Yankee Knight Errant at the Court of the Emperor Manque: William Franklin Sands and King Gojong in the "Korean Cockpit"
William Franklin Sands was the last independent American adviser to the Joseon Dynasty. As such, his Korean career provides a personal book-end to the first period of official American involvement with Korea, which terminated shortly after Sand's departure in 1905 at the behest of the Japanese who were just then beginning to take the steps that would eventuate in Japan's complete annexation of Korea in 1910 and sought to remove someone they perceived as an obstacle to their designs. Unlike George C. Foulk, whose Korean exploits provide a similarly personal perspective of US-Korean relations at the beginning of the diplomatic history of the US and Korea, however, Sands has received little attention from scholars.
The RASKB's Samuel Hawley recently published edited volumes of Foulk's letters and diaries, accompanied by an introduction that explores their significance for understanding Korean-American relations at their in inception. A wealth of similar documentary materials in Sands' archived papers, including numerous personal letters and photographs and the draft of a manuscript about Korea, promises to open a similar window on the close of the first chapter in US-Korean relations. Today's talk, which is based on an ongoing comprehensive examination of the Sands' papers, is designed to introduce some of such materials and the perspectives.
Kent Davy earned his A.B. from Cornell University (Philosophy and History), where he served as Teaching Assistant for Dominick LaCapra and Michel Foucault, in the area of Modern European Intellectual History. He then went on to Princeton University for Graduate study in Modern European Intellectual History under Carl Schorske and Robert Darnton. He received his J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School. He has had 25 years of legal practice on Wall Street, Fortune 50 and Korea, as well as 7 years business practice in Korea, where he has been resident for 17 years. He has received an M.A. in Korean Studies from Yonsei University.