Talk to explore U.S. mining in Joseon Korea

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Sept 2, 2015 - 18:34
  • Updated : Sept 2, 2015 - 18:34

The Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch will reopen its lectures after a summer break with a presentation on American gold miners in the Joseon era by Robert Neff.

After some background on Korea’s reputation for gold and mineral wealth and early attempts at Western concessions in the 1880s, Neff will talk on the introduction of modern gold mining in 1896 by the Oriental Consolidated Gold Mining.

He will talk about the community that formed around the concession and the dangers they faced, including disease, bandit raids and tiger attacks.

As well as photos, Neff will also show a home movie taken at the concession in the 1930s as part of the presentation.

Neff has written extensively on Korean history for various publications, with his books including “The Lives of Westerners in Joseon Korea,” “Korea Through Western Eyes” and “Letters from Joseon.”

The talk will take place Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Somerset Palace near Anguk Station in Seoul. Admission is free for RASKB members and 7,000 won ($5.90) for nonmembers.

By Paul Kerry (