George Clayton Foulk Edit Profile
Graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 1876.
He graduate from the US Naval Academy in 1876 and went to Asia on the ship Alert. He made a 427-mile journey through Japan, then returned to the United States overland via Korea, Siberia, and Europe. He became fluent in Japanese and Korean.
When a Korean mission arrived in 1883 he was the only person in Washington who could interpret. He was appointed U.S. Naval Attache to Korea and after arriving there embarked on two long journeys by sedan chair around the country. On the longer journey, 43 days, his visit included Gongju, Gwangju, Haeinsa, Busan, Daegu, and Mungyeong.
A coup occurred in Seoul during the latter part of this journey and the Koreans' hospitality turned to hostility from those who took him to be a Japanese spy. He served as the Minister to the Kingdom of Korea from 1885 to 1886 and again from 1886 to 1887. Soon after his relief by William Harwar Parker, Foulk was sent back to Korea after a report reached Washington, D.C. that Parker was a "chronic drunkard" who suffered from alcoholism.
The United States government considered the situation so serious that a squadron of naval vessels was diverted to intercept Foulk's passenger liner and return him to Korea as soon as possible. Foulk was finally recalled several months later and relieved by Hugh A. Dinsmore, with the U.S. acting at the behest of the Chinese government. The Chinese were unhappy with Foulk's attempts to build up Korea's ability to counteract Chinese and Japanese influence.
After his recall, Foulk worked as a teacher at Doshisha College (now Doshisha University) in Kyoto. They are buried together in the Nyakuoji Cemetery, Kyoto, Japan.
Served on 2 cruises, Asiatic duty, United States Navy, circa 1876.
Married Kane Murase, 1887.