PyeongTaek Lecture - Nodaji: American Gold Miners in 19th Century Korea

Robert Neff
Saturday, February 1, 2020 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Pascucci Café at Capitolium, 2F

Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch 

Special Lecture in PyeongTaek

이미지: 사람 1명 이상, 말을 타는 사람들, 실외

Nodaji: American Gold Miners

in 19th Century Korea


Korea had a gold rush at the end of the 19th century.  Hundreds of Americans and Europeans made their way to Korea in search of gold.  Most of these men worked for the large Western concessions which included: the American-owned Oriental Consolidated Mining Company (OCMC), Seoul Mining Co., Taiyudong (French mining concession), Gwendoline (British), the Italian Mining Concession, Korea Syndikat (German) and Tangokae (German).

   The 1890s and early 1900s was a volatile period in Korea. Unrest in northern Korea and the constant exposure to the elements, disease, superstitions, murders and accidents made life a daily adventure. There were old grizzled California and Alaska gold miners, soldiers from the American frontier wars, sailors who gave up the sea, steamship captains, doctors, young graduates and farmers with no experience, deserters, doctors, a missionary or two who found God’s work did not pay as much as mining, and several people who had negative run-ins with the law.  Many left Korea quite rich and one miner later became the president of the United States. A large number of photographs (from the late 1890s through 1939), as well as clips from a home-movie (1933), of the mining community will help illustrate what words alone cannot convey.


Robert D. Neff is a freelance writer and historical researcher specializing in Korean history during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  His writings have appeared in newspapers, magazines and books including: Korea Through Western Eyes, Westerner’s Life in Korea, Letters from Joseon, Brief Encounters, Royal Asiatic Society Transactions, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Jeju Weekly and 10 Magazine.

Venue:   Caffé Pascucci (카페 파스쿠치) at Capitolium (캐피토리움). MAP

               Address: 52 Anjeongshopping-ro, Paengseong-eup, Pyeongtaek. 

                              (경기도 평택시 팽성읍 안정쇼핑로 52, 캐피토리움 2층) 

               * Free parking is available. 


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