Lecture Video: Christianity, American Missionaries, and Korean Immigration to the United States, 1903 to 1915

Lecturer: Prof. Wayne Patterson

The first ship to bring Korean immigrants to Hawai'i, carrying 56 men, 21 women, and 25 children (102 people), arrived in Hawaii on January 13, 1903. Over the next few years, more than 7,000 Korean immigrants arrived in Hawai'i to meet growing labor needs. This presentation will examine the role of American Protestant missionaries and Christianity more generally as they impacted the process of Korean immigration to and settlement in the United States/Hawaii during the early part of the twentieth century. Spanning developments in both Korea and the United States, it looks specifically at seven issues: direct missionary support for emigration, indirect missionary support for emigration, missionary opposition to emigration, the linkage between Christianity and emigration, Christianity on the sugar plantations (the tonghoe), Christianity on the sugar plantations (Korean churches and pastors), and Christianity and factionalism. It suggests ways in which events in Korea contributed to shaping the development of the Korean community in America.

Wayne Patterson is professor of history at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and his graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including The Korean Frontier in America; Immigration to Hawaii, 1896-1910 (1988) and The Ilse: First-Generation Korean Immigrants in Hawaii, 1903-1973 (2000). His most recent book is In the Service of His Korean Majesty: William Nelson Lovatt, the Pusan Customs, and Sino-Korean Relations, 1876-1888 (2012). He has been a visiting professor of Korean history at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, etc. as well as at Ewha, Korea and Yonsei Universities in Korea. He is teaching in the 2013 Korean Studies Summer Program at Sogang University.

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