Royal Asiatic Society to offer lecture on US 'crusader'
Posted : 2013-02-05 18:34
Updated : 2013-02-05 18:34
Homer B. Hulbert
By John Redmond
The Royal Asiatic Society Korea is presenting a lecture entitled "Crusader for Korea: Homer B. Hulbert" to be given by Mr. DongJin (DJ) Kim on Feb. 12. at the second floor Residents' Lounge of Somerset Palace in Seoul.
The lecture commemorates Homer B. Hulbert, one of the first Americans to come to Korea. In addition to his educational and missionary activities he wrote a number of major works including "The Passing of Korea" and the "History of Korea." He was also the editor of and main contributor to the Korea Review monthly journal (1901-5). One of the closest and most trusted foreign aides to Emperor Gojong, he went on his behalf to plead for Korean independence at the Peace Conference held in The Hague in 1906 and 1907, in vain. After that he was unable to live in Japan-dominated Korea. He continued to work and campaign on behalf of Korea while living in America. He finally returned to Seoul in 1949 and died within a few days of his arrival. He is buried in Korea. Hulbert's tombstone reads "I would rather be buried in Korea than in Westminster Abbey."
Kim worked for over 30 years in the banking industry in Seoul and New York, most of that with JP Morgan Chase Bank. While in college, he read "The Passing of Korea" (1906), one of Hulbert's masterpieces on Korean culture, history and tradition. Kim was struck by Hulbert's passion, scholarship and accomplishments in the service of Korea. Most importantly, he realized that his story had nearly vanished in the study of that critical time in Korean history.
He took on a life-long task of ensuring a place for Hulbert in the annals of Korean history. Kim visited numerous places including Dartmouth College, Columbia University, in search of his Hulbert's footprints. He located all the descendants of Hulbert and collected from them lots of important letters, books, records, pictures, and effects related him. Kim is currently Chairman of the Hulbert Memorial Society and also serves as an adjunct professor at Seoul School of Integrated Science and Technology.
The lecture is from 7:30pm to 9:00pm and costs 7,000 won for non-members. Members are free.
The Royal Asiatic Society is a non-profit volunteer based organization that has been operating in Korea for over 100 years.