Crusader for Korea: Homer B. Hulbert
Tonight’s 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.”
DongJin (DJ) 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 Dr. Homer Hulbert’s masterpieces on Korean culture, history and tradition. Mr. Kim was struck by Dr. Hulbert’s passion, scholarship and accomplishments in the service of Korea. Most importantly, he realized that Dr. Hulbert’s 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 Dr. Hulbert in the annals of Korean history. Mr. Kim visited numerous places including Dartmouth College, Columbia University, in search of Dr. Hulbert’s footprints. He located all the descendants of Dr. Hulbert and collected from them lots of important letters, books, records, pictures, and effects related to Dr. Hulbert. Mr. Kim is currently Chairman of the Hulbert Memorial Society and also serves as an adjunct professor of Seoul School of Integrated Science and Technology.