the royal presence & probably muddles what I say, I wrote out my speech of congratulations & had it put into Chinese - the official language. A copy lay on the table before the King while I was speaking & after I had got through the interpreter read from the paper in his hand the translation. This is the only way I could be sure he would know what I said.

Both the President of the Home Office and the Prest of the Foreign Office came to me afterwords & thanked me for doing this & complimented me on my speech, which was nothing but banalité.

Today we were summoned for 10 this morning. The Consuls at 11 & it was barelly 11 when we were called to the King. So it was for s??? ???.

A bad thing about aoll these functions is the chapaign you must drink with the various officials: & when the wait is long the quantity of tobacco you get through. I was in evening dress, white cravat & the others in uniform.

There was a great number of Corean officials & diginataries about the Palace, come I suppose on the same errand as ourselves & the great Audience Hall was besieged. The King's chair was before us as we came out, all in white & supported on an elaborate frame work, to allow of the presense of 24 bearers, which is I believe the regulation number.

I am getting used to the speechifying but I don't like it. I have not the habit, I suppose. Russell wd get up & rattle off a harangue worth listening to, without giving himself the troubloe of thinking abt it beforehand but I am not up to that. I had to make quite a speech the other day at Kondo's who gave a big dinner in honor of the birthday of the Emperor of Japan & I got through it pretty well. I proposed his health. As senior of the corps, all such work falls on me. We are just in a period of great excitement. These days are big with fate -- the fate of Corea. On the death of the Queen Dowager the King sent an envoy to the Emperor of China to apprise him of the fact & now the return Embassy comes to bear the Emperor's condolences. Corea is tributary to China & though at the time of making the treaties she declared herself "indepe3ndent in all matters of national administration and foreign affairs," with China's knowledge & approval, & the Prest of the U.S. in his reply takes act of this & states that the U.S. wd only make a treaty with a sovereign power. China has regretted it betterly ever since & loses no oppy to humiliate Corea & reduce her to "vassalage." This is one of those occasions in which China exults. The Chinese Ambassador arrvd yesterday at Chemulpo with 2 ships of war & started from there for the capital at 4 this morning. While I write he is probably arrived at a pavillion ? ??? ???? a little outside the city walls. To carry out the full etiquette the King must go himself to this Pavillion & receive this Ambassador with the same honors as he wd pay to the Emperor himself -- down to the Kow tow & then conduct him into the city. And we are all agog to know what he will do. Will he go? Or won't he? Of course we shall know long before this letter leaves.

Nov 10

There are 2 Chinese envoys, who bring a letter from the Emperor, an invocation or prayer on sacrificial paper which is burned, & a patent of increased nobility for the deceased lady.

A short distance outside the West gate at a corner made in the road leading to the ???? crossed at right angles by the broad road coming from the Peking path & running down to the South Gate are the Gov of the Province, & before him ??? a canopy was raised. The King went out to this canopy in the morning of the 8th & the Chinese procession came up from the ??? bearing each in it separate litter and chair the 3 offerings mentioned above. He stood at the angle & as they were borne by turning to the right he bowed his head slightly. After they had passed the curtains were drawn around him, the soldiers filed in & he reentered the city by the West Gate, not seeing or receiving the Chinese envoys who were behind. They made a circuit to enter by the great South Gate while the King went directly to the Palace to receive them. The three objects from Peking were placed on a table, laid East & West, and the King facing North, with an envoy on each side, prostrated himself before them -- which is a very different thing from making the Kow tow to the envoys.

He goes to make them a visit of inquiry [??] & that finishes the ceremonies when they withdraw to the place they came from.

I was occupied all day with a question of etiquette concerning these men. The Chinise Minister calling them ambassadors sent the For. Rep. a circular saying they were too busy to receive calls which is a gross kind [???] of impertinence. We deny them the right to be called ambassadors.

If they are not, they ought to call on us. If they are, they should have sent their cards: as if they had said to pay or receive visits, it would have been all right. We finally sent in last night a politely worded letter to say we thanked him, but had no intention of calling. So we go!

Mamma sends love and kisses, Yours ever affly,


[marginal note] Nov. 19 The delay of this str ??? me to send you a detailed statement in French of the ceremonies which is in good ??? ????: but certain parts the breakfast with the ???? especialoly is better in an En g version which I also send. I have had a great many ????d. from wh. I made my official statement. Show them to the family.