Lecture on the last independent American adviser to the Joseon Dynasty

Tomorrow night's RASKB lecture, by Mr. Kent Davy, is titled:
'Yankee Knight Errant at the Court of the Emperor Manque: William Franklin Sands and King Gojong in the "Korean Cockpit"'

For those interested in modern Korean history, the name William Franklin Sands may be familiar; he served in the U.S. embassy at the turn of the last century and then became the last independent American adviser to the Joseon Dynasty. In these positions, he was able to see, at first hand, the penultimate chapter of the Joseon Dynasty, and his observations form the basis of his fascinating book 'Undiplomatic Memories' (which is available in reprint from the RASKB).

This lecture will be based on previously unseen documentary materials in Sands' archived papers, including numerous personal letters and photographs and the draft of a manuscript about Korea, and promises to open a window on the close of the first chapter in US-Korean relations.

One interesting tidbit: Sands was eventually replaced by the Japanese-appointed American advisor Durham Stevens, who was assassinated by Korean activists in San Francisco in 1908.

The lecture will take place Tuesday, June 12, 2012 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm in the Second floor Residents’ Lounge at the Somerset Palace, and is 5,000 won for non-members and free for members. More information about the lecture can be found here.

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